Mozambique in Africa

posted on 6th of september, 2007

© Jca (Help)

I am the editor of a magazine in South Africa called Voyage of the Planet. No, this is not another travel mag. The publication features world issues and focuses specially on archaeology and culture.

Since I love writing, I try to publish an article in the magazine each issue and the search for a story often leads me to interesting places and offer memorable experiences. This photograph of the boys in Mozambique has a story too.

I traveled to Ponta Do Ouro in the south of Mozambique for scuba diving. It's a town situated on the east coast of Africa. You find an abundance of sea life and coral reefs in the seas of the area. The little town has no tar roads and quite densely populated by Portuguese speaking people. They are poor and illiteracy is a common phenomenon.

In between the diving I wandered around the town to experience the culture of the people. Arriving in the market place I quickly noticed that the people were all very aware of my presence and my every move was carefully observed... and... what really struck me was that every time I pointed the camera at a person or a group, they would quickly turn their backs on me.

This happened a number of times and then I understood... one lady in yet another group that I was trying to take a photo of suddenly shouted, as the group of five people almost simultaneously turned their backs on me as I was preparing to take a photo: "... money... money..."! Ha! They wanted me to pay before I could take pictures! Sure way to make money off the tourists!!

This photo of the boys is therefore quite appropriate to remind me of the 'shy models of Mozambique'... I mostly just saw the back of people's heads! I took this shot from the back on a jeep that I was riding on towards the border between South Africa and Mozambique. The roads wind between sand dunes which results in low speeds being maintained. Its a kind of a game for the kids to run after a vehicle and jump on it for a short ride and then jump off again, just to disappear in the bushes along the road.

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Photo credits: Johnathan Andrews.

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