The clash of worlds between the Mozambique before independence and the country after is visible through countless lenses, but none more striking than the architecture. The structural remains of colonial Portugal are still intact today, and, while slowly succumbing to the land’s erosive ways, they provide a colorful glimpse into another time and make for one gorgeous walk to work.
Today I’ve decided to take a walk through my community and capture only a small piece of this structural landscape, but also my favorite: the doors. Whether a freshly painted entryway to a local loja (store), or a locked and forgotten passage tucked away down an alley, the doors in Namapa, to this observer, are as unique and beautiful as the country itself. Each door has a story, and hopefully through these photos, the stories are brought more to life.
The above photo is the inspiration for this post. I pass this building each day on my way to Saul’s bar. The symmetry of the windows and the bright blue door always grab my eye. While taking the photo, a group of men on break for lunch are staring at me, wondering of what and why I am taking a photo.
This door belongs to a small building next to the building above. The writing above the door indicates it’s an old bread (pão) store, long-since shuttered. Bread is a staple item in Mozambique. No matter which province or town you find yourself in, fresh bread is available from padarias (bread stores) or from vendors on the street. Nothing quite reminds me of home here like soft bread and a cold Coca-Cola, which…
Ask anyone about the availability of this soda in the country, and they’re bound to respond with either despise for the company’s vast reach or a giant smile, because the soda is sold everywhere (read: everywhere). Organizations have even started partnering with the soda giant to distribute much needed medication in hard to reach areas of the country through the company’s delivery trucks.
Many doorways look like this as I walk through the community. The entryways open up into large, shared spaces for houses or apartments. They’re a mysterious window into the lives of the residents who live within its view.
During election season (and still) this building is used as the Frelimo headquarters for the community, hosting large political rallies, motorcycle brigades, and a constant supply of Frelimo swag. Frelimo has since won the election, but the remains of the campaign remain…
Lagoon Blue Green
When it comes to colors here, this does it for me. I pass this door on my way to the market, and the color reminds me of a lagoon in the province of Inhambane, where I celebrated the holidays with close friends. The Frelimo poster falling apart in the corner reminds me that my time here is quickly running out.
From the looks of it, this gate (or half a gate) stands tall; however, the gate is about to my chest and leads to a staircase for higher apartments.
Finally, a door that I pass on my way to the market. It’s one of my favorites because of the branding of one of Namapa’s local spray painting gangs, Black Dragon, and the touch of yellow. I am able to spot the group’s name on various buildings around the town, and each time I whisper it to myself and smile at the world in which I’ve found myself.
Questions? Contact me!