31 Jul A BRIEF HISTORY OF HEROES & UNITY DAY
In Zambia we look forward to the annual four day long weekend in July. But all too often forget their significance in Zambian history. We hope this brief explanation serves to enlighten or remind…
HEROES DAY is the day set aside for Zambians to remember those who fought in the struggle for Zambian Independence in 1964. It is a somber holiday which pays respect to those Zambian heroes.
In 1974, president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda presented a one and a half ton bronze statue as a gift to the nation to honour its heroes: a statue of a man with no shirt or shoes and defiantly raising a chained hand into the air. The statue carries the inscription “FREEDOM” beneath it. Freedom rallies of all descriptions have taken place at the site of the statue in Lusaka over the years.
This holiday celebrates the extraordinary cultural diversity of Zambia – and serves to unify all her people as one nation.
Zambia is home to more than 72 local languages/ dialects. There are six main languages spoken including: Bemba as the most widely-spoken, followed by Nyanja/Chewa. Kaonde, Luvale and Lunda are spoken in western Zambia, Tonga in the south and Lozi which is spoken along the Zambezi.
Such diversity calls for a celebration of unity. Hence the slogan: “One Zambia, one nation!”