Tribute by President Nana Akufo-Addo, at the funeral of the Llte Kenneth David Kaunda, at the National Heroes Stadium, On Friday, 2nd July 2021, In Lusaka, Zambia:
We have come from far and near to pay tribute to the life of a true and noble son of Africa.
I must, at the outset, extend the deepest condolences of the Government and people of Ghana, of myself, and of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of whose Authority I have the honour to be the current Chair, to President Edgar Lungu, to the Government and people of Zambia, and to the family of Dr Kenneth Kaunda on this great loss. We pray for God’s blessings for you
It is surely a fitting testimony to the man we are gathered here to mourn that the President of the
Republic of Ghana has come all the way from West Africa to pay tribute on behalf of Ghana and ECOWAS.
But, then, there should probably not be much surprise. As part of Zambia’s Independence Day celebrations in 1964, and to symbolise President Kaunda’s early pan-African credentials, the national football team of Ghana, the Black Stars, came here to play the Chi-polo-polo of Zambia, at the then newly completed Independence Stadium.
Today, we are marking what is truly the end of an era on our continent. With the passing of President Kenneth Kaunda, the last of the great freedom fighters, the “philosopher kings” and independence leaders of Africa, has departed.
Like the continent’s other “philosopher kings” — Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta, Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Senegal’s Leopold Senghor, — Kenneth Kaunda went on to govern through his own distinctive political and economic philosophies.
Kenneth Kaunda, like these leaders, also saw the independence of his country as being, in Kwame Nkrumah’s immemorial words, “meaningless unless it was linked with the total liberation of Africa”, and, like them, his vision for his country’s post-colonial future left a profound imprint that lasted well beyond his time in office.
He might have been President of Zambia, but it was the struggles of his neighbours to be free from the shackles of colonialism and white race domination that consumed him, even at the risk of the economic health of Zambia