Inhambane, Terra de Boa Gente

Happy faces, silly action, Inhambane, Mozambique

Happy faces, silly action, Inhambane, Mozambique

Early Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama called Inhambane ‘the land of the good people’.  And he couldn’t be more accurate. Nestled in a large shallow bay, it has a rich cultural history. 

Cool kids from the neighbourhood, Inhambane, Mozambique

Cool kids from the neighbourhood, Inhambane, Mozambique

Early traders from India, Portugal, and Africa made this one of the earliest established ports along the eastern coast. Sadly, it was the main trading port for ivory and slaves from the mid 18th centuries onwards too.

Forgotten promenade, Inhambeae, Mozambique

Forgotten promenade, Inhambeae, Mozambique

Civil wars, the abolition of slavery and the economic shift further south left this charming town forgotten.

Imposing statue, Inhambane, Mozambique

Imposing statue, Inhambane, Mozambique

First thing I noticed was the exact same statue of Machel I saw in Maputo, not quite as big, but in a better location. I wonder how many more times I will see this exact statue in other towns.

Long jetty, Inhambane, Mozambique

Long Jetty, Inhambane, Mozambique

The long jetty is needed to reach the deeper channel of this very tidal bay. A ferry crosses the bay over to Maxixe, a shorter route than driving around the river mouth.

Anna’s golden shine, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna’s golden shine, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna, the friendly banana girl I met at Barra lighthouse, invited me to visit her family and friends at her home in Inhambane. We met at the airport and she guided me along the busy market road at the southern end of town to her humble home.

‘Chief’ Fermento, Inhambane, Mozambique

‘Chief’ Fermento, Inhambane, Mozambique

I met her husband and carpenter Fermento,

Maela enjoys the smoke, Inhambane, Mozambique

Maela enjoys the smoke, Inhambane, Mozambique

the neighbour, policeman Maela

Pastore Charles, Inhambane, Mozambique

Pastore Charles, Inhambane, Mozambique

and businessman (pastor) Charles welcomed me friendly and offered me a beer.

Teacher Joseffa, Inhambane, Mozambique

Teacher Joseffa, Inhambane, Mozambique

Teacher Joseffa joined us shortly after. I guess, both parties weren’t sure what to expect from the other at first, but that loosened up very quickly as we realized, that we have a lot in common. Beer helped to overcome communication boundaries. Mozambique Marabemta tunes sounded from the stereo, singing and dancing followed. It has the typical African beat, similar to Malagasy tunes. Just one of many similarities to the island state. It turned quickly into a happy social gathering with different neighbours dropping in and out. I felt comfortable and never once had been seen as a golden opportunity or been asked for money, but paid my share for a few trips to the bottle store for a refill.

Son and ‘bartender’ Manu, Inhambane, Mozambique

Son and ‘bartender’ Manu, Inhambane, Mozambique

Young son Manu carried out most trips, obrigado. Fermento offered me his bed to sleep in and asked me to stay an extra day. Losing sense of time and later direction, it was time for me to go to bed.  It was a sad sight next morning, everyone was rather ‘mbala’, hungover. 

Harsh tropical life, Inhambane, Mozambique

Harsh tropical life, Inhambane, Mozambique

After tea and deep fried dough balls (biscoita), Fermento, Maela, and Charles took me on a tour around town.

Walking the maze of Inhambane, Mozambique

Walking the maze of Inhambane, Mozambique

We walked the narrow palm tree-lined maze of tracks,

Sunday morning chores, Inhambeae, Mozambique

Sunday morning chores, Inhambane, Mozambique

passing friendly neighbours and friends. The questioning looks spoke a clear language.

Surprised beauties, Inhambane,Mozambique

Surprised beauties, Inhambane,Mozambique

A white man walking with black friends in our backyard of town??

Impala refill, Inhambane, Mozambique

Impala refill, Inhambane, Mozambique

The boys were thirsty again, it was way too early for me.

Good game of Sunday football, Inhambane, Mozambique

A good game of Sunday football, Inhambane, Mozambique

A few kids played the worlds most favourite sport, a game of football.

