2018 September Chingola, Zambia

In early September, Dort and I flew to Ndola, the largest city in the Zambian copperbelt, and rented a car to drive Chingola where I was born. Although the drive was only about 150 km, it took over 3 hours due to all the roadwork (the highway is being upgraded into a 4 lane divided road, but was only half completed). In addition to all the road work, the highway was heavily congested with heavy truck hauling copper and cobolt out of the Congo and (mainly) copper out of Chingola and Kitwe. Many of the mines along the highway are now owned and operated by Chinese companies, and evidence of Chinese investment was everywhere. Chingola was once known as one of the cleanest and best planned towns in Zambia, but has fallen into disrepair (although all the roads in town are being redone by the Chinese) and the town had a general feel of being rundown and depressed. Virtually all of the civic infrastructure that was built for the mine in the 1940’s – 60’s is still there (the swimming pool complex, golf club, arts club, rugby and soccer clubs etc.), but none have been maintained with the exception of the Golf club. We drove out to Musenga where my Grandfather build a farm (Glendambo), which had also fallen into disrepair, but was bought by a missionary society and renovated, so it was great to see a piece of family history being taken care of and lived in by a young family. The visit to Chingola was made extra special because my cousin Debbie (who was also born there) and her partner Joanna met us there so that we could explore the town together. A few photos our our two days in Chingola can be seen by clicking this link or the embedded photo.  A shout out to Ms Alison Hart (who taught Debbie back in the 1960’s at Primary School in Chingola, but who now helps run the Protea Hotel along with her excellent staff) – the hotel was an oasis of peace and efficiency in Chingola and definitely worth staying at if you visit the region for some reason.