I’ve been digging around my old files from our time in Mozambique and couldn’t resist posting these photos and sharing this experience. I posted some of these photos in my very early blog posts while living in Mozambique…and deleted them in attempt to free up space on my blog! But I have since found a whole heap of unpublished photos which, to me, represent Mozambique perfectly. They’re not photos of idyllic beaches that stretch for as far as we can see, but rather of the everyday life of the Mozambican, in land! This story and the pictures remind me of what incredible survivors the Mozambicans are, of surviving and living through a war with very little, if no help.
2012, Central Mozambique on a sugar cane estate…
I found an illegal Fishing Gang on the estate today! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these women for 2 reasons. Firstly they are slightly rough and oozing with character and secondly, they have a great sense of humour. I spotted an old, hardy looking woman with the youthful group of girls. The captain of the club no doubt. Respectfully, I asked her for permission to take a photo of her. Like a spring chicken, she bounced forward, shrieking with pure delight and proceeded to shake her hips like she was auditioning for a place in one of Shakira’s dance crew!
Day after day, these girl gangs scour the canals of Mafambisse. From morning to noon, they are in the water on the hunt for food to feed their families or to sell in the market.
Fishing in the canals is illegal on the estate for a number of reasons. Mostly because in the past the locals started to net the canals which would in turn trap the weeds and prevent the irrigation water from flowing. Secondly there is a danger of them drowning and occasionally, crocodiles from the Pungwe river find their way into the canals. I also wonder how many of them contract bilharzia from these waters, especially when you think of how much time they spend in it. Nevertheless, I understand how they are simply trying to survive and to support their families – regardless of the dangers that may lurk in the waters….or of the Mafambisse motorbike security brigade coming our way!
The man with a bright yellow jacket came throttling down the dusty stretch of road in our direction.But before I knew it, I was standing alone on the banks of the canals – just me and my camera and the images of a gang that had disappeared!
“Give a a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Maimonides
Making a fish trap