During the colonial era, the Portuguese tried
to eradicate traditional African culture, which they
considered primitive. But beneath the surface, the
African rites, music and dances lived on and when the
liberation struggle took shape in the 1960s, this
culture became visible again.
Several of Mozambique's leading liberation fighters
were poets. Artists, musicians and dancers gained a
strong position within the Frelimo liberation movement.
After independence in 1975, the new Frelimo regime
embraced Marxist-Leninism and placed the culture in the
service of the one-party state. Even the long civil war
in the 1980s and 1990s had a devastating impact on
culture. Today, however, cultural diversity springs up
Latest population statistics of Mozambique, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The country's rich music life has during the course
of history been influenced by influences from, among
others, the Arab world and Indonesia. In northern
Mozambique, violin and tambourine are played. The
Makonde people in the northeast are known for their wind
instrument lupembe. In the central parts of the country,
xylophone, tumpiano and string and wind instruments are
played. To the south is the musical arch, a simple
stringed instrument that looks like a mix between bow,
tump piano and guitar. The song and dance also vary
between the different ethnic groups. The most typical
music is perhaps marabenta, an intriguing style of music
from the south that was silenced during the colonial
era. Nowadays marabenta is heard everywhere in the
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Mozambique. Artists and albums are also included.
Much of today's popular music has its roots in other
Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, Angola,
Portugal and Cape Verde. Brazil, in particular, has a
great cultural influence: life in the Mozambican cities
is influenced by film, TV series, fashion etc from
Mozambique's best-known visual artist is Valante
Ngwenya Malangatana (1936–2011), who often had the
Portuguese exploitation of the country as a motif in his
art. In the capital Maputo, the visitor can see many of
his murals. At the largest, at Maputo Airport,
Malangatana gives the impression of the revolution (see
Modern History) on a 95 meter long wall.
The traditional masks and sculptures of the Makonde
people, usually winding bodies of hardwood, are admired
Both paper shortages and low literacy have hampered
book production. Nevertheless, Mozambique has had
several prominent writers, including the national poet
José Craveirinha (1922 - 2003) and Mia Couto (born
1955), both of whom have been translated into Swedish.
The country also has a rich theater tradition.
The constitution guarantees freedom of press
and expression and there is no censorship from the
authorities. However, many media feel compelled to
self-censor. In the early 2010s, the media climate in
the country worsened with an increased number of cases
of violence and threats against journalists.
Violations of senior officials or of slandering the
prime minister or president are counted as security
breaches and can result in fines and imprisonment for up
to two years. In 2013, a lawsuit was filed against an
academic and researcher, Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, for
having criticized the president for posting on social
media. Two journalists were also prosecuted since they
published the post. In the summer of 2015, a journalist,
Paulo Machava, was murdered who was involved in a
campaign to support the defendants.
The country has few newspapers and small editions,
which is partly due to the high illiteracy and that the
newspapers are printed only in Portuguese. State-owned
Notícias, which is published in Maputo, is the largest
daily newspaper. The independent O País is the largest
of four privately owned newspapers. The free magazine A
Verdade is growing fast. There are also web-based news
magazines. However, only a small proportion of the
population has access to the internet.
There are significantly more Mozambicans listening to
radio than reading newspapers. The state radio
broadcasts in Portuguese, English and a number of local
languages, both nationally and via local stations.
The broadcaster TVM TVM extends to the whole country.
TVM also distributes two Portuguese channels in its
network. In addition, there are a number of commercial
local TV channels.
FACTS - MASS MEDIA
Percentage of the population using the
10 percent (2017)
Number of mobile subscriptions per 100
No success in the negotiations
The government and Renamo meet a couple of times but without results.
The government is negotiating with Renamo
The government agrees to meet and discuss Renamo's demands.
Renamo's leader sets the ultimatum
Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama gathers hundreds of men and restores a camp in
the jungle near the site where Renamo had its headquarters during the civil war
that ended in 1992. Dhlakama calls for "a new political order" and threatens to
start a new war unless Frelimo succumbs to the demands. Renamo demands, among
other things, changes to the election system, that Frelimo will share the income
from the newly discovered mineral wealth in the country and that more of
Renamo's former soldiers be integrated into the army.
Mozambique and Portugal agree on proposals
The dispute between Mozambique and Portugal over the Cabora Bassa power plant
is resolved. Portugal agrees to sell shares. This gives Mozambique full control
over the plant from 2014.
Clashes in Nampula
A firefight erupts between police and Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama's
bodyguards who have been posted outside the party's headquarters in the city of
Nampula in the north for several months. At least two people are killed. Both
sides accuse the other of initiating the shooting. The bodyguards are in Nampula
awaiting orders from Dhlakama to launch government hostile protests.