Lawrence Chola Katilungu

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Lawrence Chola Katilungu
Lawrence Chola Katilungu.jpg
President of the African Mineworkers' Union
In office
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Preceded by(new office)
Succeeded byJohn Chisata
Personal details
Born(1914-02-00)February 1914
Northern Province, Northern Rhodesia
Died9 November 1961(1961-11-09) (aged 47)
NationalityNorthern Rhodesian
Political partyNorthern Rhodesian African National Congress
Occupationteacher, miner

Lawrence Chola Katilungu (February 1914 – 9 November 1961) was a Northern Rhodesian trade union leader. Katilungu was the first President of the African Mineworkers' Union.

Early life

Katilungu was born in February 1914 in the Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia and was the grandson of Chief Chipalo and was a kinsman of the Chitimukulu, the Paramount Chieftainship of the Bemba people.[1]


He initially worked as a mission teacher, before becoming an underground worker at the Nkana mine in 1936, later promoted to recruiting clerk.[2] Katilungu first came to prominence in 1940 as a leader of striking African mineworkers at Nkana.[3] In February 1948, he was elected President of the newly formed Nkana Union. In March 1949 all the African miners' unions in Northern Rhodesia, including Nkana, amalgamated to form the African Mineworkers' Union, and Katilungu became president.[4] In 1952, he led a successful strike to gain a wage increase of a half-crown per day for African workers.[5][6]

Briefly a member of the Constitution Party, Katilungu was selected as a member of the 26-member Advisory Commission on Central Africa, set up by the British government in 1959 to prepare the 1960 conference to review the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.[7]


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  • Shillington, Kevin (2005), "Encyclopedia of African History", Routledge ISBN 978-1-57958-245-6
  • Encyclopædia Britannica, Zambia; Colonial Rule