Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Freedom Fighter and Politician Mama Chibesa Kankasa has died


Freedom fighters (from left) Mama Chibesa Kankasa, Ranken Sikasula,
William Chipango and Cuthbert Kolala listen to a press briefing
addresses by Mr Sikota Wina at Inter-Continental Hotel in Lusaka

Freedom Fighter and Politician Mama Chibesa Kankasa has died.

Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya confirmed in a tweet that Mama Kankasa 82 died in South Africa this morning.

Ms. Siliya said Mama Kankasa will be remembered among pioneers of women politics.

Mama Kankasa was evacuated to South Africa for specialised medical treatment two weeks ago after an illness

And according to a statement later released by the Ministry of Information, Zambia, as a nation, will always be appreciative of the role Mrs Kankasa played before and after independence and will be forever indebted to her service.

Mrs Kankasa was born on 23rd March, 1936 and joined politics at a tender age of 19. She married Mr Timothy Kankasa in 1952 and went on to become one of the most known female politicians in Zambia.

Mrs Kankasa was not only a young female freedom fighter when Zambia fought for independence but was a charismatic fighter for the rights of fellow women and children. She dressed elegantly and popularised the Chitenge dress that matched with her characteristic head dress.

As the first female Member of the Central Committee and Chairperson of the Women’s league, Mrs Kankasa offered distinguished service to her party UNIP and was an icon to many young female politicians.

Known to many as Mama Kankasa, she worked with former First Lady Betty Kaunda and Ms Julia Chikamoneka during the freedom struggle and was the first Zambian High Commissioner to Kenya after independence.

As recent as the last elections in 2016, Mrs Kankasa encouraged women to take part in the elections at various levels.

She said women should not leave politics to men, but participate at an equal level with their male counterparts.

Mrs Kankasa died today at 10:30 hours in Avrwyp Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa where she has been receiving treatment after being evacuated there on 6th October, 2018.

Government will announce the dates for repatriation of the remains of the UNIP stalwart and funeral arrangements in due course.


  1. This thing of evacuting people from Zambia to RSA and India when are you going to stop you Zambian government.

    RSA is not that good we can do better than RSA. So thats another cost to take back the died body to Zambia.

    Any way MHSRP Mama Kankasa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maibabeeeeeeeeeee….

    • Go well mama… go and rest. It’s a pity you got to see how lerthagic the youth of these days are.

      Mama, you saw how much our youth prefer Arsenal and Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, how the young women prefer Beyoncé Knows and American soaps and forsaken to keep alive what you fought for.

      Mama, it’s a pity you had to see that which you envisioned for Zambia about all citizens participating in the affairs of the nation be blown to dust by today’s youths.

      Mama… you’ve gone away seeing that Zambia is in trouble just like John F Kennedy used to say “a society with a majority of men and women that is in constant slumber will never realise her potential”

      Mama… you have seen China come and our young men and women are in slumber instead of meaningfuly engaging China…

    • Condolences to the family. She was a woman who did the nation proud. I hope she knew Him. IF she did, then she is with Him.

    • In order for Africans to start moving forward… we need to exorcise

      – the ghosts of condemnation without thought

      – the ghost of stupidity

      – the ghost of castigating things simply because you do not like them

      – the ghost of wanting to be rich without work

      – the ghost of being judgmental without understanding

      Once we have eliminated these ghosts which are in our hearts and minds, Zambia will move forward.

    • Who is this ? What freedom fighting did she do?

      May her soul rest in peace but I have never ever heard of her

      Why ?



    • Silly Dora, how could she announce such important death in TWITTER from her bedroom? These insults from PF …awe mwee?
      She should have left it to Secretary to Cabinet Msisika.

    • May Beautiful Soul Rest In Peace … a fellow UNIPist to the last breathe she was.

      Sadly missed and condolences to the Kankasa Family.

    • Dora that’s being disrespectful and laziness, the payer pays you do do a professional job. How different is it from saying by the way Mama Kankasa has passed on!