Substitute bench, Mozambique, Inhambane

Substitute bench, Mozambique, Inhambane

Substitutes watched how the game unfolded,

Football and beer, Inhambane, Mozambique

Football and beer, Inhambane, Mozambique

others were more interested in refills,

Not interested in football, Inhambane, Mozambique

Not interested in football, Inhambane, Mozambique

or other activities. 

Another neighbour joins Sunday session, Inhambane, Mozambique

Another neighbour joins Sunday session, Inhambane, Mozambique

The word spread quickly that I was in town as more and more friends dropped in for a visit.

Layla and Anna, Inhambane, Mozambique

Layla and Anna, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna and her friend Layla were busy chatting about cosmopolitan issues.

Blurry eyes, Inhambane, Mozambique

Blurry eyes, Inhambane, Mozambique

Lopes Jesus likes beer, reading novels and flags it appeared.

Mike from Tete, Inhambane, Mozambique

Mike from Tete, Inhambane, Mozambique

Mike from northern Mozambique was just happy drinking beer and watching the commotion. Another happy gathering unfolded with more chitty chatty conversations and African beat tunes, as beer glasses were refilled. Some spoke better English than others, but it was obvious that all wanted to ask me questions about my life. Most were dreaming to escape Mozambique’s poverty and visit other countries. Who wouldn’t?

Joyful, Inhambane, Mozambique

Joyful, Inhambane, Mozambique

We took a few photos in front of Zimba.

Charles was the entertainer, Inhambane, Mozambique

Charles was the entertainer, Inhambane, Mozambique

‘Pastore’ Charles, quiet and reserved most off the time, got the entertainment award.

Kids joint in as well, Inhambane, Mozambique

Kids joint in as well, Inhambane, Mozambique

Kids from the neighbourhood happily joined in, Zimba disappeared in a wave of people.

Good friends, Inhambane, Mozambique

Good friends, Inhambane, Mozambique

Just a really relaxed vibe.

Maela not looking flash, Inhambane, Mozambique

Maela not looking flash, Inhambane, Mozambique

Maela was miles away,

Layla posing, Inhambane, Mozambique

Layla posing, Inhambane, Mozambique

Layla was posing,

Layla posing, Inhambane, Mozambique

Eel preparation, Inhambane, Mozambique

On our way to the market, we stopped at a friends home, who just returned fishing, catching eels.

Anna checking produce, Fermento checking beer, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna checking produce, Fermento checking beer, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna haggled with market vendors about quality and quantity of locals produce, we’re having calamari for dinner tonight, Mozambique style.

Calamari vendors, Inhambane, Mozambique

Calamari vendors, Inhambane, Mozambique

Most vendors didn’t like the idea of having photos taken, shame really. But one has to respect their wishes.

Cute girls, Inhambane, Mozambique

Cute girls, Inhambane, Mozambique

However, more and more kids joined us on journey way home.

Neighbourhood, Inhambane, Mozambique

Neighbourhood, Inhambane, Mozambique

Policeman Maela was a great sport to entertain them often, which loosened their mind from uncertainty to being cheeky. Great to see.

Cute smile, Inhambane, Mozambique

Cute smile, Inhambane, Mozambique

Some cool kids.

Father and daughter, Inhambane, Mozambique

Father and daughter, Inhambane, Mozambique

His pretty daughter came over now and then, his wife chose to stay home, next door. Would have been nice for her join I thought but wasn’t meant to be.

Pretty girl, Inhambane, Mozambique

Pretty girl, Inhambane, Mozambique

Anna went straight on to prepare the calamari, which then was cooked in the dark with the help of ‘Luci’, my ever trusty solar lamp. Meanwhile, Mozambique tunes were still keeping Charles and Maela on their feet, whilst empty beer glasses were quickly refilled. The calamari and rice dish was well worth waiting for, quite delicious. By the time the last beer bottle was opened, most of us had more than enough.

The weekend was almost over, Anna will get up at 4 am again tomorrow morning, preparing her basket of goodies to sell in and around Barra. Who knows who she will meet at the lighthouse this time.?

Thank you Anna, Inhambane, Mozambique

Thank you Anna, Inhambane, Mozambique

It was a funtastic experience to meet and stay with the friendly people of Inhambane. Thank you to everyone who accepted me as who I am, and not for who I could be. Two different cultures, two different upbringings. One dream.

2 thoughts on “Inhambane, Terra de Boa Gente

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