This post is part of the Mozambique 2011 series.
Mozambique is a country with a rich and complex history starting with the early migration of Bantu-speaking people from the west and north. This was followed by Swahili and Arab traders along the very long Mozambican coastline, and amongst the islands off the coast. Like a lot of other African countries, Mozambique is also a former European colony. All these influences have blended into a diverse and interesting culture. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975 following the Mozambican War of Independence (1964 – 1974), the country was plunged into another war, the Mozambican Civil War which last from 1977 – 1992. These long-term conflicts had a devastating effect on the country’s people, infrastructure and economy. Although Mozambique is rich in natural resources, investment to the country dried up during the civil war, and the then well-established tourist industry collapsed. Although it is now almost 20 years after the civil war ended, there is still a lot of poverty – especially in the rural areas – low education levels, and poor health-care.
Daily life for the average Mozambican is tough. They make their living where and how they can. Because of Mozambique’s natural beauty and attractiveness to tourists (especially water sports and fishing enthusiasts), some of those activities involve catering to the needs of the people who visit there. Despite all their hardship, the Mozambican people come across (even in photographs) as being open, friendly, happy people who have a lot of artistic talent and ingenuity (many running small informal businesses to support themselves). In a lot of the photographs I’ve seen from this trip, they seem to carry themselves with dignity and grace. Below are some photographs showing the local people in some of their daily activities.
In the next installment of the Mozambique 2011 series, I will be featuring photographs of some of the local arts and crafts.
The Mozambique 2011 Series:
- This is how it starts . . .
- Why I didn’t go along
- Daily life in Mozambique – hardship and happiness (this post)
- Arts and crafts in Mozambique
- Top Chef Mozambique 2011
- Chicken run to Pomene
- Sharks getting a raw deal – on the dark side of Mozambique
Thank you to Heyns Kotze, Theo van Zyl, Bobby Esterhuizen and Willie for allowing me to use their beautiful photographs for this post. See individual photos for credits.
A special thank you to Willie for providing the information used to write this post.