Now we’re leaving Eswatini
And heading off to Mozambique
So put on your best dungarees
We’ll need to learn some Portuguese
Why you may ask, Well,
The national language hails from Portugal
Yes, Portuguese is the national language
Although for 50%, it’s a second language
Most speak Makhuwa, Sen or Swahili
How bout seeing, Lourenco Marques the capital city?
Then on to the largest city, Maputo
In both places, there’s lots to do
On the left is Maputo City Hall; That we can see
On the right is Lourenco Marques. - Note the beauty-
With rich and extensive natural resources, Mozambique is endowed
Agriculture fuels the economy, but industry is both growing and allowed
Remember learning about Vasco da Gama in school?
You’ll never guess what he did so the Sultan he could fool
Fearing the local population would to Christians be hostile
da Gama impersonated a Muslim and did it with a smile
That was in 1498, then colonization began in 1505
For four centuries, the colonial country survived.
Slavery was part of the economy back then
People were bought and sold to work plantations
Abolished in the early 19th century,
But continued quite covertly
Originally the People's Republic of Mozambique was the name
Gained independence from Portugal in1975; many wars became:
Guerrilla anti-communist movement financed by Zimbabwe
Then supplanted by apartheid of South Africa, you see
President Samora Machel believing that communism was best at that date
Help by Cuba & the Soviet Union, he established a one-party Marxist state
Of reforms: education and health were nationalized;
Radio and press placed under government control, you realize
Then in 1986, his plane crashed and he died
Some believed sabotage was tried
People there have lived with wars just about every day
From 1977 to 1992 civil wars plagued the nation in every way
Finally, in 1992 a semblance of peace returned -
Overseen by peacekeeping force of the United Nations
In 1995, Mozambique joined the Commonwealth of Nations
The first nation to never have been part of the British Empire
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’’t gonna study war no more
Other problems brought devastation galore
Cyclone flooding in 2002
Killed hundreds; damaged infrastructure too.
Suspicions of espionage throughout the country spread
Sexual assaults, murders, executions brought dread
Men pardoned for murdering their wives
“She refused to serve me food"... "At me her witchcraft was aimed”
so they said
Orphaned children and disabled are very vulnerable… think I’ll cry
Child prostitution; service denial, enforcement turning a blind eye
Don’t wanna study war no more
Don’t wanna study war no more
Let’s see if we can find something more positive
Resistance and rebellion gave voice to the creative
Poets wrote to foster hope; but were arrested
Mozambique’s national music called Marrabenta,
Combines Portuguese folk music with Mozambican dance
Education is thought to be key
In Canada as well in developing countries
The wife of President Marchel, Graca Simbine Machel
Became Minister of Education and Culture
More - 40% more - students in enrolled in school
Increase of 90% for boys & 75% for girls… Cool
The public schools are free, but lack supplies
60% go to public school; but secondary school is not free
So only 7% continue consequently
1/3 of people over 15 struggle with illiteracy
How many people in Mozambique?
39.6 million - ain’t that sweet
Most are between 15 and 64
Male ratio to female, slightly more
Life expectancy is increasing here -
In 2021, up 0.68% from last year
From 60.88 years to 61..3
That really surprised me
Life expectancy in Africa averages 63.5
In spite of all civil unrest, people are working to survive
(BTW - Canadian life expectancy is 81)
Isn’t the scenery just stunning
No wonder more tourists are coming
Internationally famous award-winning artist:
Malangatana Valente Ngwenya, painter and poet
Founder of the Mozambican Peace Movement
Mozambique is known for its woodcarvings,
Sandalwood and ebony
Yes! That’s Santa Clause you see!
Very delicate - now are you starving?
