By: Immy Mali
Estoy eternamente agradecido por la Mozambiçue…
My time in Maputo has caused me to start asking:
- Why is it harder for Africans to travel across African borders even with the misconception that Africa is “one country” compared to Europeans across European borders?
- Is the frown on the Market vendor’s faces justified when I speak to them in English “the foreign language” or could it be because of the same differences we have?
For the past two Sundays I have been privileged to attend a local Mozambican church, which friends I have made in the past two weeks introduced me to.
It’s a small semi concrete building immersed in a sand pile, the roof made of iron sheets is erected on wooden poles. Golden orange curtains link the roof to the concrete wall. The service starts and the whole procession is in Portuguese and Xangan (gentle, lazy, romantic languages which almost sound like lullabies). I am provided an interpreter whose voice resonates over the congregation. I am obliged to introduce myself, as is the tradition for first time visitors. The congregation stares attentively as I speak and trust my interpreter to relay the message. Moments later the congregation applauds and I take my seat. At the end of the services, members walk out and continue to sing the recession hymn as they line up and shake hands one after the other with beaming smiles until the entire congregation has exchanged handshakes… there is an immediate sense of belonging even with the impairment in language.
Photo credit: Immaculate Mali
Creativity in regards to communication, has become key as a way to share and to search around each other’s vast cultures and histories as Africans. Reading is key as has been emphasised for the past three weeks at Asiko. However, hints on what to read about often arise through informal conversations. Choosing to trust and thus allowing the other into my space has opened family doors in this once foreign country. I spent an entire day with a Mozambican extended family I have met for the first time in Matola. We cooked, ate, played with the children who effortlessly engaged me.
3. Having been to Matola twice during my stay, I cannot help but wonder why and how it was shaped by the affluent South Africans who once lived here.
- Having been to Matola twice during my stay, I cannot help but wonder why and how it was shaped by the affluent South Africans who once lived here.
…A Luta continua….