Educated at Lubwa Mission School, then went to South Africa to the Pholela Institution, Natal, where he was awarded a scholarship in 1948 for medicine at Witwatersrand University. He had to refuse it in order to earn money as a teacher to pay for the schooling of his brothers. But he continued his studies in his spare time, gaining his BA and a post-graduate diploma of education from London University.
After five years of teaching he became headmaster at Kitwe Main School in 1953, then principal of Ndola Secondary School from 1957 to 1961, when he was appointed principal of Monze Secondary School. He was an education officer in 1961 and then entered Parliament. Early in 1964 he was appointed Deputy Speaker and promoted Speaker in the independence Parliament. Four years later he was brought into the cabinet as Education Minister. While promoting a big expansion of the education programme in his first four years at the Ministry he has maintained the high standards for which he was noted as a headmaster.
A man with a lifelong dedication to education. The son of two school teachers, he used to seek the silence of the bush to study on his own and rose to be a headmaster. Next to his love of learning is his passion for Parliament. Urged by Kenneth Kaunda to become an MP, he studied practice and pro-cedures for three years on the back Benches and became Speaker for the crucial first four years after independence. A noted sports enthusiast, he has presided over Zambia’s Olympic, Commonwealth and All-Africa Games associations.