Remembering Africa’s Last Philosopher King: Kenneth Kaunda Obituary

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DiA’s own Professor Nic Cheeseman and Sishuwa Sishuwa have written a political obituary of Zambia’s “founding father” and first president Kenneth Kaunda, who has died aged 97.

They reflect on his achievements, challenges and how he will be remembered.

Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s “founding father” and first president, has died in a military hospital in Lusaka where he was being treated for pneumonia. Aged 97, he was the last of the generation of leaders who secured independence for their countries from colonial rule and went on to govern through their own distinctive political and economic philosophies. Like the continent’s other “philosopher kings” — Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta, Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Senegal’s Leopold Senghor — Kaunda’s vision for Zambia’s post-colonial future left a profound imprint on society that lasted well beyond his time in power.  

He will be remembered variously as …

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