Malawians remember John Chilembwe

Remembrance ceremony for the first anti colonial activist  John Chilembwe was held on Sunday at his church in Chiradzulu District.

President Lazarus Chakwera, Vice President Soulos Chilima and Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa were among the dignitaries  at the service which included wreath  laying.

Former President  Joyce Banda also laid a wreath.

In his social media post Chilima said, “regardless of which corner of our country these freedom fighters came from or what language they spoke, they were all connected by their unyielding belief that they could make something greater out of this nation.

“They knew that no challenge is insurmountable. They knew that nothing lasts forever. We remain indebted and we shall always remember and honour them.”

Chakwera, Chilima, Banda and Nankhumwa were joined by Chief Justice Rezine Mzikamanda, Police and Army Chiefs, and DPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiradzulu South, Joseph Mwanamvekha among others to lay a wreath. 

John Chilembwe was born in June 1871 and died on February 3, 1915. He was a Baptist pastor, educator and revolutionary who trained as a minister in the United States, returning to Malawi, then Nyasaland, in 1901. 

The late John Chilembwe was an early figure in the resistance to colonialism in Nyasaland (Malawi), opposing both the treatment of Africans working in agriculture on European-owned plantations and the colonial government’s failure to promote the social and political advancement of Africans. Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Chilembwe organised an unsuccessful armed uprising against colonial rule. 

 John Chilembwe Day is observed annually on January 15 in Malawi.

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