Hakainde Hichilema: The Zambian ‘cattle boy’ who became president

  • Written by Kennedy Gondwe
  • Published on 16th August 2021
    Hichilema has contested and lost every election held in Zambia since 2006. Image Source: Reuters
  • Mr Hichilema, 59, has described himself as an ordinary “cattle boy”, who herded his family’s livestock in his youth before going on to become one of Zambia’s richest men.
  • The president-elect and leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) is widely referred to as HH. He was born into humble beginnings before managing to get a scholarship to the University of Zambia, and later graduated with an MBA degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK.
  • He went on to make a fortune in finance, property, ranching, healthcare and tourism.
  • He has used both aspects of his background to appeal to voters.
  • He told voters that they needed a successful businessman to understand how to get the economy moving in the copper-rich nation, where there is high unemployment. He also used his agricultural roots to appeal to the country’s farmers, saying he could turn Zambia into a food basket for the region.


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