John Chilembwe Day in Malawi Date in the current year: January 15, 2024

John Chilembwe Day in Malawi January 15 is John Chilembwe Day in Malawi. This day honors the memory of reverend John Chilembwe who became the hero of independence.

Reverend John Chilembwe is the most controversial person who could stage an uprising. Chilembwe attended a Church of Scotland mission, worked for Joseph Booth, an Australian baptist, and was educated by him. Chilembwe accompanied Booth to the U.S., where he studied the works of Booker T. Washington, John Brown and other abolitionists. When Chilembwe came back to Nyasaland (modern Malawi) he founded number of schools and churches.

In 1913 schools and churches established by Chilembwe were burned down by William Jervis Livingstone, the plantation owner, who was exploiting famine refugees from Mozambique and Chilembwe's parishioners.

Chilembwe and his 200 followers attacked and killed three white plantation staff, including Livingstone, on January 29, 1915. This upraise wasn't supported by locals, that is why Chilembwe tried to flee to Mozambique. This attempt was unsuccessful and Chilembwe was killed by officials on February 3, 1915.

Nyasaland became independent country in 1964 and took name Malawi. Chilembwe's deeds were not forgotten and 500 kwacha notes honor his portrait.

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