This is technically not a great photograph, as it was shot against the evening light, but I wanted to post it to show what ‘suburban’ Maputo – the capital of Mozambique – looks like, because the small number of other photographs of Maputo that have been posted to TrekEarth have all been taken around the downtown area or on the beach.
This is not a market, but a street of houses with people trying to make a living by selling produce, clothes, or anything else that people might buy right outside where they live. 70% of people in Mozambique live below the poverty line, 12% have HIV/AIDS, and many other infectious diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid fever are prevalent, so it’s a tough life for people living here. Whilst there are many beggars around, the majority of the population is quite industrious, and will make a few dollars a day to live on through these subsistence enterprises.
Over the past few days, I have seen areas much poorer than this, so I guess this is about what you could call the poverty line.
A brutal 16-year civil war between 1976 and 1992 turned Mozambique into one of the world's poorest countries. There are estimated to be still about two million unexploded land mines in Mozambique. Since democratic elections in 1994, the country has seen more stability but is heavily reliant on foreign aid.
Few tourists visit Mozambique. Most that do are from nearby Swaziland who come for the beach (which Swaziland doesn’t have). Foreign tourists are advised to stay in their hotels at night, as it is too dangerous to venture out, and during the day never carry valuables – including a camera, which sort of makes it hard to be a tourist!
Critiques | Translate
isabela_sor (47744) 2006-09-22 17:24
Almost a documentary and social picture, and your note is great..And believe me is a great shot too,David
This is life!
Greetings from Romania
ribeiroantonio (22637) 2006-09-22 18:37
As you said, your photo is not that good but it is worth for its journalistic value. However, what is really NOT worth is your note when you say “When Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, ***it was one of the world’s poorest countries***,…”. Being Portuguese myself and born in Angola, another Portuguese colony in Africa, I have to totally disagree with you. In 1975, Mozambique, Angola and South Africa were the three most developed countries of all Southern Africa, I would say of all African countries South of the Sahara. What came after the independence and still going on, it is another story.
Polonaise (5802) 2006-09-23 0:07
The photo has its incredible value as a document.
I wouldn't complain too much about quality as well.
Typical journalistic, well executed shot.
Classic banyanman - shall we say?
I'm afraid, both of you gentlemen suffer from inadequate sources of knowledge, IMHO.
The Mozambique sources are out of question and can only be taken as a source of further study and the experienced photojournalist like Peter should NEVER relay on them word by word.
No doubt much more reliable, yet...?
Portugal was one of the sides in the whole affair and one can only expect some 'undocumented" frills in their tales as well.
Where is the truth? Well...My guess is as good as yours, pals.
Little bit of common logic, some historical facts and voila...The Mozambique case is ready to take off (if anybody dares?).
Have a great WE
PJE (20758) 2006-09-23 0:15
I have to congratulate you for venturing out into a place like this with your camera. I am sure you may have felt a little worried about it getting stolen. Places like this need to be shown for the rest of the world to have compassion for the poor people of the world. Its such a serious thing to see how these people live. If we don't see it we tend to ignore those who live on so much less. Blessings on your for all your travel photos!
kensimage (8565) 2006-09-23 0:23
You got away with breaking the rules about not carrying a camera, obviously--did you have an armed guard, or what? It's a nice journalistic shot of a place most of us wouldn't dare enter, given the warnings that get issued. We see everyday life quite vividly here. Thanks for bringing it to us! Regards, Ken.
rbcy1974 (20758) 2006-09-23 12:33
You are right you do not have much to work with, but you have done your best with what youhad. The panoramic frame plus the perspective gibven by the road symbolizing a line are very good. Its good you incuded the guy with the banana.
colinbrenchley (6431) 2006-09-24 4:46
A difficult photo to take. You notes are telling of African countries that have ruined the tourist trade and thereby cut off much needed foreign earnings. Zimbabwe next door to Mozambique is fast going the same way from having a prosperous tourist industry photography wild life to no one visiting at all. It's a shame because I have visited Africa several time and find the whole continent extremely photogenic.
cunejo200 (7281) 2006-09-24 7:44
Well I'm glad you posted this. Quite appropriate for TE's mission. A very interesting daily life scene in Mozambique. What a sad situation the country is going through right now. Best wishes. Danilo
riclopes (35577) 2006-09-25 3:39
What an interesting post, David. Not only because of the documentary image, but also because of the note and the threads that it came out of it. I guess that António and many Portuguese of his generation, especially if they were born there, are quite sensitive about Mozambique and Angola history...
I have no complains about the quality of the image and like it quite a lot. It shows a diferent Maputo, from the other images on TE, with the life happening on the streets. I remember this kind of places in Kenya and I guess it's a typical scene of the black Africa countries. Well done with the guy eating the banana, while walking towards you. A dangerous place in a poor country, but I guess that you had a more satisfatory taxi fare, here ;)
Kenny10pin (19301) 2006-09-25 20:16
very ncie pic, the panoramic works really nicely here, very good daily life shot, well done
chaity (1539) 2006-09-29 6:11
Hi David, hat off for you to bring this photo to TE. With your photos, I managed to see and learn more about this world.
ccooper (840) 2006-10-15 11:58
I just finished reading "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux and he speaks of Maputo in this book. Thanks for putting a picture to go with my imagination and shedding light on their situation.
evaldivia_98 (262) 2006-11-06 2:31
Good photo David, it certainly does show the reality of most periurban areas of Maputo and Mozambique, but I have to disagree with you and the sense of insecurity that you may get from the photo and note. You find places like this in Maputo, just as you woould around any large cities in the developing world, or even in some great cities of the "first" world, but this does not mean that Maputo and Mozambique don't not have very nice and even wonderful places that any tourist might enjoy. I am currently working in Mozambique and living in Maputo, and I find that Maputo and Mozambique is a much safer place than what most people think and talk, I can walk with my camera almost anywhere and have no problems wondering at night, people are very nice and friendly, food is great, you have to take precautions as you would in any large city, the beaches are incredible specially in the northern areas and the turist industry is rapidly becoming an important part of the economy. Therefore, turists should not be discouraged to come to Mozambique, you will find it a great place to visit. As far as the independence war (1965 - 1975) and civil war (1975 - 1992) is concerned, you can certainly see that most of the country's infraestructure has been damaged or abandoned after 27 years of conflicts. This country has only found peace 14 years ago and it is just begining to get its act together.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-09-20
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/90 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2006-09-22 17:16
- Favorites: 1 [view]