20.4.16

 

 

swapo_sam_nujoma014.jpg

 Sam Nujoma

 

 

 

José Cutileiro.jpg

 

 

 

Windhoek

 

 

 

Nome bem posto: o vento não amaina na capital da Namíbia onde em 1990, depois de muitos anos de luta anti-colonial, tomou posse o primeiro presidente, Sam Nujoma. Outros chefes de movimentos independentistas de colónias britânicas – Julius Nyerere da Tanzânia (traduziu The Merchant of Venice para suaíli – nunca lhe perguntei se, nessa versão, Shylock em vez de ser judeu era indiano – inventou uma utopia socialista africana e arruinou o país sem derramamento de sangue) ou Oliver Tambo da África do Sul que durante a prisão de Mandela dirigiu o A.N.C. mantendo-o amarrado a visão marxista revolucionária, ou Robert Mugabe do Zimbabué, católico da libertação africano que de entrada seguiu o conselho do moçambicano Machel e não tocou nos bens dos brancos e depois fez marcha atrás transformando a agricultura mais rica de África numa miséria escandalosa, ou outros ainda – durante os anos da luta tratavam o camarada Nujoma um pouco por cima da burra por não o acharem tão inteligente e tão culto quanto eles eram.

 

Independências africanas foram vindo, Pretória percebeu que tinha de acabar com o apartheid. Antes livrou-se da Namíbia, antiga colónia alemã cuja ocupação as Nações Unidas haviam condenado. Depois de muitas peripécias, de Nova Iorque veio o finlandês Matti Ahtisaari, por Pretoria estava o Administrador-Geral Louis Pienaar, do mato e do exílio vieram lugares-tenentes de Nujoma. Entre o fim das conversações e a independência visitei os protagonistas. Pienar e Ahtisari contaram-me a mesma história, o primeiro como cangalheiro a ler-me uma certidão de óbito e o segundo como parteira que me narrasse um nascimento. Esperando a coroação, Nujoma, de fato de safari e sandálias, estava à vontade na moradia onde me recebeu, mobilada tão à pressa que vaso de planta grande ao lado dos sofás novos tinha ainda a etiqueta do preço: 8 rands e 99.

 

Num jantar em Joanesburgo meses depois, jornalista contou-me ter amigo dentista de que agricultor rico da Namíbia era cliente. (A vasta maioria dos grandes proprietários rurais da Namíbia são afrikaners). Homem de uns 70 anos estivera no consultório com o filho uma semana antes: tudo ia pelo melhor, sem quaisquer desmandos ou empecilhos à sua actividade que a independência tivesse trazido. A certa altura quisera referir-se ao Presidente, não se lembrara do nome e perguntara ao filho: “Como é que se chama o cafre que trata da política?”

 

Na sua simplicidade Nujoma percebera uma coisa enorme que escapara à finura dos outros (e a muitos sociais democratas europeus): com o fim do comunismo acabara a razão de ser de muitas práticas social-democratas. Que o capitalismo tenha de se modificar e depressa, não há a menor dúvida; que se insista para o fazer numa espécie de comunismo laite não tem pés nem cabeça. Aumenta o mau viver, desacredita a classe política, desanima os empresários, enxota os investidores: pior do que a austeridade, atrasa o futuro. Quando é que a esquerda europeia tomará juízo?

 

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 08:30  comentar

17.4.15

 

My Years in Angola (1950-1970)
Andries Pieter van der Graaf
 
Previous posts:

By 1962, Portugal started to get over the 1961 scare, and Adriano Moreira, Minister for the Ultramar, was working on the Lei Orgânica do Ultramar, which was to lead to the creation of a Common Market for the Portuguese territories. Work was also being done on the Statute for the Indigenous People, which was to grant them more rights.

 

Governor Deslandes (1) ran up against friction with Lisbon, where people felt that he wanted to govern in too autonomous a fashion.

 

General Venâncio A. Deslandes (1909-1985)

Governor Venâncio Augusto Deslandes and Andries Pieter van der Graaf

 

 

Economic activity took off. In Portugal itself there was now far more interest in Angola's economic potential, and in the following years many government projects were started, such as building roads, airports, schools, hospitals, and so forth. The government also became interested in oil production and iron-ore mining. Industry, fisheries, and tourism all began to be given more attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agfa

 

Loading lorry Casa Holandesa/Zuid Afrikaans Handelshuis (ZAH)

 

 

Coffee exports got going again, and some years later production reached around 200.000 tons. The services of the Instituto do Café (formerly Junta do Café) were improved, and it became an institution guaranteeing the quality of exported coffee.

 

 

Fazenda Sofia 2

 

 

Fazenda Sofia, Cuanza-Sul

Sociedade Agrícola e Comercial Luís Henriques Moutinho S.A.R.L.

Cuanza-Sul (1910-1975)

 

Fazenda Sofia Angola

 

Fazenda Sofia, Angola (2

 

 

 

Commercial banks in Portugal also began to show an interest. Up until then, the Banco de Angola, as both issuer and commercial bank, held the monopoly. However, with the arrival of the Banco Comercial de Angola came an influx of Portuguese banks, followed by the English/Portuguese Banco Totta Standard de Angola.

 

In the meantime, Cabinda underwent a great change. The days when people called for the taxi (as there was only one) instead of a taxi, were over. Banks, shipping companies, and trading companies became established there. With the expansion of oil exploration, terrorist activities tailed off in that area. The interior of Cabinda, a tropical wilderness with various hard woods, including mahogany, was also once again accessible. From time to time the border between Cabinda and Congo was closed off due to political disturbances, but a lively smuggling business continued across the border, making Cabinda a good market for all sorts of products, and our travelling salesmen therefore sold a lot.

 

In the northern coffee regions, the terrorists were able to stand firm, though practically all the connecting roads were in Portuguese hands. Even on these roads, attacks took place on troop columns and convoys. To reach Carmona, in the centre of the coffee production area, the detour via Vila Salazar was still used.

 

 

carmona_aerea

 

Carmona, Angola

 

 

Travel in the interior became progressively safer, and faster with the new asphalt roads. The asphalt road Luanda-Dondo-Quibala-Nova Lisboa-Lobito was completed, and links between Luanda and Lobito (600 km), and Luanda and Nova Lisboa (700 km) were excellent. Moçamedes got a railway link to the iron-ore mines, which had been almost completely taken over by the government. Railway equipment was delivered by Krupp, against payment in iron-ore deliveries over a number of years. A modern ore transfer harbour was built in Moçamedes.

