Category Archives: Mozambique

Permanent detention

António de Oliveira Salazar, the former Portuguese dictator, is not someone who I expected to come across in downtown Maputo. Following independence, most surviving monuments from the colonial period were stashed away at the old fort. But my friend John … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique, Portugal | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Samora Machel’s exercise bike

This year Mozambique commemorates the 25th anniversary of the death of its first president, Samora Machel, who was killed, along with 34 others, in a plane crash that many Mozambicans believe was a South African act of sabotage. A giant … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , | Leave a comment

In the vaults of the Voortrekker Monument

A couple of years ago, in Maputo, I interviewed Gert Opperman, a retired South African general major who until recently headed the Voortrekker Monument and Nature Reserve, in Pretoria. The Voortrekker Monument is a memorial to an epic moment in … Continue reading

Posted in Mozambique, South Africa, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wall by Makwakwa

There are a lot more flat surfaces in Maputo’s bairros than there used to be. Houses and fences were once made exclusively from bundled reeds and corrugated zinc and oil drums split open and beaten into panels. Today, though, well … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A ceremony in Matola

The pace of my research accelerated in May and, not coincidentally, you haven’t heard from me since then. Mostly I’ve been in Chamanculo; for several weeks I was living with Castigo Guambe’s family at the house I wrote about in … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Rainy-day vengeance

In the squatter settlements of many South American cities, building a house with a flat roof is a mark of distinction. It indicates that someday, somehow, you plan on building a second floor. The steel reinforcing bars sprouting from the … Continue reading

Posted in Brazil, Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Frederico’s family album

In the previous post, I wrote about Ana Laura Cumba and her late father, Frederico da Almeida Cumba, who as régulo in the decades before independence was the most powerful African man in Chamanculo. After the jump (and thanks to … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments