Lynsey Chutel | Kenneth Kaunda: A complicated legacy

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Kenneth Kaunda pictured at the funeral ceremony of Robert Mugabe in 2019.
Kenneth Kaunda pictured at the funeral ceremony of Robert Mugabe in 2019.
Wilfred Kajese/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Romanticising Kenneth Kaunda’s past, instead of learning from it, does a disservice to young Africans’ futures, writes Lynsey Chutel.

The death of an elder always leaves the emerging generation unmoored. In the immediate aftermath of the loss, particularly a political loss, it can feel as though the moral compass is broken, the voice of reason silent. It also comes with the realisation that those left behind must now strive to reach the bar set by the elders.

From the international outpouring of grief that followed Zambian independence leader Kenneth Kaunda’s death on Thursday, this is the sense of loss he leaves behind. Kaunda not only led his own country to freedom, he championed the freedom of his neighbours, steadfastly clinging to the ideal that Zambia could not be free until Africa was free. 

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