 

In the meantime, disturbances were felt from Zambia, meaning that the eastern border areas to the north and south of the Benguela railway became dangerous. The eastern districts were very suited to terrorist activities: they were far away (some of them were called "terras do fim do mundo" (lands at the end of the world) and rich in cattle, especially red buffalo (pacaça) and various types of antelope. "Aldeamentos" (native housing regroupings) were set up in these areas in order to provide some protection for the population. The capitals remained accessible by Fokker Friendship or other airplanes.

 

A DTA Fokker F-27-200 at Benguela Airport in 1965.

 A DTA Fokker F-27-200 at Benguela Airport in 1965.

 

 

 * * *

 

On November 13, 1968, we received the longest telegram we had ever had in Luanda, with news of the merger between ZAH and CTC (Curaçao Trading Company, later Ceteco).

This was a completely unexpected development, and everyone was stunned. The Dutch staff was split in its opinion on the matter, the Portuguese as a whole were negative (the Portuguese version of "rather the devil you know, than the devil you don't" came up again and again), and I had my hands full trying to get everyone to see things from the bright side; after all, you never know what a good Portuguese worker will do when beset by doubts. Convincing some exceptionally good people to stay with the company, when they received offers from other companies, had been a constant concern before, and this might well have been "the last straw." But there were no mishaps.

 

A period of adjustment and new initiatives began, which it was interesting to be involved in. End January 1971 I handed business administration in Angola over to Mr. de Groot.

 

Farewell, 1971

 

Farewell dinner. From left: De Groot, D. Augusta Neves e Sousa, A.P. van der Graaf and others.

 

It was a pleasure for me to be able to hand over a good, profitable business, with a staff that undoubtedly still had a lot of untapped potential. It is with great pleasure that I think back to the times when we worked together.

 

 

ZAH staff - 49

 

ZAH Luanda office staff, with A.P. van der Graaf (front row, 4th from the right), his wife Joyce, and Chargois (HQ)

 

 

 

 

A.P. van der Graaf and Queen Juliana 

 Knighted by Queen Juliana (Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau)

 23 April 1968

 

 

 

 

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf Jan/Feb 1974

Translated by Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) 2012

 

 

A.P. e Elizabeth

 Andries Pieter van der Graaf and daughter Elizabeth (Betty), Angola 1968

 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) and her family for allowing me to adapt the text and to illustrate it by using photos from the family's collection.

 

Muito agradeço a Elizabeth Davies e sua família que autorizaram gentilmente a edição do texto para publicação neste blog e cederam fotografias do espólio do autor.

 

 

Full text:

The memoir of Andries Pieter van der Graaf is in two parts: Part 1 (written in English) starts in 1909 with his birth, and provides a vivid description of his early life in Krimpen aan de Lek, a small community near Rotterdam; of the effects of the Depression on the family; and of his experiences during the war. In Part 2 (written in Dutch, translation into English provided), he takes us from his first day in Angola, through his years learning how to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times, to his fascination with Angola and its peoples.

 

www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341/217/341217840.pdf

http://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341220647.htm

 

 

Links to previous posts in this blog:

My Years in Angola (1950-1970)

My Years in Angola (2)

My Years in Angola (3)

My Years in Angola (4)

 

Link to photo album "Vintage Angola" on Flickr: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vfutscher/sets/

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.

Venâncio Augusto Deslandes (1909 - 1985)

 

Not to be confused with his ancestor of the same name (V.A.D. 1829-1909) referred to several times in this blog.

 

Venâncio Augusto Deslandes (1909- 1985), Air Force General, Ambassador to Spain, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Angola, Chief of Defence Staff.

 

General Deslandes took office while the UPA* terrorism crisis continued to devastate northern Angola. Once the situation was under control, and all the north reoccupied, General Deslandes launched a vast development plan for Angola, which included the creation of a university in Luanda. This initiative and the success of his administration met with strong resistance from the Minister of the Overseas, Adriano Moreira, who soon removed him from office. (In Memória da Nação and Wikipédia, excerpt translated by Elizabeth Davies)

 

*UPA – União dos Povos de Angola, founded in 1959, by Holden Roberto.

 

More on General Venâncio A. Deslandes in Memória de África

 

 

Venâncio Augusto Deslandes (1909 - 1985)

 

A não confundir com o seu antepassado do mesmo nome (V.A.D. 1829-1909) várias vezes referido neste blog.

 

Venâncio Augusto Deslandes (1909-1985) General da Força Aérea, Embaixador em Espanha, Governador Geral e Comandante-Chefe das FA de Angola, Chefe do Estado Maior General das Forças Armadas.

 

O General Deslandes assumiu funções quando o terrorismo da UPA* assolava ainda o Norte de Angola. Controlada a situação, e concluída a reocupação de todo o Norte, o General Deslandes lançou um vasto plano de fomento para Angola que incluia a criação de uma Universidade em Luanda. O sucesso da sua administração e a sua iniciativa encontraram forte resistência no Ministro do Ultramar, Adriano Moreira, que rapidamente o demitiu. (Fontes: Memória da Nação e Wikipédia)

 

*UPA – União dos Povos de Angola, fundada em 1959, por Holden Roberto. 

 

Mais sobre o General Venâncio A. Deslandes em Memória de África

 

 

 

 

 

2. 

Photos 

Fazenda Sofia: Many thanks to Sofia and Fernando Luís Plácido de Abreu.

 

Carmona: cc3413.wordpress.com

 

DTA Folker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAAG_Angola_Airlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


10.4.15
My Years in Angola (1950-1970)
Andries Pieter van der Graaf
 
Other posts:
 

 

 

In the 1950s, interest began in Angolan mineral resources, and Petrofina was the first to start drilling for oil. Oil discoveries remained limited, but oil did bring with it all sorts of other activities to Angola, and "Angola has never been the same again." Some years later, Petrofina built a small refinery just outside Luanda, and in spite of a difficult relationship with the government (which imposed all sorts of restrictions, royalties, and bureaucracy), production capacity kept increasing.

 

 

Cabinda - Petroleo 5

oil rig, Cabinda

 

 

 

 

In 1957, Gulf Oil was given rights to drill off the coast of Cabinda, and in 1958 large-scale shipments of equipment came to Cabinda from America. American firms, such as Union Carbide, came to Angola to carry out soil resource studies, but their reports, to the extent that they were known, were not very positive. Work on iron ore had already begun, e.g., near Vila Salazar, as well as in the south, near Nova Lisboa and Sá da Bandeira.

