Zambia Independence

10 Things About Zambia You Probably Don’t Know

Zambia gained its independence from Britain on October 24, 1964. Today, the southern African country is known globally for its heritage sites, and wildlife preservation. Zambia celebrates its independence today, and as a show of solidarity, we’re sharing a few facts about Zambia for young Africans to catch up on.

Mosi-oa-Tunya [Victoria Falls] is the largest waterfalls in the world: The UNESCO world heritage site is the largest waterfalls in the world based on its combined width and height. Mosi-oa-Tunya means ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ it is said that its noise can be heard from as far as 40km away. Standing at 108 meters—and 1,708 meters wide—it is roughly twice the height of Niagara Falls in Canada.


Zambia’s main export is copper: Zambia produces 1.5 million tonnes per year. Mainly produced in its north-west area, a stretch that is often called ‘the copper belt’. Uranium is derived during the copper mining process, and Zambia plans to build a nuclear power plant in the next 10-15 years.


One-third of Zambia is made of national parks: Home to 22 national parks, some better maintained than others, two to three are world-famous. The eight main functioning parks are; South Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park, Nsumbu National Park, Kasanka National Park, Lochinvar National Park, Blue Lagoon National Park, Victoria Falls National Park. \


Africa’s ‘Big Five’ of wildlife are in Zambia: The Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and Cape Buffalo can be found across the country. South Luangwa National park is one of the country’s biggest attractions due to its abundance of wildlife. It is home to over 400 species of birds. Including rare species like the Shoebill Stork.


It is home to the world’s largest man made lake: Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba dam at its northeast end. It is 223 km long, and 40 km wide. It is used for fishing, and to provide power to Zambia and Zimbabwe. It floods the Kariba gorge on the Zambezi river. 

Zambia was named after the Zambezi river: The Zambezi River—roughly translated to ‘Grand River’ is the fourth largest river in Africa, after The Nile, Congo River, and River Niger. Zambia was formerly known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911, but was renamed after its independence in 1964.


Women are often breadwinners of families in Zambia. The British Colonial regime enforced European gender roles, making wives stay at home, while husbands work. However, since a financial crisis in the late 1980s, it has gradually eroded. A popular slogan in Zambia today is ‘Banamayo bengabomba incito sha bashitata’ [Women can do what men can do] 

It is a completely landlocked country: Bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo to the North, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the South, and Angola to the West.

The first human fossil ever discovered in Africa was found in Zambia: The Broken Hill Man skull was found by a Swiss miner in Kabwe in 1921, showing that humans were present in Zambia at least 200,000 years ago.


Zambia is the first country to have entered an Olympic games as one country, and left as another: Zambia declared its independence on 24 October 1964, which was also the day of the losing ceremony of the 1964 summer olympics. They became independent of the United kingdom, and prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda’s National socialist United National Independent Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991.


Nasir Ahmed Achile

Philosophy nut. I recommend Albert Camus, Eckhart Tolle and bell hooks to everyone I know.

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