Skip links

Faces of Africa – Kenneth Kaunda: The man with a big heart

Read 3 minutes

A God-fearing man, a musician, a man of the people, one of Africa’s great leaders, are just some of the words used to describe Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

Kenneth David Kaunda was born on April 28, 1924. Born in a family whose father was a reverend and mother a teacher, he has lived up to be a great family man.

“He knows who we are, he doesn’t forget his grandkids, and he knows us like that,” says Lubuto Kaunda, Kenneth’s grandson.

Zambia’s first President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda (sited at the centre) celebrates his 87th birthday on April 28, 2011

Kenneth David Kaunda was the first President of Zambia, a landlocked country in south central Africa from 24th October 1964. It was soon after the country gained independence from the British colony. He ruled Zambia through a one-party state system until the democratic wave swept the African continent.

On the 2nd of November 1991, Kaunda conceded defeat in free and fair elections. A lot has been portrayed about his life as a freedom fighter, politician and Father of the Zambian nation.

“It was clear that for a man who had spent so much time being harassed by the colonial government, being put into prison still came out without bitterness and still said we should not adopt violence as one of our tactics in terms of winning national independence for our country.” Vernon .J. Mwaanga said.

Kenneth Kaunda with the late Julius Nyerere, both wearing Kaunda suits

An African leader’s life is considered to end after they leave office. But that has not been the case with Kaunda. At 94 years old, Kenneth Kaunda is one of the liveliest living legends in Africa.

“I just thank God that he has made me live this long and be able to help reshape this nation into something wonderful,” says Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

“I consider him the epitome of Zambia,” told a Zambia citizen.

During his free time, Dr. Kaunda is known for his talent in both singing and playing the guitar.

“I love my music. And on my guitar, I play many hymns for my creator. I play one or two songs about my dear wife,” says the first president of Zambia.

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda serves his beloved wife, the late Mama Betty during his 87th birthday

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda was married to the late Betty Kaunda for sixty-six years, since 1946 and were blessed with four children.

“For him to succeed, Betty must have a major role and equally I believe her life must be celebrated because she was there for him looked after the children and indirectly looked after us as a nation,” said Maureen Mwanawasa, former first lady of Zambia.

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, a musician, sportsman and author, he still lives up to his legacy and continues to have a positive impact to the people of Zambia.

Dr. Kenneth enjoys singing and playing his guitar
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.