 

16 Luanda port

 Luanda Port

 

In 1960, the revolution took place in the Belgian Congo, which meant that many Belgian refugees, but also those of other nationalities, came to Luanda. The first sign of political unrest in the Portuguese African territories was the hijacking of the "Santa Maria" in January 1961.

 

 

Santa-Maria

 

Paris Match 1961

 

 

People thought that this ship, taken over by Galvão (who had held prominent positions in Angola), might come to Angola, but this did not happen. However, soon after that, during the night of the 3rd and 4th February, a bloody attack took place against whites and blacks in the northern coffee area, during which many hundreds of people, including women and children, lost their lives in the early hours of the morning. It was an act of frightful terror, in which the most appalling acts of cruelty took place.

 

Most certainly elements from the Congo were involved in this, who had gained influence over the local people, and many of the killings were carried out under the influence of drugs, marijuana, etc. This area of small coffee plantations was perhaps one of the most fertile areas for rebellion, for the conditions under which the natives worked were bad, and there had already been signs of dissatisfaction, but to which government officials had paid no attention. At the same time, there was an attack on the Penedo jail in Luanda, with a number of people killed, and some days later more clashes during the funeral for one of the victims. By March, people were already talking about organized terrorism in the northern areas, and refugees streamed into Luanda from those areas, mainly women and children. Luanda was in a state of great agitation, and many families left for Portugal or elsewhere at the first opportunity. The population also turned against the Protestant mission in Luanda, smashing all the windows of its buildings in the city.

 

 

 

Congo émeutes

 

 Congo riots

 

 

For months and months you could hear machine-gun fire at night, coming from skirmishes at the city limits and the outskirts, the native neighbourhoods. Since there was very little military power to protect the people should a large scale attack by the natives take place, people were in a high state of anxiety, aggravated by all kinds of alarming rumours doing the rounds, such as imminent slaughtering of children in the schools, mass poisoning of the drinking-water supply, and so on. From the cotton districts of Cassange, to the east of Malange, again and again came news of mass uprisings, and there were people who believed that a complete encircling of Luanda by the blacks was not impossible.

 

 

angola selo

Angola Stamp

 

 

 

After that we were not able to visit those regions for some time, as it was too dangerous to travel there independently, and even in convoy it was hazardous. Many clients were still unreachable, as they had entrenched themselves behind walls and barbed wire. We had a consignment of "Jacaré" machetes, from Martindale, in our stocks, and these had to be handed over to the police.

 

Luanda's needs increased with refugees and soldiers swelling the city's population, and it was a matter of adjusting as best possible to this situation. Progressively the areas around Luanda were cleared, and people could once again travel in the direction of Cacuaco, and later as far as Caxito, but further north, so some 100 to 150 km from Luanda, travel remained unsafe.

 

to be continued...

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf Jan/Feb 1974

Translated by Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) 
March 2012

 

Previous posts:

My Years in Angola (1950-1970)

My Years in Angola (2)

My Years in Angola (3) 

 

Full text:

The memoir of Andries Pieter van der Graaf is in two parts: Part 1 (written in English) starts in 1909 with his birth, and provides a vivid description of his early life in Krimpen aan de Lek, a small community near Rotterdam; of the effects of the Depression on the family; and of his experiences during the war. In Part 2 (written in Dutch, translation into English provided), he takes us from his first day in Angola, through his years learning how to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times, to his fascination with Angola and its peoples.

 

www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341/217/341217840.pdf

http://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341220647.htm

 

Album "Vintage Angola" on Flickr 

 

 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) and her family for allowing me to adapt the text and to illustrate it by using photos from the family's collection.

 

Muito agradeço a Elizabeth Davies e sua família que autorizaram gentilmente a edição do texto para publicação neste blog e disponibilizaram fotografias do espólio do autor.

 

 

Photos

Oil rig: Fotos Cabinda  

Paris-Match: Pitigrili 

Congo riots: ammafricaworld 

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 09:12  comentar

3.4.15
 
 
My Years in Angola (1950-1970)
Andries Pieter van der Graaf
 
Other posts:
 

 

Besides food (Mozambique tea - chá licungo - , and cashew nuts should also be mentioned), drinks and textiles, there was an assortment of other articles, which pretty well matched the range of articles in the "mercearias" (general stores) in the interior and in the city. These were: storm lanterns, primus stoves, chopping knives, hoes, corrugated panels, plumbing, floor covering, sewing machines, iceboxes, bicycles. In the shop window was a graphic poster of a Raleigh bicycle, with a native on it, chased by a lion. Many Velosolex (motorized bicycles) were also imported, but more in Lobito than to Luanda, where the roads were too steep. In the first years, copper wire, beads and other decorative articles were important. Importing of beads was arranged through Amsterdam from Italy ("missangas"), and from Czechoslovakia ("contas").

 

 

 

 

 

raleigh-bicycle-lion-vintage-bicycle

 

 

 poster of a Raleigh bicycle

 

 

Angola is generally a "price market," but Bacalhau is an exception to this rule. Bacalhau (dried cod) the way the Portuguese like it, is Clipfish, dried on rocks (Stockfish is dried hanging on wooden racks). Codfish came mainly from Norway, with occasional shipments from Iceland and Scotland. For dried cod, or "o fiel amigo" (the faithful friend) as the Portuguese call it, quality is the top requirement, since they are so fond of Bacalhau that no feast day may be celebrated without it, e.g., Christmas.

 

 

In the warehouse

 

 In the warehouse

 

What with one thing and another, the months of November and December were always exceptionally busy for anyone who had anything to do with the "armazém" (warehouse). During this period, a great deal of work was done by the native assistants in the warehouse, and when the bonuses were handed out, they were given extra consideration too. There were some very strong men among them, I especially remember "Maximbombo", the native word for "bus", commonly used in Angola. Many of the natives have Portuguese, or Portuguese-derived names, but there are exceptions to this. For example, Van Dunen harks back to the Dutch administrator Van Duinen; Fançoni to Van Zon, etc. One particularly good tribe came from the Bailundo area, who didn't speak Kimbundo, as they do in the North, but Umbundu. As employees, the natives were still very subservient, something which was to change a great deal in the next decade; they also had very few rights, notwithstanding the official policy of equality and assimilation. The economic colour barrier was enormous.

 

 

 

Luanda was still small. Behind the Avenida Brito Godins, where our "residencia" was situated, there were a few residential areas, but otherwise nothing very much yet. There was no Avenida Marginal, just a sandy shore to the bay, and not far from there was the market, where now the Banco Commercial rises up.

