ONE of Zambia’s freedom fighters and heroines, Chibesakunda Kankasa fondly known as Mama Kankasa in political circles, died on Monday October 29, 2018 in South Africa after an illness.
Mama Kankasa died at the age of 82. She died three days after the country celebrated 54th independence anniversary.
The late freedom fighter started her political career at the age of 19 in 1957. She was the true freedom fighter and heroine who fought relentlessly for the liberation of this country. She and her womenfolk such as Julia Chikamoneka, late Betty Kaunda wife of first republican president, Vice-President Inonge Mutukwa Wina among others helped the country attain uhuru or independence from the British colonial masters.
She was also a courageous and focused woman who worked alongside male freedom fighters in the pre-independence period. These include first republican president Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, late Arthur Wina, late Nalumino Mundia, Sikota Wina to mention but a few.
At the attainment of Zambia’s independence in 1964, she was the first woman to be appointed as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Kenya by President Kaunda. If this is not good enough, she served as Member of the Central Committee (MCC) during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) reign.
After retiring from active politics, Mama Kankasa continued providing counsel to the current crop of politicians in a bid to unity the country in the spirit of One Zambia One Nation.
In recognition of her contributions to the liberation of this country, President Edgar Lungu has since accorded the late freedom fighter a state funeral. The curtain has closed on Mama Kankasa but, her legacy of peace and unity will outlive her. This is because she was a true freedom fighter and heroine who inspired many politicians.
Over and above everything else, she played a critical role in liberating this country and her life is worth celebrating. May her soul rest in eternal peace.