The 6th July is popularly known by Malawians as the day when the Nyasaland Protectorate attained independence from Britain in 1964 and became to be called Malawi.
The 6th July is also remembered as a day when Malawi became a republic in 1966 with Dr. Banda ascending from the position of Prime Minister to assume the title of President.
Besides this, it is also recorded that it was on 6th July 1925 when Dr. Banda as a young man who had left Nyasaland 10 years earlier, kick-started his long journey from South Africa to USA for further studies.
And again, it eventually came to pass that after being away from home for about 40 years or so, Dr. Banda arrived back to Nyasaland on 6th July 1958.
But that is not all about the day 6th July and its significance to the history of Malawi. The 6th July is also a day when the Nyasaland Protectorate was constituted. The pages of history testify that on 6th July 1907, Britain’s Privy Council convened at Buckingham Palace before King Edward VII to approve the Nyasaland Order in Council.
The main provisions of the Nyasaland Order in Council were:
1. Change the designation of British Central Africa Protectorate to become Nyasaland Protectorate;
2. Replace the Commissioner and Commander-in-chief with Governor and Commander-in-chief;
3. Create the Executive Council and Legislative Council.
To this effect, Sir Alfred Sharpe became the first Governor and Commander-in-chief of the Nyasaland Protectorate.
But a million Kwacha question remains: was it a mere coincidence or not that the Nyasaland Protectorate which was founded on 6th July 1907 by the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace, would become an independent nation on the same day 6th July in 1964 and subsequently a republic two years later on the very same day again?