 

13 Luanda, no Marginal

 

Luanda bay, before the Avenida Marginal was built

 

4 Luanda, '50s

 

Luanda in the fifties

 

3 A residencia, front garden

 

 

 A residência, front garden. Circa 1952, with Joyce, Kees and Betty

 

1 Causeway to the Ilha

 

 Causeway to the Ilha

 

 

When I arrived in Luanda, the peak demand for foreign imported cotton prints had already passed. Around Sá da Bandeira you didn't see very much textile, for there the native people kept mostly to their traditional dress, a loincloth, some arm rings, beads and buttons. In this cattle-rich area, the women wore leather strips, onto which sawn-through cone shells had been added. These cost about "an ox" each, and from the number of these shells you could calculate the financial status of the native family.

 

Muhuila married women

 

Muhuila married women

 

 

In the surrounding area, Huila, and Cuanhama, there is still a great deal of traditional life to be seen. A trip into the Huila area stands out as the most interesting one in my memory. The native tribes provided the most picturesque spectacle. They were mostly Huilas and Mucubais, tribes that had resisted the trend to wearing European clothes - in contrast to Northern Angola. They kept to their own ways and it was marvellous to see their dark brown shining bodies, embellished by thick copper wire wound around their necks and legs, all sparkling in the sunlight. The women, with finery differing according to age or status, often wore strings of shells, cowrie and others, and beads. On their backs they wore cone shells, sawn in halves. These came all the way from the coast and were very expensive. I was told that one could tell how rich they were by the number of shells they wore. One of them was worth " an ox ". In their necklaces and bracelets, however, there were often small European objects, such as coins and safety pins and other shiny objects.  

 

 

6 "Trip through South and Central Angola", Muhuila women, with cut off cone shells

Muhuila women, with cut off cone shells, Joyce, Kees and Betty by the car

 

A.P. with Mumuhuila

 A.P. with Mumuhuila tribesmen

 

 

 

The travelling salesmen took as many samples with them as possible of everything that we sold. There was a good variety, and therefore our men were always welcomed by the clients. Still, they always had to keep in mind the custom of never being over hasty. The first day had to be seen as the lead up to the real business visit. First, time needed to be patiently spent on "cumprimentar" (greetings) and "conversa" (conversation). The next day was the day for business. Only then were the boxes of samples brought out from under the canvas of the carrinha (pick-up), and opened.

 

Trip to Nova Lisboa, May, 1965

 Trip to Nova Lisboa, 1965

 

The roads were appalling. Heading inland, there was asphalt only as far as Catete (60km), and on the way to Malange, around Zenza, there was a 30 km stretch of very fine sand, all very well for growing cotton, but not quite the right thing for a road. Driving through those 30 km would take a good three hours. But these trips also had a very attractive side as well. Astonishing vegetation: baobabs ("imbondeiro"), and candelabra-euphorbias along the road to Dondo, and further along perhaps coffee plants in bloom. Towards the south, instead, you would see different types of acacia, and then dry savannah.

 

 

057

baobab tree

 

The hotels along the way were pretty shabby, but they sometimes made good meals: feijoada (a bean stew), guisado (stewed meat and greens), churrasco (piri-piri chicken). Breakfast was "sem garfo" or "com garfo" (with or without a fork). "With" was with meat, almost a full meal, and "without" was coffee and a couple of rock-hard buns with very salty butter. For the lorry drivers there was still another "matabicho" (matar o bicho = to kill the animal; the official Portuguese word for breakfast is "pequeno almoço"): a strong cup of coffee with brandy upon departure at dawn, followed later in the morning with a "matabicho com garfo." Another delicacy of the "mato" was muamba (palmoil stew).

 

 

to be continued...

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf Jan/Feb 1974

Translated by Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) 2012

 

 

Full text:

The memoir of Andries Pieter van der Graaf is in two parts: Part 1 (written in English) starts in 1909 with his birth, and provides a vivid description of his early life in Krimpen aan de Lek, a small community near Rotterdam; of the effects of the Depression on the family; and of his experiences during the war. In Part 2 (written in Dutch, translation into English provided), he takes us from his first day in Angola, through his years learning how to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times, to his fascination with Angola and its peoples.

 

www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341/217/341217840.pdf

http://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341220647.htm

 

Album "Vintage Angola" on Flickr 

 

 

 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) and her family for allowing me to adapt the text and to illustrate it by using photos from the family's collection.

 

Muito agradeço a Elizabeth Davies e sua família que autorizaram gentilmente a edição do texto para publicação neste blog e disponibilizaram fotografias do espólio do autor.

 

 

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 10:31  comentar

27.3.15

 

 

My Years in Angola (1950-1970) 

Andries Peter van der Graaf

 

Other posts:

My Years in Angola (1950-1970)

My Years in Angola (3)

My Years in Angola (4)

My Years in Angola (5)

 

 

nestles-milk-banner

 

 

 

 

In the '50s, business with Nestlé was developing very well, for which we held the monopoly. At first condensed milk was the main product, then milk powder replaced it, as well as all sorts of baby food. We were not able to remain sole agent, in part as a result of pressure exerted by C.U.F. (Companhia União Fabril) on S.P.L. (Sociedade Produtos Lacteos).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1955-Nestl-em-Avanca

 

S.P.L. (Sociedade Produtos Lacteos)

 

 

For many years it was only possible to import milk products from Portugal (significantly more expensive than Dutch milk powder, for example) as no import licenses were issued for foreign milk. Later on, this situation changed. Only in later years was fresh milk available in the cities, and also sterilized milk, mainly from Cela.

 

 

Cela Igreja_e_Pelourinho_cedida_por_Z_Valada_Feliris_e_Milai

Cela, Angola c. 1960

 

Cela is a colony for white Portuguese settlers, situated in a highly fertile area of Central Angola, along the Cuvo River, most probably formerly a river bed.

 

 

12 Colonization project at Cela

 

 

Cela c.1960

 

 

A lot of money was squandered in Cela because things were done in a disorganized fashion (land planning took place when work had been on-going for over ten years, thousands of head of cattle were imported from Denmark and which were unable to adapt to the climate, colonists were recruited in Portugal more on the basis of connections than suitability). Still, it was an interesting project, to which we also contributed a good deal. One big client was the colonists' Cooperative, though unfortunately they were always short of cash, and couldn't pay their debts.

 

 


10 House of a colonist at Cela

 

Cela c.1960

 

Cooperation is not a strong point in the Portuguese. They are too individualistic for that, they say so themselves. The only Cooperative with which we had no financial problems was one in which the members were mostly Germans. Here and there in Angola there were some groups of Germans, among them the Mannhardt brothers, for example in Calulu, where they very successfully grew coffee.

