Joseph Kasa-Vubu at the
27 June 1960 – 24 November 1965
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Died||24 March 1969 (aged approx. 53-54)|
|Spouse(s)||Hortense Ngoma Masunda (m. 1941–1969; his death)|
Joseph Kasa-Vubu was born in the village of Kuma-Dizi in the
In 1927 Kasa-Vubu enrolled in primary school at the third-year level. The following year he transferred to a
Kasa-Vubu subsequently returned to Mayombe and took up work as a bookkeeper for the Kangu mission. Dissatisfied with his salary of 80 francs per month, Kasa-Vubu passed the instructor's exam and became a sixth-grade teacher at the mission school in early 1941. However, his pay was not increased and he left the mission in open disagreement with the superior and the local bishop. In May he found a new job at Agrifor, an agricultural and logging company. With a monthly pay of 500 francs, he felt financially secure enough to marry; on 10 October Kasa-Vubu wedded Hortense Ngoma Masunda in a Catholic ceremony at the Kangu mission. They had nine children.
In June 1942 Kasa-Vubu earned a job as a clerk in the finance department of the Belgian colonial administration in
Kasa-Vubu began semi-clandestine political organising work while he was still employed by colonial authorities.
Following the resignation of its leader on 21 March 1954, Kasa-Vubu was elected president of the
Kasa-Vubu quickly became known as one of the first Congolese leaders to call for independence. At first, he advocated for independence from Belgium on a 30-year timeline, but he shortened the timetable as the ABAKO movement gained in strength. In his inauguration speech as mayor of Dendale, Kasa-Vubu reiterated his demand for independence, drawing a reprimand from Belgian colonial authorities, which only strengthened his image as a Congolese leader.
On 4 January 1959, an ABAKO political gathering organised by Kasa-Vubu erupted into violence, sparking the