Mama Kadzamira gets honourary doctorate from University of Jerusalem

Mama Cecilia Tamanda Kadzamila who was the official state hostess during President Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s presidency, has been awarded an an Honorary Doctorate degree by University Of Jerusalem.

Nyasa Times understands the former official hosted was due to collect an honorary Doctorate at a ceremony held at Sheffer Hall in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.

The lucky lady Kamuzu Banda proudly addressed as “Mama” in public has been awarded in recognition of her dignified role played during Kamuzu’s time and her life after the founding president departed on earth.

Mama Kadzamira: Honourary doctorate

The relationship between Kamuzu and Mama Kadzamira was special to the extent that even after Banda was defeated in the multiparty presidential elections of 1994, Kadzamira stayed by his bedside and nursed him until his death in November 1997.

Kadzamira is also known by many for her desire to share with the less privileged rural poor, especially women, orphans and the elderly.

Despite enormous power and influence in the politics of Malawi during Banda’s presidency, Mama never at any given point used a political platform to insult anyone or shouted activists “to go to hell”.

Mama Kadzamira was patron of Chitukuko Cha Amai Mmalawi (CCAM), founded in 1985 as a department in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).

She never demanded a salary for  her charity work.

Mama was born in Dada district in 1938 and raised in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), where her father, Lameck Kadzamira worked as a medical orderly and lived with her mother, Milika Natembo. When she was growing up, Kadzamira hoped to follow her father’s footsteps by pursuing a medical career.

Imbued with the ambition of becoming a nurse, she returned to Malawi in the mid 1950s, undergoing training at Zomba General Hospital. When Dr Banda (a medical doctor by training) returned to Malawi in 1958, Kadzamira volunteered to work as one of the nurses at his Limbe Clinic.

At the time, Kadzamira was due to marry Augustine Mnthambala.

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