 

coffee 15

 

A.P. van der Graaf visiting a coffee plantation

 

8 With Dutch padre

 Kees, Betty and Joyce with Dutch Padre

 

Sometimes missionaries came to buy goods from us and I was invited by them to come and have a look at their mission services. These were at Dondi, some 80 miles from Nova Lisboa. It was a Protestant mission, "Congregational", American and Canadian. This was a big mission, providing teaching in a number of subjects including agriculture and other trades, as well as providing medical care, including a leper colony. It covered a large area, many brick buildings in which the various services, hospitals and workshops were housed. 

 

 

 

 

IGREJA LUTAMO 1

 

 

Dondi Mission, Angola

 

Means School, 1950's

 Means School, Dondi, 1950's

 

 

 

What I remember best is the choir singing led by one of the American missionaries. The Bantu have an exceptional sensitivity to sound and rhythm, and the choir master had, I thought, brought them to a high level of performance.

 

Listen here to Angolan Umbundu music 

 

See here ruins of Dondi mission (Images of Angola - Noel Henderson-James, 2011)

 
 

 

... to be continued...

 

 

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf

Jan/Feb 1974
Translated by Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) 2012

 

Full text:

The memoir of Andries Pieter van der Graaf is in two parts: Part 1 (written in English) starts in 1909 with his birth, and provides a vivid description of his early life in Krimpen aan de Lek, a small community near Rotterdam; of the effects of the Depression on the family; and of his experiences during the war. In Part 2 (written in Dutch, translation into English provided), he takes us from his first day in Angola, through his years learning how to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times, to his fascination with Angola and its peoples.

 

www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341/217/341217840.pdf

http://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341220647.htm

 

Album "Vintage Angola" on Flickr 

 

 

 

Notes:

 

Read post # 1:  My Years in Angola (1950-1970) here

 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) and her family for allowing me to adapt the text and to illustrate it by using photos from the family's collection.

 

Muito agradeço a Elizabeth Davies e sua família que autorizaram gentilmente a edição do texto para publicação neste blog e disponibilizaram fotografias do espólio do autor.

 

Images and Photos:

NestléLeite Condensado

S.P.L.: Restos de Colecção

Means School, Dondi: Nancy Henderson-James

Music:

Angolan Umbundu Music: Nancy Henderson-James

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 09:59  comentar

20.3.15

 

 

A.P. van der Graaf

 

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf (1909-1996) spent almost his entire professional career (1928-1970) with the Dutch company Zuid Afrikaans Handelshuis (ZAH). In 1950 he was posted to Angola to act as managing director of the Luanda Office. He served as Dutch Honorary Consul from 1952 till 1971.

 

It is with great pleasure that we present in Retrovisor excerpts from a memoir in which he tells about his experiences learning to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times and his fascination with the country and its peoples.

 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) and her family for allowing me to adapt the text and to illustrate it by using photos from the family's collection.

 

 

 * * *

 

 

I visited Angola for the first time in 1950. ZAH (Zuid Afrikaans Handelshuis) had two offices there, one in Luanda, the other in Nova Lisboa. The area covered by the Nova Lisboa office was mostly that along the Benguela Railway: a section from the coast to the border with the Belgian Congo (Katanga). The purpose of my stay in Nova Lisboa was to familiarize myself with the activities that the business had in Africa. Luanda always brought in good year-end results, but paid very little attention to the advice and instructions coming from Head Office, causing continued conflict.

 

 

 

Untitled

Zuid Afrikaans Handelshuis, Luanda c. 1960

 

 

 

The ZUID building in Nova Lisboa was a warehouse, mostly. Trade was mainly in foodstuffs, textile, construction materials, paint, small agricultural tools, general merchandise, and so on.

 

Massive square piles of cotton cloth were the first thing you saw. The cotton prints that attracted the greatest interest were the ones that had just arrived: "novidades". In the area around Nova Lisboa, "pintados" ("blue print"), originally from Germany (Fritz Becker), were still in general use, and worn by both men and women. It was dark blue material with white lines or spotted patterns.

 

Casa Holandesa

 

 

Casa Holandesa

 

 

Sometimes business contacts arrived from the interior with elephant tusks. Their weight varied from 10 to 40 kg, sometimes even more. Consignments were made up and eventually shipped to Holland, where there was always a great deal of interest in these tusks. The tusks were mainly used to make billiard balls. Other products from the upper plateau which were exported by ZUID were beans, castor seed, manioc (cassava, Portuguese: crueira) and sesame seed; and from the river basins: palm nuts, palm oil; also Arabica coffee, as opposed to Robusta, which was practically the only kind of coffee grown in the north of Angola.

 

 

 

Angola Mapa anos 60

 Map of Angola c. 1960

 

 

 

During the eight months I spent in Nova Lisboa, I made a number of trips to the coast. In the rainy season, these trips often had to be postponed, as the road was poor, and very little was done about this, as the Railways, who had a great say in the matter, felt that good road connections would harm the railway's interests.

 

7 Ferry across the Quanza

 

Ferry across the Cuanza

 

 

On the road from Sá da Bandeira (formerly "Lubango") to Moçamedes, I saw groups of zebra grazing near the road, and further off, herds of springbok, leaping to get out of the way. There are very few springbok left nowadays. The Portuguese name for them is "cabra de leque." "Leque" means "fan," and when alarmed, the hair on their backs stands up on end.

 

 

cabra-de-leque-3.50ags-880x1024

 Cabra de Leque

 

 

Benguela itself still had the appearance of an old slave town, with the old walled enclosures still there, where the slaves were kept after their arrival from the interior until being shipped away. Other than that, the most striking things were the red-colored earth and the orange blossoms of the acacia rubra (flame tree).

 

 

Nova Lisboa, Angola 1960

 Nova Lisboa c. 1960

 

 

 

 

 

Benguela

 Benguela, c. 1960

 

 

I remember that one morning, a young native man who always travelled with us to help with the bags, told me that "the rain had rained during the night." This was the first time I had come across the typically Bantu personification of natural phenomena.

 

 ... to be continued... 

