Archives for posts with tag: Mozambique

This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while: the laziness of the international media in relation to the (post-) colonial tower of babel. Articles in English about “Africa” suffer from the “Africa is a Country” lens, but I would go further and say it’s “Africa is a Country That Speaks English” lens.

The tech scene itself is guilty of this! (Ironic because the language of code, one would think, would break down barriers.) We hear about great projects in Nairobi, Capetown, Kampala, Accra, but we hear very little noise about some great smaller projects in DRC, Cameroon and Mozambique. (What happens in these countries is inevitably smaller due to structural and historical differences.) I was heartened by the recent initiative to map African tech hubs – but much more is to be done to highlight and nurture smaller-scale innovation.

CNN’s recent post on “Top 10 African Tech Leaders” seems to have at least provoked a reaction. Perhaps those who want a “top 10” are too busy to hear about what is bubbling up in unexpected places, but Jean Patrick Ehouman’s post cataloguing francophone tech leaders is more than necessary.

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Well well well. An idea I casually seeded in my brief time in Maputo has taken on a fantastic life of its own. This wall, which is the outer wall of the @ Verdade newspaper, has been turned into the “Wall of the People”. (The original inspiration came from Candy Chang’s “Before I Die…” project in New Orleans.)


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Por incrível que pareça, eis uma imagem duma eleição municipal. Tirada hoje de manhã nos arredores da “cidade” de Cuamba pelo reporter de @ Verdade, Helder Shirangano. Estas pessoas chegaram ao posto de votação às 5h.

As incredible as it seems, this image is of a municipal election! It was taken this morning on the outskirts of the “city” of Cuamba, the second city of Niassa by @ Verdade newspaper reporter Helder Shirangano. These voters arrived at 5am to the polls.

From the sleepy “city” in my dear Niassa province, Mozambique, this has to be the most absurd name for a street. Ever. “Rua Sem Nome 2” which translates as “Street with No Name 2”.

As though “Street with No Name” was not bad enough, the city hall of Cuamba has started a series.

Wondering how many numbers are in the series. Can’t be too many because the place feels like a wild west frontier town.

A one horse town – a horse with no name.

Credit goes to @Verdade newspaper reporter @Shirangano for this provincial gem.

I would like to thank the commander of the Mozambican police who taught me the meaning of a new phrase “Vou te chamboquear!

He taught me yesterday at 11am in the burning sun on the side of the road, here on the opposite side of Maputo’s international airport

It all started when we were stopped by the police in our tuk-tuk at an all too routine traffic control stop, returning from a morning of distributing Mozambique’s free newspaper in the outlying neighborhood of Benfica. The other distributors had already gotten off, in their neighborhoods and it was just Driver and I returning to the city center.

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Inspired by @Moiani and @johannesmyburgh

Urban women “amarrar” (literally “tie on”) capulanas the beautiful print fabrics for special occasions. This image is from a party this weekend for my friend who is about to get married.

I heard while in Lichinga that the bars (or drinking shacks) were actually “parallel government” here. The idea that there exists a nocturnal government, sustained with beer and bar banter is quite powerful.

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I just said goodbye to two of the most amazing people I have ever worked with. Two people who I have laughed with, traveled with and been reminded about what matters in life. I told them I would be back, with a backpack on my back and no laptop and Outlook weighing me down. And they informed me that I would be staying with them “no bairro” (“in the neighborhood”).

Moments like this remind that we have simultaneously total control and zero control over our futures. One eye is dry and the other is filled with tears.

There was a mini revolution today on the other side of the Lake, in Malawi (see hashtag #July20). I did not hear anybody mention this here in Lichinga, capital of the province Niassa. I didn’t watch all of the newscasts on Mozambican TV but I doubt it was even reported. The government must fear showing images of popular revolt in a neighboring country. I will pay special attention in the morning newscasts tomorrow.

Update: a lunchtime poll revealed that nobody from Niassa (of about 10) had heard of the events in Malawi. Except one, who said “Malawi is burning”. His cousin, who lives there (he didn’t know what city) sent an SMS saying he was crossing the border back into Mozambique with everything he could cram into a truck.