Photo Series: 8 Doors of Namapa


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.

Blue Symmetry
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.

Old Bread


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…

Coca-Cola Red


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.

The Window


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.

Frelimo Proud


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.

Little Rise


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.

Dragão Negro


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!


2 thoughts on “Photo Series: 8 Doors of Namapa

  1. OGloverboy says:

    Still not sure how I feel about the whole coke thing… I mean great that they are transporting medications etc. but maybe they should just transport water and medication instead of soda and medication? And perhaps give much of that water out for free? I don’t know, I mean I know they are a company and all, but I think they could be better (well of course coke could be better). I also don’t know much about the water situation in Mozambique, so maybe it’s not so bad there. I just know that there are places that have all the coke in the world, and no water, so people drink coke, and well, it’s not great.



    • alekshybut says:

      I agree with you on a lot of your points. Coke is available all throughout the country, and people aren’t able to access clean drinking water (unless they purchase it). Also, soda is actually cheaper in the small shops than juice or milk, making the purchase much more easy for them. Right now, soda is seen as a luxury item. Families will buy a two-liter soda for a special meal to impress guests. Until the idea that soda is bad for health reaches the country, it’ll continue to be a profitable place for Coke to do business. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, but I’m not quite sure how and where and whether the people would want to adopt a healthier choice (as of right now). Thanks for the thoughts!


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