Zambia: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Zambia, first democratic elections, biography of David Livingstone.



The 1st self-governing legislative elections were held in January of 1964. Ninety-five percent of the population voted. Some walked as far as 20 mi. in the rain to reach the polls. A thumb dipped in red ink prevented people from voting twice; the people voted by symbol for the parties of their choice (lion, corncob, or hoe). Kenneth Kaunda's "hoe party" was victorious, and, when he became President in October, he was firm. He told a group of labor leaders, "This Government is strong and here to stay. I do not want to hear any more nonsense from anyone."

David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, went to Zambia more than a century ago, and was horrified at the slaving the witnessed; blacks were terrorized, their families broken up, as they were led off by the Arabs to be sold. Livingstone, who immediately vowed to end the trade where he could, tried to replace the slave trade with general commerce in Africa. He spent his last days in Zambian country. When no one had heard much from him in about a year, the New York Herald dispatched a reporter, whose assignment was simply to find Livingstone. The reporter, Henry Morton Stanley, succeeded, finally coming upon the missing missionary at Lake Tanganyika where Stanley greeted him with the words, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" He was the last white man to speak with Livingstone, who died at the age of 60, on May 1, 1873, of malaria, following an 8-month trek through disease-infested swamps. His chief bearer, Susi, insisted that the doctor be buried in England. His body was dried out for 2 weeks, then embalmed in brandy and salt. The bearers had the body shipped to Westminster, after they had carried it to the sea--the trip to the African coast, which now takes 24 hours on an American-built highway, took them 9 months.

On the 100th anniversary of Livingstone's death, President Kaunda led 1,000 Zambians to Cipundu (where Livingstone had died) to pay tribute to the Scotsman. Kaunda said at that time, "What dominated Livingstone's life was his sense of mission as a servant of the people of Africa. He did not see himself a leader in any sense at all."

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