By Silas Nyanchwani via FB
Earlier today, I was watching an old episode Anthony Bourdain did on Mozambique. It is one country that fascinates me to no end and I hope to visit there if we survive this scary pandemic. That, and Chad, and Congo(Brazaville), and Gabon and Benin….
Anyway. In the second largest town in Mozambique, there is this grand hotel that was built in 1956. It is huge, grand, and an archtectural marvel. The three major cities of Mozambique are built on their coastal strip which is one of the finest in the world, besides Somali. So Mozambique used to be a playground of white rich folk and since Independence of most African countries down south was delayed, the Portuguese and other white folks did have a good time and that hotel was supposed to multiply the fun.
But it only existed in for about ten years before the struggle for independence wars tore the country apart and made business unsustainable.
At the time the film was being aired in April 2012, the ruins of the hotel housed some 3,000 IDPs of the wars of the past( Mozambique became independent in 1975, leaning towards communism. A splinter group of FRELIMO former RENAMO, a Right-wing militia that kept the country busy with an internal civil war until 1992.) So the IDPs I think are from that war or any that ensued because it takes long for peace to come.
I looked at the ruins of that hotel and I imagine some of the stuff the British handed over to us that are in ruins and I get reflective. I think of the railway line. Few countries ever rebuild or upgraded the railway lines until recently when Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania built new lines. I once lived in Fort Tenan in Kericho and Koru and admired the stations the Brits left behind. Must be nostalgic for anyone who rode the old trains. I never did. One of my regrets. But I hate complex journeys.
Another thing about Mozambique, is that their official language is Portuguese. Why haven’t they considered trying both Swahili and English. The Swahili people were among he earliest conquerors of their land.
Portugal only got four countries in Africa: Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bussau as well as the island nations of Cape Verde, Sao Tome& Principe.
It is understandable to keep your coloniser’s language as the national language, but for a country like Mozambique, Portuguese serves no purpose at all. For one Portugal is now a poor country and whatever ties, master-slave they had, I doubt if Lisbon can bail out Maputo if shit hit the fan down there.
Mozambique is surrounded Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa. All of them English-speaking. Mozambique being poor, if her citizens spoke a popular language like English, it can empower her citizens to move neighbouring countries(poor as they are, but do you know how many Kenyans are making a living in Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan?)
Sure. They can go to South Africa, USA, UK and other countries in search of opportunities.