School News

A Tribute to Mpundu Mutala

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Mpundu Mutala this past week. Mpundu has been an integral part of Chengelo since the very beginning of the school back in 1987. He was born at Senga Hill Mission in Mbala District in the mid-1940’s to a godly family. Even at school he was noted for his leadership qualities. After teacher-training he was posted to a school on the Copperbelt where he gained the respect and appreciation of the Headteacher.

In the late 1960’s he began to get involved in the work of Scripture Union as a volunteer. He had a great vision to bring the young people of Zambia to Christ and to godly living. In 1972 he was sent with Joe Kapolyo by Scripture Union supporters to All Nations Christian College in Hertfordshire, UK for training. On his return, he became the first Zambian Organising Secretary and Joe the first Zambian Travelling Secretary of Scripture Union where they organised and led outreach and Bible Study Groups, especially in schools throughout Zambia.

In the mid-seventies he married Leah Kaonga, who trusted God at his side through all his years and has also led a notable ministry in caring for widows, orphans and vulnerable children for the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia.

From the beginning of the challenge to the Mkushi Christian Fellowship to start a Christian secondary school, Mpundu and Leah joined in prayer for the venture. He was then appointed to the first Board of Governors in October 1987. During his governorship he spent a further period of training at Fuller Theological College in the USA. On his return he continued to take part faithfully in Chengelo Board meetings. At devotions he would always keep the Board anchored in God, His faithfulness and His Word. He was a man of prayer and much faith and was always a great advocate for Chengelo.

Their five children passed through the secondary school with his daughter Ntiusya being appointed Head Girl and one year, Mpundu was the keynote speaker at the Prize-Giving ceremony.

After completing a long term of service at Scripture Union Zambia, he became Executive Director of the Bible Society of Zambia until he retired about 10 years ago. Over a long period from the 1990s he has been called in to advise at the highest level on national Christian issues. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association made him their liaison person for Zambia for a number of years.

He retired from the Board at its 77th meeting in June 2007 and was subsequently asked to join the Trustees of the Mkushi Christian Fellowship Trust Co Ltd. He continued in much prayer for ‘Chengelo as a witness to the light’. He has only left his Trusteeship through his promotion to God’s glory.

We want to thank Mpundu for his faithful service and commitment to Chengelo and honour a life well lived. We send our deepest sympathies to Leah and the whole Mutala family and pray for comfort in the presence and love of God in this time of great loss.

Extract from 3rd Board Meeting Minutes 14th November 1987

“We believe that the Lord has a name for the school. A vernacular equivalent to ’Beacon’ has been suggested as the school was depicted as a beacon in the vision given.”


Extract from 4th Meeting of Board of Governors 14th January 1988

“Matters Arising from Minutes of Previous Board Meeting
Re: School Name
The Bemba word ‘cengelo’, depicting the light given by a torch was suggested (by Mr Mutala quoting Revelation 22 v 5) …It was agreed that the school be named “Chengelo Secondary School”, giving guidance on the pronunciation by using ‘ch’ in the spelling."

Mr. Mpundu Mutala


  1. Clarence Mwami

    As a young student at secondary school i attended an SU conference at the Jim Ford camp site in Kabwe.. 1988. Among the Notable students in that camp was a good friend of mine and now renown gospel singer Stan Chipuma.. little did I know about the man behind this great movement!! Go well Sir ba Mpundu Mutala..

  2. Jana Asukile

    Powerful obituary. What a testimony! He himself was ‘cengelo’, a light to the nation!

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