Zambia is a country located in southern Africa. It’s a landlocked country surrounded by Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola and Botswana. Capital of Zambia is Lusaka. The currency used is called Zambian kwacha. Let’s learn some 10 interesting facts about Zambia.
1. Britain colonised Zambia in 1924
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Zambia had Britain as its colonial masters. The economic movement of sale and purchase started in Zambia when Britain showed interest in 1880s. Everybody understands that it was the period when Europe was keen on increasing its economic clout.
Britain gradually purchased assets from the local chiefs. Eventually Zambia came under the control of Britain South Africa Company. In 1924, the administrative control was finally taken by Britishers. Due to an increased industrial activity in mining, several people came to Zambia in search of wealth and money.
2. Zambia obtained freedom in 1964
The country obtained its name Zambia after its freedom in 1964. Previously it was named as Northern Rhodesia. The troubles were not over, since a majority of sectors were run by imported-intellectuals. A lack of expertise at home became a major road-neck in the path of development of Zambia.
The path to independence was clear when elections of 1962 helped an African majority in the parliament. A resolution was passed and as a result federation was dissolved and Northern Rhodesia after taking an exit from the federation became Republic of Zambia.
3. Huge reserves of Copper are found in Zambia
The copper reserves in Zambia were discovered in 1895 by an America scout named Frederick Russel Burnham. These huge reserves played an important role in the British interests of mining sector.
Later in 1920s, more reserves of copper were discovered which was named as Copperbelt. This changed the territory of Northern Rhodesia into a profitable one. The coming years witnessed labour protests for sake of their rights under colonial masters.
Zambia is the eighth largest producer of copper on the world. Copper covers around 70% of the exports of country and any price fluctuation in copper at global level has adverse effects on the Zambia’s economy.
4. Flag of Zambia shows patriotism and wealth
It was hoisted for the first time on 23rd October, 1964. The flag of Zambia symbolises wealth and patriotism. The flag shows an orange coloured eagle.
Red represents the struggle of the elders for sake of obtaining the freedom. Black represents the people of the Zambia and Orange color signifies the mineral wealth of Zambia.
5. Zambia has a diverse population of 17 million people
Zambia has a lot of ethnic diversity. Bemba, Tonga and Chewa are the largest ethnic groups in Zambia. Bemba is the largest spoken language in Zambia, almost 33.4% of the population speaks this language. These languages belong to the Bantu Language group. It’s said that Zambia has 70 languages in total; however, a few languages are a change in dialect rather than a new language.
The residents of Zambia are called Zambians.
6. Christianity is the major religion in Zambia
People adhere to Christianity (85%) in Zambia. 75% of these Christianity followers are protestants while 20% are catholics. Constitution of 1996 terms Christianity as the official religion of the country.
The growth in Christian religion was witnessed when missionaries from the US reached Zambia in 1970s. The later economic crunch served as an obstacle in this growth. However, later in 1996 an amendment was made in the constitution to term christianity as the official religion of Zambia.
There are muslims in Zambia but in relatively lesser number. The Islam arrived due to the muslims traders of 18th century.
7. World’s largest waterfalls is in Zambia – Victoria Falls
The longest river in Zambia is Zambezi river. Victoria Falls aka Mosi-oa-Tunya is situated on Zambezi river. It’s the largest waterfalls in the earth. The Victoria Falls is located right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The width of Victoria Falls is 1,708 metres.
It’s believed that David Livingstone was the explorer who had discovered these waterfalls in 1855. He named these waterfalls in the honour of Queen Victoria of Britain.
It’s worth mentioning that Victoria Falls is among the seven wonders of the world. It’s also listed as UNESCO world heritage site.
8. World’s largest man-made lake is in Zambia – Lake Kariba
It’s the world largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. Lake Kariba is situated along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The length of this lake is around 223kms while it has a width of around 40kms (source). The storage capacity of Lake Kariba is 185 cubic kilometres. If we compare it with the world’s largest Dam, Three Gorges Dam then it would be 3 times larger by volume.
The lake is known for its energy provision to the rest of the country. Further, it also sustains fishing industry at a commercial level.
9. Zambia was named after Zambezi River
River Zambezi is the fourth largest river in Africa. After the independence of Zambia in 1964, the name from Northern Rhodesia was changed to Republic of Zambia. This name was changed after the river Zambezi.
The local often call it as Yambeji which is a Lunda-Luba word meaning area of plenty of water. The source of river Zambezi is Kaleni Hill. Further, there are other suggested meanings of this name as well, but all of those are closer to the one mentioned above.
10. National dish of Zambia is Nshima
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Nshima is the staple food in Zambia. It’s a kind of porridge which is made from finely ground corn. Prepared and cooked Nshima is served in the form of lumps, then it’s eaten with hands.
After rolling it in the hands in the form of a round lump, an indentation is made in the centre of Nshima. Later, side serving such as any other dish is poured in the indentation and eaten along. Nshima is tasteless, the addition of side dish makes it adorable.