After covering a staggering 588km in a 10-day run in honour of the late Dr Kaunda, Morgan Banda flies home aboard Zambia’s leading airline

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – The story of Morgan Katatala Banda made the rounds on social media in July when he ran from Chipata to Lusaka to attend the burial of the late first republican president, His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

Mr Banda’s superhuman accomplishment caught the attention of Rural Electrification Authority Engineer and Board Chairperson Johnstone Chikwanda, who sponsored an air ticket on Proflight for his journey home, via Mfuwe.

In response, Proflight Zambia offered the ticket at a massively discounted rate to allow Mr Banda to take his first flight home.

“Mr Banda’s extraordinary gesture in memory of the late Dr Kaunda mirrors Proflight’s philosophy in going the extra mile and recognising the spirit and culture that makes our nation great. We salute him,” said Proflight Zambia Director Flight Operations Captain Josias Walubita.

The musician, businessman and self-proclaimed peace advocate said he had been heavily inspired by the late founding father’s values and felt compelled to honour his hero with the incredible feat upon hearing the news of his passing.

“I received the news of his passing with deep shock and sadness. Mr Kaunda was a man who fought for our freedom, and I just thought to take the journey no matter how difficult it would be,” said Mr Banda shortly before boarding his first ever flight.

Morgan left Chipata on June 26, 2021 and spent 10 days braving the elements before arriving in the capital on July 6 to a warm welcome from the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs Masiye Banda and other officials.

When asked how people would react to him as he ran past them along the way, he said: “The response was overwhelming. People would cheer me on as I made my way through their communities.”

“On a few occasions people would stop and give me various donations including fruit and water to help me on my journey. I took advantage of the growing public interest to hand out flyers I had printed carrying messages of peace, love and unity in Nyanja, Bemba, and English. I made the flyers to help keep Dr Kaunda’s legacy in my own small way.”

Mr Chikwanda said he was moved to fly Morgan home because he supported his message of peace, love, and unity, and the ticket was his way of showing solidarity.

“I felt he needed to be honoured in one way or another,” said Mr Chikwanda.

“I got in touch with Mr Morgan and asked him if he would be willing to be put on a flight via Mfuwe. A gesture he gladly accepted especially that he had never flown before.”

“Proflight was very magnanimous and decided to offer a hefty discount on the air ticket and they did that at a time when there was no flash fare to Mfuwe. They recognised and identified with the passion and motivation of Mr Morgan, and as a sign of solidarity towards this feat, they extended that gesture. I am extremely grateful that many other people came on board to make his life easier and to help him go back with a sense of tremendous achievement. I hope that he continues being a peace ambassador and that he carries on the legacy of our late president.”

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