With its tropical climate, exquisite beaches, and Portuguese influence, Mozambique evokes scenes of idyllic holiday destinations. But between its coastal plains and rising plateaus, Mozambique shelters another story. One that proofs to be more complex.
Since the fifth century AD, Bantu speaking communities have made South-West Africa their home. After centuries, in 1505 specifically, Portugal colonised what is today called Mozambique. A tragic era in human history followed. Little attention was paid to tribal integration and the development of native communities – causing a ten year thread of warfare towards independence in 1975. Shortly after this, opposition parties plagued the country with yet another long and violent civil war: Civilians were executed; one million perished; the country was in chaos.
Following mass human rights violations, the war ended in 1992, and 1,5 million Mozambican refugees returned to their homeland. The largest repatriation in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, Mozambique is rated one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world. More babies die at birth in Mozambique than any other country in the world, while access to education is difficult.
But between the fractures of its tormented plains, a new story is emerging. Mozambique’s sixteen ethnic groups have vigour. Remnants of the their traumatic past are real, yet they share a new liveliness: friendly, welcoming and appreciative towards sincere interest.