SIMON MWANSA KAPWEPWE’S LETTER EMERGES
MORE THAN AN INSPIRING EMAIL: PERHAPS A CALL TO LEADERSHIP!
By Kenneth Ok Mwenda
Today, Sunday, September 27, 2020, I aroused from sleep to a pleasing e mail from considered one of my former postgraduate regulation scholars on the University of Warwick in England, my excellent buddy, Siddharth Raja, primarily based in India.
It is now greater than twenty (20) years since I left Warwick. I taught Siddharth at Warwick in 1997/98. In his message this morning, he jogged my memory of the ones excellent outdated days at Warwick. What a pleasing marvel after twenty-two (22) years! This is the wonder about academia. It isn’t about cash, however creating a distinction in other folks’s lives.
Even extra inspiring, and a reason I’m sharing this message (with Siddharth’s permission, after all), is the truth that Siddharth’s grandfather taught Zambia’s first Vice- President, Mr Simon M Kapwepwe, in India. And Siddharth has simply shared with me a letter that Mr Kapwepwe wrote to his grandmother. It is the primary time ever that anybody in Zambia is seeing this extremely prized letter. I’ve hooked up it to this posting. Also, following under is Siddharth’s e mail to me. Thank you, Siddharth. Greatly preferred.
Dear Prof. Mwenda,
I believe this e mail of mine unearths you smartly and protected.
It’s not that i am positive if you are going to take into account me — as considered one of your scholars at Warwick University in 1997-98…
There is one more reason I’m writing to you — and that too nowadays; right here’s a word I’ve written and as hooked up:
“What a Sunday discovery!
Earlier today, Meghna (my daughter) and I — on a lark — decided to open up and plough through some of the papers left behind by my paternal grandmother, Meghna’s great grandmother, Mrs. Lakshmi Raja. Her old tartan cloth suitcase lies quite forlorn in our attic, and we brought it out, and unzipped it (yes, it has a zipper that still works after almost half-a-century!).
And, while we found many family memories, this one caught my attention. A folded letter, that is quite faded, written on very thin, almost like butter paper. Dated 1st February 1952, well nigh 68 years ago. Addressed to my grandmother on the unexpected passing of her husband — a “ministering angel to you and to his children and in whom I have lost a man where I could go for advice.”
The writer concludes: “I pray our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave only the cherish (sic.) memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the knowledge-imparting alter.”
And then he indicators off: “Yours very sincerely and respectfully, S. M. Kapwepwe.”
This then, girls and gents, is Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, later the first Vice President of Zambia underneath the mythical Kenneth Kaunda (KK) and a stalwart of that nation’s independence motion, writing as a 30-year outdated scholar of my grandfather’s in Bombay, on the Tanning Institute, Bandra.
My uncle recollects: “[Simon Kapwepwe] stop rigid and unmoving at the feet of Anna [as my grandfather was fondly called] for the whole time that he lay, as droves came to pay their last respects.””
I do hope to stick involved.
Siddharth Raja, Esq.