    • Saddest part is that she died under PF, such a low group.
      Imagine Dora is one informing Nation about Kankasa’s passing, more degrading in a twit.
      They should have put Inonge on TV.

  2. When the history of this nation is re-written,she will never be forgotten.She is a symbol of freedom struggles and fighter.Without her and other sons and daughters of the nation Zambia,would not have been liberated.It is a pity that our freedom fighters are dying without writing any memoirs for the nation.
    Children of nowadays are very conversant with dictators like Hitler,Mussolini and others.They write long essays and get distinctions in History about foreigners other than their own like Mama Kankasa.Education system should be changed so that it is tailored to our own freedom fighters.
    Go well mama!Hamba Kahle gogo Kankasa!Kwaheli mbuya!lala nokhuthula gogo!till we meet.You have run your fruitful race till the end.MYSRIP

  3. Evacuating people especially the elderly or rivals to south Africa or abroad is meant to cleanse the conscious of our politicians so that they can brag how humble , good and caring they are, despite misappropriating huge sums of money that can upgrade our hospitals. Otherwise it is not necessary to evacuate people in their advanced age and spend tax payers money. UTH has looked after KK for donkey old years and it should do for the rest of them.

    Others MHSRIP..didn’t really know much about her, excerpt that she was from that era..

    • With the vision for the country that KK had for critical institutions as UTH, these many unnecessary evacuations would by now have been a thing of the past and many more nationals would have been afforded the treatment the “privileged” get flown to RSA for. It’s scandalous 54 years on the skills and intelligence of our physicians are stifled by lack of equipment and motivation!

  4. May she go well. Her name will always be remembered in Zambian history along with Dr. Kaunda and many others who stood up in sacrifice for the liberation of our great nation.

  5. Even in villages, very sick relatives are taken to witch doctors beyond their resident villages to supposedly superior witch doctors with renowned reputations of curing the incurable! Those that have been unfortunate to find themselves in such a desperate situation can only oblige and hope their beloved would recover and come back healthy. All of you here who are trying to make an issue of evacuation just shut up! The relatives are grateful for the effort…

  6. Zambians never seize to amaze me. If this lady died at UTH there will be post about how much the government has neglected the freedom fighters. Just recently when UTH managed to do some first organ transplant we had our friends from the bitter cult posting rub!sh on this very blog.

  7. Mate her soul rest in peace. Told me a bitter truth I will always live to remember at UCZ church in Kabwata.Frank and straightforward

  8. She truely was an icon of our times.
    She had a good run, 82 years on this earth! God Bless her and may angels carry her home to Him. She did Great deeds for Zambia and Zambian women. We pray for her family.

  9. @1.8 who are you please and where were you born, which school in Zambia did you go to? If you don’t know Mama Kankasa and you have never heard of her please sit down. For you to ask who she is then you don’t know who was the first president of Zambia and you are not Zambian. This woman deserves respect, please don’t talk trash over her. This woman has schools, roads and public places in Zambia named after her because of her Legacy and you want to talk trash over her, please don’t start. If this woman was in today’s government, she would resign on what’s going on.
    Her daughter has been the Deputy Governor of Bank of Zambia for long time until she retired.

  10. Deeply regrettable on that we have lost the mother of the our Nation.Her leadership, sacrifice and unconditional love for beloved Zambia. We gonna miss her. Rest well mama.

  11. #Mbaluso

    Just to add on other names; Cuba, Gaddafi, Saddam etc.

    But why are you now making statements in Zulu? why not in various indigenous Zambian languages? Never heard SAs making statements in Nyanja or Bemba even when they lived in Zed in exile.

    We all have a lot to learn.

  12. Mushota, maybe you are just a an ‘unwinned baby’ glued to HipHop that is why you do not know anything about Mama Kankasa. She was a well known politician of yesteryears and always dressed elegantly.

    • @Mushota I keep on tell you that you are extremely naive and you are not making any effort to remedy your shortcomings. Maybe a workshop at Livingston Museum?

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