Dr Moses Banda Raises the Zambian Flag over Rhodes Cottage Museum
Dr Moses Banda Raises the Zambian Flag over Rhodes Cottage Museum
Earlier on this year Dr Moses Banda visited the Rhodes Cottage Museum, on the last day of his attending the Mining Convention in Cape Town.
After being shown around by Shirley Dr Banda was surprised that missing from the array of flags outside the Museum, was indeed the Zambian Flag.
The Museum had included the South African flag, the British South African Company, Malawi (formally Nyasaland), and Zimbabwe (formally Rhodesia) but not Zambia (Formally Northern Rhodesia)
After leaving a remark in the visitor’s book, Gabriel Clark-Brown took it upon himself to plant another flag pole and purchase a Zambian flag and invite Dr Banda down again to raise the flag.
After all this a flag raising date was decided on (Saturday 09 July) and Dr Banda, with his wife flew down from Zambia to join our humble group in Rhodes Cottage, Muizenberg, Cape Town to receive Dr Banda.
The turnout for the Flag raising ceremony was well attended for local standards, more than 50 people were present, including a contingent of Zambians who live in Cape Town.
As the morning progressed, their where speeches by Chris Taylor (read by Gabriel Clark-Brown) and Dr Moses Banda. The singing of the National Anthem of Zambia followed, and then Chairperson of the Muizenberg Historical Conservative
Society- Advocate Glenn Babb played the Reveille on his Bugle as Dr Banda raised the flag. After the ceremony champaign from Boschendal, was cracked open, and a generous amount of food and Boschendal wine was consumed.
All in all the event was a first for Rhodes Cottage, where through the legacy of Rhodes had assisted in creating 4 great nations, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.
The event was well received and everyone had a joyous heart in enjoying history, but also celebrating African diversity and bringing people together- in the beauty of Rhodes Cottage
Dr Moses Banda’s Remarks at the Hoisting of the Zambian Flag Ceremony at the Cecil John Rhodes Memorial Museum in Cape on 9th July 2022.
First and foremost I thank you for finding time to come and witness the occasion at which for the first time that the Zambian flag is being raised here at the Cecil John Rhodes Memorial Museum. In my delegation I have my wife Olipa Mapala Banda and Shadreck from Congo Brazzaville. I am here in my personal capacity though I have corporate ties with Kalahari Geoenergy, which is a geothermal energy explorer and developer, where I am a Director and I am also a Country Director of Vedanta Resources, a diversified base metal mining conglomerate. Thus I am not in any way representing the Zambian government. I am merely a simple Zambian citizen. Now some of you may ask as to how I find myself here.
I was here in Cape Town last May attending the 2022 Mining Indaba and on the morning of the 10th I came across a brief article on the Cecil John Rhodes Memorial Museum. What attracted my attention was that in 1932 the Cecil John Rhodes Trust had handed over this property to the Northern Rhodesia Government but that later in 1937 ownership of property was transffered from the Northern Rhodesia Government to the Cape Town City Council. That raised a legacy claim in my mind and I decided to forego the Indaba proceedings of that morning and decided to come and visit the Museum. Shadrick a taxi driver from Congo Brazzaville is the one who brought me here. He is here with me today.
When Shadrick and i arrived at the Museum we were well received by Ms Shirley Sleight, the Curator. She first took us Into the house starting with the bedroom where Cecil John Rhodes passed on to the sitting rooms where the deals were done to the room which demonstrates the life history and Into the room which depicts Matopo Hills in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where his remains are deposited.
Then we went Into an Intense conversation on the controversy on the life and exploits of Cecil John Rhodes. Shirley told me of a recent encounter she had with a visitor who had come solely to throw scorn on Mr Rhodes. I told her that i had heard about the Rhodes Must Fall Campaign and the attempts, in Zimbabwe, to have the his remains removed and taken to his country of birth the United Kingdom. My view was that what happened, happened and what we can do now is draw lessons from history so that whatever we do now is for the benefit of all, including posterity. We ended our discourse with Shirley telling me that Cecil John Rhodes has been quoted to have said ‘so little done with so much to be done’.
Thereafter Shirley took us to the lawn. When we initially arrived I had seen some flags flying at the premises but I did not take much notice. But when we now came out and I looked at the flags, there flying, I was shocked that the one’s on display where for the BSA Company, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Zambian flag was missing. I asked Shirley why it was so and in total surprise she just said it had never been brought to her attention and most probably neither to the Cecil John Rhodes Memorial Museum Committee. I told her that I was protesting as this property was once owned by my country, Zambia. And she thus advised me to record my petition in the visitors book. And I obliged. Two weeks later I received an email informing me that my petition had been heard and I was being invited to be a Guest of Honour at the Zambian flag raising ceremony and to perform the task of hoisting it.
And here I am today responding to the invitation of the Cecil John Rhodes Memorial Museum Committee. I thank you.
Dr Moses Banda
9th July 2022
Dr Moses Banda 9 July 2022
By Chris Taylor
It is very encouraging to meet someone prepared to look outside the common view of Cecil Rhodes. We are honoured by your presence!
Your visit here today caused me to look more closely at the origins of Zambia, and it is evident that, yes, the basic elements of Zambia were established by Cecil Rhodes and his British South African Company.
The history of Zambia as a territory is short, from establishing the borders to independence was only 84 years. Even now the country is only 134 years old. Zambia has come a long way in a short time and we admire your rapid progress.
The borders of Zambia, the original roads, the big urban centres, the copper mines, even the common language of English, these were all established in Cecil Rhodes’ time and very often by his efforts. He missed one big opportunity which I am sure you are well aware of; he failed to secure for Zambia the Katanga area with its excellent copper resources. The Belgian colonials signed a contract with Chief Msiri in 1911 before Cecil Rhodes’ men could, so now you have to look over the border at mines that are Congolese but should be yours! That Katangese pedicle should not be there at all!
Also of importance is the contract signed by the British South African Company with the Litunga in Western Zambia, the hereditary chief of the Lozi peoples, in the 1890’s. The Litunga (Lewanika I) was a clever man, he had heard about the unjust treaties of the white men and he made sure the contract included local self-government for his area. 70 years later, in the negotiations leading to Zambian independence this contract was a trump card; the Litunga (then Mwanawina III) successfully fought for his rights and to this day the government of Zambia has limited powers in Barotseland, to the delight of the Lozi.
I read that the Beit Trust is still active in Zambia. This was founded by Alfred Beit who was the financial director of De Beers and knew this cottage and visited here. To this day the Beit Trust funds computer labs and similar educational assets in schools across Zambia.
Let’s not forget the Rhodes Scholarships, of which two are available each year for the benefit of young (and dedicated) Zambians. From 1974 to date 74 scholarships have been awarded. On the wall of this cottage can be seen a copy of the original letter setting out how the Scholarships would work.
So Zambia has some strong links to this little cottage, where Cecil Rhodes died in 1902. For a while in fact this building belonged to the government of Northern Rhodesia. They gave it to the Cape Town City Council, and I expect if Zambia would like it back you have only to ask!
Dr. Banda, you are most welcome at Rhodes Cottage. We ask you to take pleasant memories of your visit with you when your return to Zambia, and if you encounter any material which would be useful to the Museum, please share it with us.