It is said that people are the power of the nation. I think it's safe to agree that they are the power, the identity, the voice of the nation. The Humans of New York profile is quite a popular feature and tells the story of a community and an individual in a few hundred words. Thanks to the internet and the initiative, we get to know the story of people across the world.
We recently found the Humans of Mozambique account and spent a good 2 hours going through every photo, here are some of our favourites.
"I went to school until 6th grade but abandoned it due to the 16-year civil war. I know how to read a few things and write my name. I’m a single woman with 4 children. My biggest dream is that they study and form themselves. There are a lot of children in the neighbourhood who are my friends, because I treat them differently. Instead of yelling at them, I tell them stories for them to understand how life is. Beating doesn’t help solve the problem of education."
"We call this Kwaito. We study during the week and dance during the weekend. We’re all neighbors. We learned from some older guys who gave up. So we bought cloth and had the clothes made. We train at the track and invent our moves. We’ve reached a point were we don’t fall anymore nor hurt ourselves.
When we want to dance in a place, we arrive and ask. We speak to the owner. If she accepts, we’ll dance. If she doesn’t accept, we’ll leave. The advice I can give to kids who spend their lives begging in the streets, I say they should study and if they want they should join us."
"When I started working in the garages I was a secretary. I left the office because there wasn’t any work, so I started watching the mechanics. I became a mechanic before becoming a painter. I already knew how to dismantle and assemble an engine by myself. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but I didn’t run away because I was learning. The day I stopped learning was the day I left to start my own business. And I’m not going to stop anytime soon, I’m going to keep moving forward until my death. It’s my everyday bread. I have a son in university and other children also studying because of this. I’m proud because I don’t depend on anyone’s cash, I make my own money. The majority want to be where I’m at now, but it's no joke being here, especially if you don’t have the capacity to learn. I didn’t go to school and I don’t have a diploma, I learned by myself. I know a lot and I know a little all at the same time. There isn’t any witchcraft involved. People say they go to the witchdoctor for clients, I say you need to know how to manage your business, that’s it! It’s the only medicine I have to offer."
"We’re all from the airport neighbourhood, it’s a neighbourhood of artists. We’ve known each other since childhood. Our mothers and fathers are painters, that’s how we learned. We’ve been making art for over 15 years now. An artist never stops dreaming. We dream that one day we’ll be able to go abroad and participate in exhibitions, give classes, like that our art will spread. The saddest part of our story is that many of our works are now in various countries but we the artists are stuck here. Our dream is to do some sort of exchange, where we get sent abroad and foreign artists get sent here. Maybe we can even do a piece together."
"I was born in Brazil, in Salvador. I’ve been in Maputo for 14 years. I’m a Capoeira instructor, personal trainer and tattoo artist. Capoeira isn’t Brazilian like many people think. It’s Afro-Brazilian. Brazil only took care of it before giving it back. Capoeira exists in everyone. Some masters say: Capoeira is for everyone, but not everyone is for Capoeira. In Capoeira you learn that life has its ups and downs, but you can never let yourself reach rock bottom. You can fall but you can’t end up touching the floor. So the importance in a gym isn’t in having a gym full of people. It’s about having people that fill the gym.
You know the movie Avatar? I like the part where he speaks of the empty cup ready to be filled with knowledge. So in life we’re the cups, we aren’t full, we can overflow and leave behind that which we don’t want."
“I learned how to paint women’s nails by fooling around. I bought a bottle, painted the little girls in my area and decided to start a business. I have a lot of success with the women since I started, because they’re my biggest clients. When I like a chick, I get to speak to her and leave her looking pretty. I keep her number and later call her. The customer relation ends there, you understand? But I can say and do a lot, but this rack of nail polish is my life. If someone stole it, I wouldn’t know what else to do.”
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