 

 

Andries Pieter van der Graaf

Jan/Feb 1974

Translated by Elizabeth Davies (van der Graaf) 2012

 

Other posts:

My Years in Angola (2)

My Years in Angola (3)

My Years in Angola (4)

My Years in Angola (5)

 

 

Full text:

The memoir of Andries Pieter van der Graaf is in two parts: Part 1 (written in English) starts in 1909 with his birth, and provides a vivid description of his early life in Krimpen aan de Lek, a small community near Rotterdam; of the effects of the Depression on the family; and of his experiences during the war. In Part 2 (written in Dutch, translation into English provided), he takes us from his first day in Angola, through his years learning how to run a Dutch trading company in Angola in colonial times, to his fascination with Angola and its peoples.

 

www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341/217/341217840.pdf

http://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/341220647.htm

 

 

Album "Vintage Angola" on Flickr 

 

 

Notes:

Map of Angola: Veteranos da Guerra do Ultramar

Nova Lisboa and Benguela: Tempo Caminhado 

 

 


23.2.14

 

Congopresse Study photographs, 1930-1960 

Photographs taken by Congopresse photographers in the Belgian Congo. Accompanying the images are French and Flemish language captions which include specific information on locations and photographers, though often without dates.

 

 

Léopoldville, 1 Juillet 1948

H. Goldstein / Congopresse

© Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

 

A Léopoldville,le 1er juillet 1948, un Te Deum a été chanté en plein air devant le monument au roi Albert 1er, par S.E. le Cardinal Van Roey, Archevêque de Mâlines, Primat de Belgique, à l'occasion de 1'anniversaire de la proclamation de l' Etat Indépendant du Congo. Aussitôt après fut inauguré le monument aux Pionniers qui, il y a cinquante ans, construisirent le Matadi à Léopoldville, le premier chemin de fer de la Colonie. 

 

Léopoldville, 1 Juillet 1948

H. Goldstein / Congopresse

© Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

 

Te Deum: vue de la place et du boulevard Albert 1er

 

Léopoldville, 1 Juillet 1948

H. Goldstein / Congopresse

© Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

 

Les enfants des travailleurs indigènes de L'Otraco, organisme qui assure la gestion du chemin de fer, défilent devant les autorités à la fin de la cérémonie.

 

 

 

Sobre a minha colecção de fotografias Congopresse leia o post "No Congo" aqui e veja mais fotos clicando na tag "Congo".

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 17:20  comentar

3.2.14

 

 

 

Luc Tuymans

Reconstruction (Reconstitution), 2000.

© 2000, Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, photo courtesy David Zwirner, New York

 

 

Les dix tableaux qui constituent la série «Mwana Kitoko: Beautiful White Man» (Mwana Kitoko: Bel Homme blanc») ont trait à l'histoire du régime colonial belge au Congo et à l'assas­sinat de Patrice Lumumba en 1961. Premier homme politique nommé Premier ministre de l'ac­tuelle République démocratique du Congo à la suite d'élections démocratiques, Lumumba fut assassiné moins de sept mois après que son pays eut arraché son indépendance à la Belgique. Leader charismatique qui s'éleva avec vigueur contre les brutalités historiques du joug belge et appela à l'unité nationale, il représentait une menace pour les ambitions néocoloniales de la Belgique et des Etats-Unis, qui visaient à maintenir un contrôle politique et économique sur ce pays riche en ressources. On a pu rattacher la fomentation de son assassinat au gou­vernement belge, à la cia et aux hommes politiques sécessionnistes congolais; le mystère qui entoure les circonstances de sa mort reflète l'obscurité des réseaux de pouvoir en lice.

 

Dans «Mwana Kitoko», Tuymans interroge l'aptitude de la peinture à répondre aux événements traumatiques du passé récent et à les refléter de façon critique. Les œuvres sont tirées de sources iconographiques disparates, qui vont d'anciens films de propagande à des photos, prises par l'artiste, de scènes imaginaires et reconstituées, qui soulignent l'influence que les événements historiques continuent d'exercer sur le présent. La série comporte tout un éventail de styles et de genres, depuis le portrait formel jusqu'à l'instantané pris en passant. Exposées ensemble, ces images hétéroclites montrent que les récits historiques sont toujours formés de fragments contingents, incertains et discutables.

 

in Luc Tuymans (Catalogue de l' Exposition Luc Tuymans - Retrospective

Sous la Direction de Madeleine Grynsztejn et Helen Molesworth

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, 2011

@2011 Ludion & BOZAR

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

Léopoldville c. 1950

Foto: Gaby Foto, Leo

Fotografia do meu espólio familiar (ver mais na tag "Congo")

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 09:30  comentar

10.1.14

 

 

 

Luanda, Angola 

© Royal Museum for Central Africa

 

This staged picture was shot in a studio on the African West Coast, and shows Henry M. Stanley describing his travels to the Portuguese Expedition (Ivens, Capelo, Serpa Pinto) at Luanda, [August or September 1877].

 
This oval-framed photograph, mounted on cardboard, with pencil inscription, is kept in the Henry M. Stanley Archives (King Baudouin Foundation Collection held in trust at the RMCA).

 

 

veja aqui o livro "Exploradores Portugueses e Reis Africanos"

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 12:16  comentar

1.1.14

 

 Gerhard Richter, Neger (Nuba), 1964, 145 x 200 cm, Oil on Canvas, Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery © Gerhard Richter, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuers e Dinkas

 

 

Do Sudão do Sul, 193° membro da ONU, chegam más notícias. O novo país, paupérrimo sobre ricas reservas de petróleo, de população dantes dada a religiões não-reveladas, mas mais ou menos cristianizada por missionários europeus e americanos durante o Condomínio Anglo-Egípcio, ficando integrado no Sudão desde a descolonização de 1956, entrara em guerras sangrentas com o governo muçulmano de Cartum durando mais de 20 anos para conseguir independência que o libertasse das tribos islamizadas e esclavagistas do norte. Guerras por fim ganhas pelo sul, tendo causado 2 milhões de mortos, esperava-se que houvessem cimentado sentimento nacional entre as duas grandes tribos pastoralista e guerreiras do país, os Nuers e os Dinkas (que há menos de um século andavam nus, viviam do gado, se administravam sem governo e combatiam à lança).

 

Esperança vã. Eleições deram maioria à tribo maior, os Dinkas; o Presidente eleito convidou um Nuer, para vice-presidente - mas correu com ele em Julho e a curta paz acabou. Em 9 dos 10 estados federados do país grassam guerrilhas, reprimidas com tortura e massacre de civis. Dinkas e Nuers resvalam para guerra com 50.000 civis a pedirem protecção à ONU (que dobrou para 12.500 a força que lá colocara). A conselheira de segurança do Presidente dos Estados Unidos fez às partes as exortações piedosas do costume – renúncia à violência; diálogo – mas Washington, sobretudo desde o show de Obama na Síria, não mete o respeito que metia.

