The City of Ndola has a very rich history having derived its name from an almost insignificant stream called “Kandola” that runs adjacent to the International airport and forms a tributary of the Kafubu river. It was founded on 18th July, 1904 on the present day Ndola Golf Club by John Edward Stephenson. Ndola was originally a centre of African and Arab trade which was carried out in the shade of the fig tree, located in the city centre near the present railway goods station. This location would later become the court of Chitimukulu prior to the Colonial Era.
Ndola became recognized as the colonialists assumed control of the territory in 1924 and all administrative functions were conducted at Ndola Boma. Essentially, it evolved as an administrative, commercial, distributive and communication centre. For the first 25 years of its existence, Ndola was the centre of mining in Northern Rhodesia and this led to the prospecting of the Copperbelt. The city grew from a hush settlement of slave traders to a progressive industrial centre. This was consolidated by the completion of the Zaire Rail line and the discovery of copper at Nkana that led to the construction of the Nkana Branch Railway Line.
In 1932 it was declared a municipality and by 1952, the town was granted a coat of arms by the Royal College of Arms in London, which it currently still uses. Each of the features symbolizes some meaning in relation to Ndola and includes the fig tree that was used as a slave trading post by local inhabitants. The motto in Latin, “Indole nec Indolentia” translated as “Diligence not Indifference”, still represents the spirit of the residents of Ndola as it was then and still is and positioning it as the “Friendly City”. Although, in recent times the preferred motto is “Tiyende Pamodzi” meaning “let us all go together”. City status was conferred upon Ndola in 1967and has since grown with a population of about 475,000 inhabitants.