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The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is presented to: HE Presiden Kenneth David Kaunda

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Ubuntu/Botho is a traditional African concept of the Nguni and Sotho-speaking people of Southern Africa, which can roughly be translated as “humanity towards others”. Ubuntu/Botho represents the full circle of life.

The Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is awarded annually by the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation to an exceptional individual or organisation whose life and work is dedicated to the advancement of humanity, peace, development, freedom, democracy, and the environment.

It recognises servant leadership to humanity and promotes ethical moral leadership in building a just and prosperous society.

The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is presented posthumously to: HE Presiden Kenneth David Kaunda


The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is posthumously awarded to Kenneth David Kaunda, the former President of the Republic of Zambia, in recognition of his life-long service to the African continent, his outstanding leadership qualities and integrity, as well as his unwavering commitment to the course of democracy, peace, nation-building and reconciliation in Africa and around the world.

President Kaunda led Zambia from British colonial rule to independence in 1964 and served as that country’s President until 1991. He carved the path for the country’s first democratic multiparty elections and became the second mainland African Head of State to allow free multiparty elections and to relinquish power peacefully after he had lost. President Kaunda founded the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation in 1991, dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution on the continent.

President Kaunda was a distinguished leader who, in 1963, served as the President of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa, as Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) from 1970 to 1971, and again from 1987 to 1988; and the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), whose summit he hosted in Lusaka in 1970. His leadership permeated beyond the borders of Zambia, leaving an indomitable impression on the continent, especially Southern Africa.

President Kaunda’s political ideology of Humanism embodied values of justice and equality, which served as a guiding principle for individual morality in society. His ideas on humanism placed a strong emphasis on individual obligation toward the advancement of the collective good of society.

President Kaunda was a freedom fighter, and founding father of the Organisation of African Unity, which until today – in its current form as the African Union – still means a great deal to the African people. President Kaunda’s greatest legacy is being the founding father of the Zambian nation.

President Kaunda served not only his country but the cause of freedom and democracy in our country and across the African continent. During apartheid, Zambia provided sanctuary to South Africa’s exiles, for which Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi travelled to Lusaka to thank President Kaunda. It was during that visit to him, in 1974, that he advised Prince Buthelezi to found a membership-based organisation, to reignite political mobilisation on South African soil. This culminated in the founding of Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe in 1975, which is today known as the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

President Kaunda was one of the first members of the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa, a distinguished group of former Presidents and influential African leaders mobilising political leadership to end AIDS as a public health threat on the continent by 2030. He also dedicated time and effort to the AIDS response through his Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation, and through the Zambian Chapter of the Brothers for Life Campaign, which aimed to encourage healthier lifestyles among young men.

On behalf of all People of goodwill around the World and especially the African continent, the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation thanks President Kaunda for his life of Ubuntu.

This citation was presented at the Inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation Lecture on 21 March 2023 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban and published on on 21 March 2023.