 

O Sudão do Sul é ao lado da Republica Centro-Africana, à beira de guerra civil entre maioria cristã e minoria muçulmana que começaram a matar-se uns aos outros. Como a expedição ao Mali foi a coisa que menos mal lhe correu desde que é presidente de França, Hollande mandou logo tropa para Bangui, onde estão também forças da União Africana. Soldados do Chade, muçulmanos, já foram assassinados por cristãos locais. Perante o descalabro, Samantha Power, embaixadora americana na ONU, fez uma visita relâmpago a Bangui onde exortou toda a gente a portar-se bem prevenindo que os Estados Unidos “estavam atentos”. Autora premiada de livro sobre genocídio (que enferma da pecha americana de ver o mal e o bem a preto e branco), conselheira de Obama, sumida enquanto Hillary Clinton foi Secretário de Estado (dissera, julgando que um microfone estava desligado, que Hillary era “um monstro”) voltou à cena sem ter aprendido nada.

 

Se os Estados Unidos perderam de vez o jeito de agarrar o mundo pela pele do pescoço, como se agarra um gato – jeito que lhes ganhou duas guerras mundiais e a guerra fria - a megalomania de Putin, a convicção de superioridade dos chineses, agitar-se-ão para ocupar o lugar vazio. Nenhuma delas o conseguirá mas para os europeus vão ser tempos duros. Sem América forte e decidida não haverá ordem no mundo. E sem ajuda americana os europeus nem terão o preciso – reabastecimento aéreo, munições de precisão, espionagem – para mandar fazer pazes em brigas africanas.

 

 

Ano Novo feliz!

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 00:12  comentar

14.12.13

 

 

 

 

 

Com a chegada do Bloco-Notas de José Cutileiro ao Retrovisor, e a pensar nos seus leitores, dediquei umas horas a arrumar a casa, ou seja a criar novas categorias ou etiquetas, as chamadas tags. A primeira crónica — O baú do Kremlin — inaugurou as categorias Alemanha, Rússia e Capitalismo.

 

Acrescentei ColonialismoComunismoCristianismoNazismoTerrorismo 

e Estados Unidos, temas que têm sido abordados neste blog e que faz agora todo o sentido terem tag própria.  

 

Tenho sido económica nas tags porque comecei com categorias o mais latas possível, que permitem agregar material muito diverso e se vão destacando na chamada nuvem de tags (na coluna da direita) à medida que cresce o seu conteúdoMuitos dos escritores citados neste blog estão assim simplesmente agrupados na tag Autores

 

Boa parte do material dos espólios familiares está em ÁlbumÁlbuns, Casas, Recordações.

 

Próximas "gavetas" a arrumar melhor serão Photographia, Fotografia e Snapshot. Na primeira estão guardados os textos de Autor sobre fotografia e as imagens até aos anos 20 do século XX.

 

Para encontrar um nome nos arquivos aconselho pesquisar neste blog, no topo da coluna direita.

 

 

Boa navegação!

 

 

A crónica O baú do Kremlin aqui

 

O Bloco-Notas de José Cutileiro sai à quarta-feira.

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 09:44  comentar

8.7.10

 

 

Brussels is not unique. In Berlin, there are no museums or monuments to the slaughtered Hereros, and in Paris and Lisbon no visible reminders of the rubber terror that slashed in half the populations of parts of French and Portuguese Africa. In the American South, there are hundreds of Civil War battle monuments and preserved plantation manor houses for every exhibit that in any way marks the existence of slavery. And yet the world we live in — its divisions and conflicts, its widening gap between rich and poor, its seemingly inexplicable outbursts of violence — is shaped far less by what we celebrate and mythologize than by the painful events we try to forget. Leopold's Congo is but one of those silences of history.

 

The Congo offers a striking example of the politics of forgetting. Leopold and the Belgian colonial officials who followed him went to extraordinary lengths to try to erase potentially incriminating evidence from the historical record. One day in August 1908, shortly before the colony was officially turned over to Belgium, the king's young military aide Gustave Stinglhamber walked from the Royal Palace to see a friend in the Congo state offices next door. The midsummer day seemed particularly warm, and the two men went to an open window to talk. Stinglhamber sat down on a radiator, then jumped to his feet: it was burning hot. When the men summoned the janitor for an explanation, he replied, "Sorry, but they're burning the State archives." The furnaces burned for eight days, turning most of the Congo state records to ash and smoke in the sky over Brussels. "I will give them my Congo," Leopold told Stinglhamber, "but they have no right to know what I did there."

 

 

Adam Hochschild

in King Leopold’s Ghost p. 294

A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa

© Adam Hochschild, 1998

 

 

 

 

em português aqui

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 11:10  comentar

5.7.10

 

 

Au Congo Belge

foto E. Lebied / Congopresse

© Royal Museum for Central Africa, Bruxelas

 

 

Há dois anos que venho estudando – com um crescente interesse – os problemas africanos, e em especial os do Congo Belga e de Angola, porque não perdoaria a mim próprio tratá-los perante o Ministério com a leviandade com que outros, anteriormente, o têm feito. Estão-se passando em África coisas muito graves que, num futuro mais ou menos distante, poderão vir a afectar seriamente a nossa posição se não nos prevenirmos desde já contra os seus eventuais efeitos, revendo em diversos sectores a nossa política colonial, não como quase sempre se tem feito mas pela criação de um novo estado de coisas. (Tudo isto naturalmente, dito assim, cheira um pouco a profecias tipo Dr. Rakar. Espero porém que os relatórios que estou terminando deixem impressão diferente).

 

 

Vasco Futscher Pereira

Excerto de carta ao colega e amigo Amândio Pinto, 1954

in Retrovisor, um Álbum de Família

© RCP edições, 2009

 

link do postPor VF, às 13:02  comentar

3.7.10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Au moment ou éclate la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le colonialisme est à son apogée. Pourtant le déroulement de cette guerre, son impact symbolique sur la réalité amorcent la déroute et la fin du système colonial.

