Every 15th January is a holiday in Malawi in commemorating the life of Reverend John Chilembwe who led an unsuccessful revolt against the imperial powers—the United Kingdom, such that he was shot by the Police when he attempted to jump the Malawian border to Mozambique.
President Chakwera led Malawians in commemorating the day at his Providence Industrial Mission in Chiradzulo.
“The First Lady and I, today joined Malawians in commemorating one of the nation’s pioneer freedom advocates, Reverend John Chilembwe, who we honour every January 15 through memorial and worship service held at Providence Industrial Mission in Chiradzulu.” Wrote President Chakwera on his Facebook page.
“John Chilembwe’s courage in emancipating natives from inhumane treatment by colonial formations remains an indelible symbol of national sacrifice to this day.
“We should, therefore, continue drawing valuable lessons of patriotism from 108 years ago and let the same orient our current quest of shaping a new Malawi with shared prosperity,” concluded Chakwera.
Chilembwe (June 1871 – 3 February 1915) was a Baptist pastor, educator, and revolutionary who trained as a minister in the United States, returning to Nyasaland in 1901. He was an early figure in the resistance to colonialism in Nyasaland (Malawi), opposing both the treatment of Africans working in agriculture on European-owned plantations and the colonial government’s failure to promote the social and political advancement of Africans. Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Chilembwe organised an unsuccessful armed uprising against colonial rule. Today, Chilembwe is celebrated as a hero of independence, and John Chilembwe Day is observed annually on 15 January in Malawi.