Features

Historic city of Ndola, hub of Zambia’s Copperbelt (Part2)

Ndola - Zambia.

MOSES WALUBITA, Lusaka
Places of interest
THE Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Site is located about 16 kilometres outside Ndola. This is a place marking the spot where Dag Hammarskjold, the Second United Nations Secretary General, and 16 other United Nations staff died in a plane crash on September 18, 1961. Listen to Dag Hammarskjold’s last speech to his staff delivered in the United Nations General Assembly, New York, United States of America, on September 8, 1961. “But, although the dangers may be great and although our role may be modest, we can feel that the work of the organisation is the means through which we all, jointly, can work so as to reduce the dangers. It would be too dramatic to talk about our task as one of waging war for peace, but it is quite realistic to look at it as an essential and –within its limits – effective work for building dams against the floods of disintegration and violence.”
Remember that Zambia, born on October 24, 1964, is not a peaceful country by accident.
Lake Chilengwa na Lesa (which means made by God) is about 16 kilometres from the city. It is in Senior Chief Chiwala’s area, and less than 10 kilometres from the border with Sakania in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) near a village known as Mbomfu. The lake has no obvious water supply other than from underground water channels, and is similar to other sunken lakes found within the Copperbelt Province. Lamba legend suggests that it has connection with Lake Ishuku located just next to Ndola Lime Company, according to the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC).
The Copperbelt provincial administration office, housing the minister’s office, used to belong to British South Africa Company regional head office administering all mineral rights under the BSA Company before being ceded to the British government in 1924. This building was known as Charter House.
One of the early European residences in the city was Manners Township (this is the area from Broadway to Chintu) and this township included the town area covering the railway station. The Northrise area was predominantly a European railway workers’ area, housing mainly shunters and firemen.
Twapya African Township was a government creation to settle mine and government retirees. It had a management board of its own and some kind of “town clerk” known as board secretary. Pillsbury Wesley Nyirenda, who later became Speaker of the National Assembly, was the first African townships’ local government officer-in-charge. Ndeke, Mushili, Bonano, and Mushili Bonano as well as Lubuto, are a new breed of townships. Kabushi was put in place between 1948 and 1952 as the cemetery had to be closed to give way to Kabushi. Wells sunk in Kabushi in 1948 to 1952 were said to have “run” into human bones. Masala Mine and later Chifubu compounds were built in 1955 and 1956 respectively.
Health services
“The European Hospital (which is now the psychiatric department) enjoyed better facilities than the African Hospital which used to be where the Ndola Central Hospital is, recalls NHCC. The two hospitals were run by two ministries, the Department of African Medical Services and Department of European Medical Services. The government currently runs two hospitals in Ndola, the Ndola Central Hospital and Arthur Davison children’s hospital, with the latter built with the funds provided by Davison who had his house on the same site where the hospital is built.
Arthur Davison also had a big farm near Fatima Secondary School. Arthur Davison was nicknamed Yengwe, a name that stuck since his early days as a railway track worker having encountered a leopard, and managed to scare it off.
Schools for Asians (Indians) and Euro-Africans (coloured people) all came under the Department of European Education but the syllabus was the same. The council had opened up residential areas for Asians in Kanini and coloureds in Hillcrest in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Government had opened up the suburb compound in Hillcrest for senior civil servants.
“The discovery of copper at nearby Bwana Mkubwa is said to have been quite extensive in Zambia and was only comparable to the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in the North-Western Province. It was discovered and pegged by William Collier and Jack Donohe in 1902. Bwana Mkubwa was a name given to a young hunter and trader Robert Wright by the local Lamba people. He became a big trader in Ndola and joined the British, “Asikaris” during the World War 1. By 1912, a concentrator was erected to treat the high copper ore and in 1913 Bwana Mkubwa became the first Copperbelt mine to produce copper on commercial basis,” recalls NHCC. Bwana Mkubwa remains a viable tourist attraction with the mine concentrator ruins and the open pit being the main attractions.
Education facilities
Ndola’s educational facilities are extensive. Originally the University of Zambia (UNZA) Copperbelt campus was allocated land between the Rehabilitation Centre in Hillcrest and the Monkey Fountain smallholding on Ndola-Kitwe road for the building of the UNZA campus in Ndola. The campus was moved to the Zambia Institute of Technology (ZIT), now Copperbelt University (CBU) in Kitwe where infrastructure was already in place. The Copperbelt University school of medicine has since been built and now operational near the original site. Other institutions of higher learning located in Ndola include Northrise University, Zesco Training Centre, Northern Technical College (Nortec) in Kansenshi, NIEC School of Business Studies, NIPA Ndola campus and Zambia ICT College.
“The city of Ndola can only be second in beauty after Livingstone, With the Kafubu River passing almost through the middle of the city, and with massive ecological restoration of the Kafubu River. The city of Ndola will be an identical twin of London’s River Thames running through it’’, observes NHCC. Most of the shops in Ndola, especially those in the second and part of the first class, were built in the 1930s while some were built after World War II.




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