 

Comment et pourquoi cela s'est-il passé ainsi ? Une brève incursion dans les méandres obscurs d'une pensée raisonnant en catégories raciales explique bien de choses. En effet, le thème central, l'essence, la racine des relations entre les Européens et les Africains, la forme principale que ces rapports prennent à l'époque coloniale, c'est la différence de race, de couleur de peau. Toute relation, tout échange, tout conflit peut être traduit en termes « Blanc-Noir », le Blanc étant, bien sur, supérieur au Noir, meilleur, plus fort que lui. Le Blanc est un monsieur, un maître, un sahib, un bwana kubwa, un seigneur incontesté et un souverain […]

 

Or voilà que soudain les Africains, qui ont été enrôlés dans les armées britannique et française, voient que dans cette guerre à laquelle ils participent en Europe, le Blanc frappe le Blanc, que les Blancs se tirent dessus et se détruisent leurs villes mutuellement. C'est la révélation, la stupéfaction, le choc. Les soldats africains dans l'armée française voient que leur puissance coloniale, la France, est vaincue et battue. Les soldats africains dans l'armée britannique voient que la capitale de l'empire, Londres, est bombardée, ils voient que les Blancs sont pris de panique, que les Blancs fuient, supplient, pleurent. Ils  voient des Blancs déguenillés, affamés, mendiant du pain. Et au fur et à mesure qu'ils progressent vers l'est de l'Europe et qu'ils combattent, aux côtés de Blancs anglais, des Blancs allemands, ils tombent çà et là sur des colonnes de Blancs vêtus d'uniformes rayés, des hommes-squelettes, des hommes-lambeaux.

 

Le choc que subit l'Africain lorsque les images de la guerre des Blancs lui défilent sous les yeux est d'autant plus fort que les habitants de l'Afrique — à de rares exceptions près, et dans le cas du Congo belge sans exception aucune — n'étaient pas autorisés à aller en Europe ni même à sortir du continent. L'Africain ne pouvait juger de la vie des Blancs que d'après les conditions luxueuses dont ces derniers jouissaient dans les colonies.

 

Dernier point: au milieu du XXe siècle, I'habitant de I'Afrique n'est informé que par ce que lui raconte son voisin, le chef de son village ou l'administrateur colonial. Par conséquent, il ne connait du monde que ce qu'il voit dans son environnement proche ou entend lors de conversations le soir au coin du feu.

 

Nous allons bientôt retrouver tous ces combattants africains de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, de retour au pays, dans les rangs de divers mouvements et partis luttant pour l'indépendance. Ces organisations poussent comme des champignons après la pluie. Elles ont diverses orientations, poursuivent des objectifs différents.

 

 

Ryszard Kapuscinski

in Ébène Aventures africaines pp. 32-33

traduit du polonais par Véronique Patte

© Ryszard Kapuscinski,1998/Librairie Plon 2000

 

 

Imagem de soldado africano na Segunda Guerra Mundial:  aqui

 

 

 

link do postPor VF, às 10:49  comentar

30.6.10

 

 

 

 "TKM Lumumba Indépendance " Peinture de Tshibumba. Ca 1972.

 

 

 

My father and I have patched things up. He allowed me to accompany him to Leopoldville, where we got to see history in the making. We watched the Independence ceremonies from a giant rusty barge tied to the bank of the Congo River that was loaded with so many pushing, squirming people Mrs Underdown said we'd probably all go down like the Titanic. It was such an important event King Baudouin of Belgium, himself, was going to be there. It was childish, I know, but I got very excited when she told me that. I suppose I was picturing someone in a crown and an ermine-trimmed scarlet robe, like Old King Cole. But the white men sitting up on the stage were all dressed alike, in white uniforms with belts, swords, shoulder fringe, and white flat-topped military hats. Not a single crown to be seen. As they waited their turn to speak, dark sweat stains blossomed under the arms of their uniforms. And when it was all over I couldn't even tell you which one had been the King. […] After the King and the other white men spoke, they inaugurated Patrice Lumumba as the new Prime Minister, I could tell exactly which one he was. He was a thin, distinguished man who wore real eyeglasses and a small, pointed beard. When he stood up to speak, everyone's mouth shut. In the sudden quiet we could hear the great Congo River lapping up its banks. Even the birds seemed taken aback. Patrice Lumumba raised his left hand up and seemed to grow ten feet tall, right there and then. His eyes shone bright white with dark centers. His smile was a triangle, upcurved on the sides and reaching a point below, like his beard. I could see his face very clearly, even though we were far away.

'Ladies and gentlemen of the Congo' he said, 'who have fought for the independence won today, I salute you!'

The quiet crowd broke open with cheers and cheers. 'Je vous salue! Je vous salue encore!'

Patrice Lumumba asked us to keep this day, June 30, 1960, in our hearts forever and tell our children of its meaning. Everyone on the raft and the crowded banks would do what he said, I knew. Even me, if I ever get to have any children.

 

 

Barbara Kingsolver

in The Poisonwood Bible (Book II The Revelation – Leah) pp. 206-207

© Barbara Kingsolver, 1998

 

 

 

Aos leitores interessados recomendo vivamente este romance sobre a independência do Congo Belga e as três décadas que se lhe seguiram. A história é narrada a várias vozes, as da mulher e das filhas de Nathan Price, um baptista evangélico que leva a família para o interior do Congo Belga em 1959. A acção estende-se até à Angola dos anos 80. Um livro fascinante, que inclui extensa bibliografia sobre o tema. Em português: A Bíblia Envenenadaaqui.

 

Esta imagem e outras aqui


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28.6.10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Théoriquement, mais théoriquement seulement, le colonialisme règne en Afrique depuis la Conférence de Berlin (1883-1885) au cours de laquelle quelques États européens, essentiellement l'Angleterre et la France, mais aussi la Belgique, l'Allemagne et le Portugal, se sont partagé le continent tout entier, jusqu'à la libération de l'Afrique dans la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. En fait, la pénétration coloniale a commencé bien plus tôt, dès le XVe siècle, et elle n’a cessé de progresser au cours des cinq siècles suivants. La phase la plus honteuse et la plus brutale de cette conquête fut le commerce des esclaves africains, qui dura plus de trois cents ans. Trois cents ans de traques, de rafles, de poursuites et d'embuscades organisées par des Blancs, souvent avec la complicité d'Africains et d'Arabes. Entassés dans des cales de navires, des millions de jeunes Africains ont été déportés dans des conditions cauchemardesques au-delà de l'océan Atlantique afin d'y édifier, à la sueur de leur front, la richesse et le pouvoir du Nouveau Monde.

 

 

Ryszard Kapuscinski

in Ébène Aventures africaines pp. 31-32

traduit du polonais par Véronique Patte

©Ryszard Kapuscinski,1998/Librairie Plon 2000

 

Imagem encontrada aqui

 

 


25.6.10

 

 

 

 

 

Exposições patentes no Musée Royal de L'Afrique Centrale

aqui

 

 

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