Educated locally, then at Munali Secondary School. After graduating from Fort Hare University College, South Africa, he was given scholarships to the United States of America to study at Stanford University and Columbia University and gain his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees.
Before independence in 1964 he was first a teacher and later an education officer. His enthusiasm for writing led him to take a correspondence course in journalism but he graduated to short-story writing instead of newspapers. After independence he was a natural choice as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, serving with a like-minded minister John Mwanakatwe, another well-known teacher.
Posted to the United Nations at a difficult time, he proved a forceful advocate of Zambia’s interests when the question of economic sanctions against Rhodesia was debated. He was promoted Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1967. Two years later he was appointed Minister for Luapula Province. In 1970 he joined the cabinet as Minister of Labour and Social Services. The following year he became Minister of Power, Transport and Works.
An imaginative, literary man with great gifts of self-expression which made him a pioneer author and short-story writer setting a trend for new writing in Zambia with his volume “A Point of No Return”. Self-reliant minister capable of taking charge of projects on his own and ensuring progress as with the Tanzam railway system undertaken by Chinese engineers.
Married Anne Mung'andu, June 1958. Children: Njunga, Mumba, Fwanyanga, Kaunga.