Zambian President honors Simutowe

Zambia Zambia Zambia

Zambian President Rupiah Banda has honored Grandmaster Amon Simutowe with the President’s insignia for meritorious achievement. This is yet another great accomplishment for Simutowe who has shed a brilliant light on the nation of Zambia with his ascent to the highest standard in chess.

There had been much talk about the manner in which Simutowe should be honored. Another suggestion was a diplomatic passport, but the recent honor is one that will pave the way for other duties as a country ambassador.

A native of Ndola, Zambia, Simutowe completed the norm requirements for the Grandmaster title in 2007 and the title was conferred this year. Simutowe’s story is well-known on these pages. A national champion at age 13, he left a trail of bloody chess boards and became an international sensation. He is the first sub-Saharan African to earn the title of Grandmaster.

The award was bestowed upon Simutowe during a ceremony during the Independence Day ceremony at the Lusaka Showgrounds. The award was accepted in absentia since Simutowe is doing graduate studies in Dallas. Congratulations!

The Chess Drum, “Simutowe’s Last Mile,” 31 July 2009.
The Chess Drum, “Simutowe’s GM Title Conferred!,” 8 July 2009.


  1. This is great. This is the type of recognition that other African nations can use as a reference to their respective governments for chess development. I am always thinking outside the box and this recognition goes beyond the borders of Zambia. If used properly, it should spark a wave of recognitions for deserving chess players across Africa. In my recollections, this type of recognition by a President of a country is unprecedented in Africa and that is the good news here.

    Once again, congratulations Amon.

  2. Congratulations to a fine African Icon. In an era where there is a youth apathy across the motherland. For a young man to rise head and shoulder above all making his mark globally speaks volumes.This against all odds and armed with ONLY self-determination, charting a course that seem all impossible from an Africa sahara perspective, warrants a the most celebrations.This is deserving and WELL DONE AMON. Never tire to hear how well you did!!!

  3. Amon’s feat goes beyond mere congratulations and is a testament to what is possible for chess development on the African continent as a whole.This is a wake up call for individual African chess federations to embrace a culture of YES WE CAN to move our noble sport forwards.
    Amon has single handedly shown this with determination,passion and belief in himself.

  4. Zillions of congratulations to Amon!
    This is a deserved recognition for a very fine young man. We are very fortunate to have him as a regular at Dallas Chess Club.
    Amon has been very nice to his fans. My boy was so excited to get the chance to play a GM like him on his 9th birthday. Amon was so nice to autograph on the score sheet.
    Young kids all over the world will be inspired by him.
    Wish you all the best, Amon!

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