Hastings Kamuzu Banda (born-March or April 1898 – 25 November 1997) was the leader of Malawi and its predecessor state, Nyasaland, from 1961 to 1994. After receiving much of his education overseas, Banda returned to his home country (then British Nyasaland) to speak against colonialism and advocate for independence. In 1963, he was formally appointed prime minister of Nyasaland and led the country to independence as Malawi a year later. Two years later, he proclaimed Malawi a republic with himself as president. He consolidated power and later declared Malawi a one-party state under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). In 1970, the MCP made him the party’s President for Life. In 1971, he became President for Life of Malawi itself.
He died in South Africa in 1997. His legacy remains controversial, with some hailing him as a national and African hero, while others denounce him as a tyrant and as a corrupt leader.
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