Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia

Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda

Affectionately known as KK, Kenneth Kaunda was the first president of Zambia.

Kenneth Kaunda with Nelson Mandela
Kenneth Kaunda with Nelson Mandela

While president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda nationalized the copper mines, and also worked towards freeing all the Black people of Southern Africa from white supremacy. He supported freedom fighters in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique, in Southern Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe), Namibia, and South Africa. He even met with Pieter Botha and B.J. Vorster to solve the issue of apartheid in South Africa, but got no results. Being so close to all these countries and seeing what his fellow brothers were going through made him want to fight. He played a crucial part in the liberation of all of southern Africa from white supremacy. Zambia paid a price for its backing of those countries by being bombed by the Apartheid government.

KK on a Zambian currency note
KK on a Zambian currency note

One thing I remember clearly is the day KK went on national television to sensibilize the Zambian people about the danger of AIDS. He had just lost his son to AIDS, and he was on tears, and urged the people of Zambia to take precautions. I was impressed! How many presidents do you see doing that? or at least how many African presidents do that?

Please enjoy this interview given by Kenneth Kaunda to CNN African voices. One other special plus… Kenneth Kaunda is a great singer!

Don’t forget to watch Part 2 and 3 of the interview.

One thought on “Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia

  1. Pingback: Why the name: Lusaka? | African Heritage

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