Like Kaunda, he was educated at Lubwa Mission. Later he rounded off his education with a scholarship to England to study public administration at Oxford University.
After teaching at Lubwa Mission he became headmaster of Nkula Lower Middle School. He was founder-chairman of the Chinsali branch of the African National Congress in 1949 with Kaunda as secretary. In 1956 he gave up teaching to become provincial president of the ANC in the Northern Province. He was gaoled for 18 months as a result of organising a boycott against a trader at Kasama because he ill-treated Africans. In 1958 he was appointed Northern Province president of the new Zambia Congress and in 1960 became provincial president for Luapula Province of its successor the United National Independence Party. From 1961 to 1963 he was chairman of the Pan-African Freedom Movement’s refugee committee at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
He entered Parliament in 1964 as MP for Chinsali. In 1967 he was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and in 1968 he became Minister for the Northern Province. He was appointed Ambassador to Ethiopia in March 1969 but he was recalled in December 1969 to use his stabilising influence in Luapula.
Political pioneer who taught in Kenneth Kaunda’s township and worked alongside him in the north from the late 1940s onwards to organise the struggle for self-determination. He often cycled 60 miles at weekends with Kaunda, singing hymns on their way to spread their political message. As well as being political leader in the north he had an important role in the Pan-African Freedom Movement. A thin, scholarly figure with spectacles, he had medical treatment in the Soviet Union in 1967.