July 13, 2023 /Human Interest/ —Kenneth Kaunda was a Bemba, which is one of the largest ethnic groups in Zambia. His father, David Kaunda, was born in Nyasaland, which is now Malawi. The Tumbuka are a Bantu ethnic group that is also found in Malawi. Mama Betty, Kaunda’s wife, was a Tumbuka from Malawi.
So, when it is said that Kaunda was a Bemba who married a Tumbuka lady, it means that he was born into a Bemba family, but his wife was from a Tumbuka family. Mama Betty came from the Tumbuka family in Malawi, which is why she is referred to as a Tumbuka lady.
I hope this explanation is helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Here are some additional details that you may find helpful:
- The Bemba and Tumbuka are both Bantu ethnic groups, which means that they share a common language and culture. However, there are also some differences between the two groups. For example, the Bemba are traditionally a matrilineal society, while the Tumbuka are traditionally a patrilineal society.
- Malawi and Zambia were both part of the British Empire until 1964. This means that there was a lot of movement between the two countries during the colonial period. It is not uncommon for people from Malawi to have family members in Zambia, and vice versa.
- Mama Betty was a strong and independent woman. She was a great support to Kaunda throughout his political career. She was also a prominent figure in her own right, and she is remembered as one of the most important women in Zambian history.