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Archbishop Ignatius Chama was born August 12, 1957, in Mutomo-Kawambwa, in the Diocese of Mansa. After studying at the Minor Seminary in Mansa, he studied Philosophy at the National Seminary in Mpima and Theology at St. Dominic National Major Seminary in Lusaka.

He completed studies in Business Administration at the Nyengezi Social Training Institute in Mwanza (Tanzania). He was ordained a priest on August 12, 1984 for the Diocese of Mansa. He has since ministered as follows: 1984-1985: Assistant pastor in Kasaba; 1986-1987: Vocations Director for the Diocese; 1987-1990: Pastor of the parish church of Kabunda and Rector of St. Charles Lwanga Minor Seminary, Bahati; 1991-1993: Diocesan Vice-Treasurer and Director of the Economic Affairs Council; 1994-1997: Treasurer and Director of the Economic Affairs Council; 1998-2002: Bursar of St. Charles Lwanga Minor Seminary, Bahati; since 2003: Diocesan Development Office Director and chaplain of the diocesan congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, in Mansa. On 17 July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Mpika. He received Episcopal ordination on 28th September from Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, Apostolic Nuncio in Zambia and Malawi, co-consecratants.

On 12 January 2012, the Pontiff appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Kasama and Apostolic Administrator vacant see et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Diocese of Mpika. On 29th June he received the pallium in Rome from the Pope