Maputo: A rich culture is the best currency

Mail & Guardian | Mercedes Sayagues:


Infrastructure is abysmal in Maputo, toilets stink, events start late but the cultural scene is lively and diverse, writes Mercedes Sayagues. 

In August 2014, the United Nations ranked Mozambique 178th out of 187 countries in terms of human development.

A hot tropical city that sizzles with culture: Despite hardships and war, the arts have always thrived in Maputo. (Gianluigi Geurcia/AFP)

Here are other quick stats: 50 –life expectancy; 3 – the mean years of schooling; and 70 – the percentage of poor people.

Yet one wouldn’t fathom this grim reality from the rich cultural calendar that has recently seen Euphonic, Filipe Mukenga and Angelique Kidjo play at More Jazz Series, award-winning South African guitarist Guy Buttery perform in Maputo and a second cycle of Xiquitsi (the international festival of classical music) just wrapped. For its size – 2.5-million in greater Maputo – the city enjoys a lively cultural scene, more than similar capitals such as Lusaka, Lilongwe, Dar es Salaam and Windhoek…


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