We could have celebrated Mozambican Women’s Day
On April 7th - it’s one of eight national holidays
Since 2001, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth
Has been among the world’s highest
But still ranks as one of the poorest
One of the highest rates of inequality
But hope for the future is there to see
So let’s go find something to eat
Seafood dishes with piri-piri are not sweet
Oh no! piri-piri means spicy spicy
So order carefully; treat your tummy nicely
When you read, about read about SLF
You’ll learn more about Graca Simbine Machel
Fascinating, I’m sure you’ll agree
Then off we’ll go to Zimbabwe
Another scene of Maputo:
SLF Supports Projects in Mozambique
Sweden Abroad, Enabel (a Belgian development agency) and SLF all support Kukumbi – Organization for Rural Development.
Their website says, “We were established in 1998 with a view to contributing to the continuous socioeconomic development of communities-in-need to vulnerable people through the fortification of their resilience.” (translated from Portuguese!)
Kukumbi was established by a union of young people in Zambezia with extensive experience of working with communities affected by war. Kukumbi’s vision is an improved community in which poverty has been eradicated and communities have control over their needs and developmental processes. Kukumbi strives to reduce poverty and increase community resilience to ongoing events such as natural disasters, by developing capacities of men, women, young and old, with or without disabilities.
A week of Nutritional and Food Rehabilitation Training in 2020 was attended by case managers, VCLA leaders and facilitators from Crown Communities, Mane, Malinguine, Newale, Celestino and Paua in Namacurra district. This was part of Project Force “The Community and the Child.”
And last year a week-long workshop was held promoting the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Rural Girls and Women in Zambézia through access and use of ICT's (Information Communication Technologies).
A new project in 2021 will focus on renewable energy and productive water for irrigation purposes. Applicants are being sought to manage solar-powered irrigation systems and sustainable farming systems.
The Strengthen Community and Children Project is another new project that aims to strengthen the communities in support of orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as their care-givers.
Mozambican Treatment Access Movement (MATRAM)
MATRAM is an advocacy organization campaigning for access to treatment and access to HIV Treatment education. It was created on 29 October 2004, when there was no political leadership in Mozambique for provision of ARVs.
But even after that, access to medicines was never easy.
In March 2008 the Mozambique government closed 23 day care hospitals for HIV-positive patients and began integrating the patients into mainstream institutions, saying the exclusive nature of day centres was harming efforts to eradicate stigma and discrimination.
At that time, an estimated 16 percent of Mozambique's 21 million people were living with the virus. In just four years, people receiving antiretroviral drugs had increased from 6,000 to 140,000.
César Mafanequiço, national coordinator of MATRAM, said the government had closed the day care hospitals without consulting civil society or people living with HIV.
Accessing treatment had become even more difficult for those not yet on life-prolonging ARVs, while the quality of patient care had also been affected.
Since those days MATRAM has helped build up transnational networks of volunteers in new public space, who stand up for their rights. In 2020 MATRAM conducted treatment literacy training in Gaza and Maputo Province. 60 people representing community-based organizations, traditional leaders, faith based leaders, and traditional healers took part in the training.
Mozambique was hard hit by cyclones in 2019, then by COVID in 2020 and Cyclone Eloise in January this year . Cesar tells us MATRAM has been right there helping local communities to rebuild sanitation and water systems and redevelop their farms.
A word about Graca Machel
Graça Machel née Simbine; born October 1945, is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is an international advocate for women's and children's rights and was made an honorary British Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for her humanitarian work.
She married her second husband, Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg on 18 July 1998, Mandela's 80th birthday. At the time, Mandela was serving as the first post-apartheid president of South Africa. Mandela died of pneumonia on 5 December 2013. She is the only woman in modern history to have served as First Lady of two countries.
On 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu convened The Elders. Mandela announced its formation in a speech on his 89th birthday.
Machel has been particularly involved in The Elders' work on child marriage, including the founding of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.
Graça Machel is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. As a panel member she facilitates coalition building and convenes decision-makers to influence policy for lasting change in Africa.
was chancellor of the University of Cape Town between 1999 and 2019. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the ground breaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children. She served as the Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health from 2013-2018.