Independence Day in Zambia
Independence Day is a public holiday in Zambia and is observed on the 24th of October every year. If that date happens to fall on a weekend, however, that date is usually changed to the following Monday to give all citizens a chance to have a day off of work. This public holiday is also a day when many businesses, schools, and non-essential government offices are closed.
This day marks the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1964. It’s been observed as a national holiday ever since with many people enjoying the parades, sporting events, concerts, and other events that occur on this day.
The History Of Independence Day In Zambia
While many areas in Africa were colonized early during the Age of Colonization, Zambia wasn’t visited by Europeans until the end of the 19th century. This is partially due to the country being landlocked and the difficulty of traveling through the rainforest.
In 1888, mineral rights in the region were “obtained” by Cecil Rhodes, the leader of the British South Africa Company. Suppression of the local population soon ensued as copper deposits were discovered. In 1911, two previously separate regions were consolidated to form Northern Rhodesia.
Northern Rhodesia was a British protectorate that was initially governed under the advice of the BSA Company, but when they didn’t renew their charter, then the British government assumed control of the region.
In 1963, resolutions were passed that called for Northern Rhodesia’s secession from the federation and demanding self-government. This would finally be realized on October 24th, 1964, when Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda would serve as the inaugural President until 1991.