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Banda, Hastings Kamuzu (1906–97)

Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


President of Malawi (1966–094). The son of a peasant in Nyasaland, he was educated at mission schools before working as a clerk in a South African gold mine. He then went to the US, where he lived for 12 years qualifying (he was a brilliant student) and practising as a doctor. After continuing his medical studies in Edinburgh, he was in the 1940s and early 1950s a much-respected doctor in the north of England and in London, where his home was a meeting place for radical African nationalists. While working in Ghana (1953–8) he was persuaded to return home, after 40 years abroad, to lead the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) in its struggle against the central african federation (CAF). The colonial government responded by declaring a state of emergency in 1959, banning the NAC and imprisoning Banda and other African leaders. His followers immediately founded the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and continued the struggle. The British Colonial Secretary, Iain Macleod, realized the strength of African feeling against the CAF, so in 1960 he released Banda and ended the state of emergency. Banda then led the MCP to victory in the 1961 elections and self-government in 1962. The Federation was dissolved in 1963 and Nyasaland became the independent state of Malawi in 1964, with Banda as Prime Minister. When Malawi became a republic in 1966, Banda took office as President and in 1971 as Life ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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