Zambians to watch in the new decade
These are some of the Zambians that have taken the world by storm and should be watched in the new decade.
Not forgeting her roots
Esther Phiri – Boxer
Easter Phiri has five boxing championship titles. Esther Phiri was born in Lusaka, Zambia on January 1 1987, the fourth of eight children she has three brothers and four sisters. Her father was a businessman and her mother stayed at home. Her father died when Esther was in grade 6 and the family fell on hard times without his income.
Esther lived with her grandmother in the low-income urban township of Mtendere and joined her selling groceries and second hand clothes in the market. She dropped out of school and became a single mother at age 16. She made her pro debut at Mindolo Dam, Kitwe, Zambia on July 23, 2005 against Jota Sumaili of Zambia, fighting her to a four-round draw.
Amon Simutowe – Chess
Amon Simutowe, a 27 year old Zambian chess player, won the 2009 SA Chess Open on 11 July 2009, and became the first Grandmaster in sub-Saharan Africa in the same week.
He is considered the brightest star to rise on the African horizon in a long time. This personable chess star has almost single-handedly caused the world to take a second look at the African continent and the type of players that it is capable of producing.
His began his journey 17 years ago in the small town of Ndola where the then 10-year-old boy had one goal in mind: finding chess opponents. That determination paid off. At age 13, he became the Under-21 National Chess Champion, and one year later, at 14, he was crowned Zambia’s senior National Chess Champion. He also tied for second place at the 2000 World Junior Championship.
Robert Mwamba – Jazz Musician
Jazz guitarist Robert Mwamba performed before President Barack Obama and P. Diddy's "All White Party" Mwamba is now playing at the Sugar Bar in New York.
Robert Mwamba was born in Zambia, Africa and started his career as a guitarist. While attending Baruch College in New York, Mwamba's musical career started heating up. He came under the tutelage of legendary bassist Milt "The Judge" Hinton and the bassist widely regarded as the most recorded musician in history took him under his wings.
After graduating from Baruch College with a double major in Finance and Economics, he joined Bank of America working in Management and Investments. Mwamba also spent time studying first at the American Institute of Guitar in New York City with principal jazz instructor Peter Mazza, and then with the legendary guitarist Rodney Jones.
He performed at events for the past 2 Secretary-Generals of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon and Kofi Annan as well as British Billionaire founder of the Virgin Group – Sir Richard Branson and President Barack Obama.