THE year 2013 marks 200 years anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone. Zambia in partnership with its neighbouring countries has embarked on the commemoration of the bi-centenary with major planned events.
These includes some cultural and sporting events, as well as an international arts exhibition. The event which is being held in Livingstone was launched between his actual birthday on 19th March and Independence Day in October 2013.
The commemoration is accompanied by various events which includes showcasing the cultural and sporting interests of Zambia including theatre, street theatre, traditional dancing, bands and concerts, soccer, seven-a-side rugby, some exciting events on the Zambezi, fishing and boat cruising on the Zambezi river.
Speaking during a press briefing in Livingstone, Rory Young, Chairman of the Livingstone Arts, Cultural and Sporting Events Development Organisation said the idea is to develop and hold these events regularly as part of a world-class festival.
He further said this is a non-profit trust set up to ensure there is a lasting legacy from the David Livingstone Bicentenary to boost tourism, the local community and economy of Livingstone, as well as Zambian-based charities.
Neighbouring countries have also been invited to join in the celebrations and the benefits of the increased tourism that the event will create.
David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Scotland, on March 19, 1813 and went on to become famous for his expeditions across Africa.
He worked as a medical missionary which led him to explore further and deeper into Africa than previous explorers. His most famous achievement was being the first European ever to set eyes on the Victoria Falls in the mid-1890s. It was Livingstone who decided to name it after Queen Victoria of England.
The town of Livingstone in Zambia was in turn named after him.
The town is situated right by the Victoria Falls, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, and is a UNESCO world heritage site and a stunningly beautiful part of the world.
David Livingstone’s life and death in Africa helped mould the Victorian missionary myth of exploration and sparked the Scramble for Africa. Yet he was never a typical imperialist and he left a powerfully charitable legacy.
And Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) services manager Jocelyn Mutinta said the event would help to market Livingstone and Zambian tourism products in general to the outside world.
Mutinta further appealed to companies to support the event and the marketing of Zambian tourism by helping in celebrating a man who is credited with having first documented the Victoria Falls, and later died in Zambia in 1873 at Chitambo mission.