Mozambique Culture

Mozambique Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Mozambique

According to PAYHELPCENTER.COM, Mozambique is a country located in Africa. Daily newspaper distribution in Mozambique is very small (3 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). There are two state newspapers: Notícias (edition: about 35,000 copies), published in Maputo, and Diário de Mozambique (about 15,000 copies), published in Beira. Several publications are distributed via fax subscriptions.

State Radio Mozambique (founded 1975) broadcasts in three channels in Portuguese, English and local languages. There are also several private radio stations. State Televisão de Mozambique (TVM) has broadcasts in three major cities, while the private television station Rádio Televisão Klint (RTK) only broadcasts over Maputo. Advertising is available in both radio and TV. There are 44 radio and 5 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, during the colonial era, the Portuguese tried to eradicate traditional African culture, which they considered primitive. But beneath the surface, the African rites, music and dances lived on and when the liberation struggle took shape in the 1960s, this culture became visible again.

Several of Mozambique’s leading liberation fighters were poets. Artists, musicians and dancers gained a strong position within the Frelimo liberation movement.

After independence in 1975, the new Frelimo regime embraced Marxist-Leninism and placed the culture in the service of the one-party state. Even the long civil war in the 1980s and 1990s had a devastating impact on culture. Today, however, cultural diversity springs up again.

The country’s rich music life has during the course of history been influenced by influences from, among others, the Arab world and Indonesia. In northern Mozambique, violin and tambourine are played. The Makonde people in the northeast are known for their wind instrument lupembe. In the central parts of the country, xylophone, tumpiano and string and wind instruments are played. To the south is the musical arch, a simple stringed instrument that looks like a mix between bow, tump piano and guitar. The song and dance also vary between the different ethnic groups. The most typical music is perhaps marabenta, an intriguing style of music from the south that was silenced during the colonial era. Nowadays marabenta is heard everywhere in the larger cities.

Much of today’s popular music has its roots in other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, Angola, Portugal and Cape Verde. Brazil, in particular, has a great cultural influence: life in the Mozambican cities is influenced by film, TV series, fashion etc from there.

Mozambique’s best-known visual artist is Valante Ngwenya Malangatana (1936–2011), who often had the Portuguese exploitation of the country as a motif in his art. In the capital Maputo, the visitor can see many of his murals. At the largest, at Maputo Airport, Malangatana gives the impression of the revolution (see Modern History) on a 95 meter long wall.

The traditional masks and sculptures of the Makonde people, usually winding bodies of hardwood, are admired internationally.

Both paper shortages and low literacy have hampered book production. Nevertheless, Mozambique has had several prominent writers, including the national poet José Craveirinha (1922 – 2003) and Mia Couto (born 1955), both of whom have been translated into Swedish. The country also has a rich theater tradition.

Mass Media

The constitution guarantees freedom of press and expression and there is no censorship from the authorities. However, many media feel compelled to self-censor. In the early 2010s, the media climate in the country worsened with an increased number of cases of violence and threats against journalists.

Violations of senior officials or of slandering the prime minister or president are counted as security breaches and can result in fines and imprisonment for up to two years. In 2013, a lawsuit was filed against an academic and researcher, Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, for having criticized the president for posting on social media. Two journalists were also prosecuted since they published the post. In the summer of 2015, a journalist, Paulo Machava, was murdered who was involved in a campaign to support the defendants.

The country has few newspapers and small editions, which is partly due to the high illiteracy and that the newspapers are printed only in Portuguese. State-owned Notícias, which is published in Maputo, is the largest daily newspaper. The independent O País is the largest of four privately owned newspapers. The free magazine A Verdade is growing fast. There are also web-based news magazines. However, only a small proportion of the population has access to the internet.

There are significantly more Mozambicans listening to radio than reading newspapers. The state radio broadcasts in Portuguese, English and a number of local languages, both nationally and via local stations.

The broadcaster TVM TVM extends to the whole country. TVM also distributes two Portuguese channels in its network. In addition, there are a number of commercial local TV channels.


Percentage of the population using the internet

10 percent (2017)

Number of mobile subscriptions per 100 residents

48 (2018)



No success in the negotiations

The government and Renamo meet a couple of times but without results.


The government is negotiating with Renamo

The government agrees to meet and discuss Renamo’s demands.


Renamo’s leader sets the ultimatum

Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama gathers hundreds of men and restores a camp in the jungle near the site where Renamo had its headquarters during the civil war that ended in 1992. Dhlakama calls for “a new political order” and threatens to start a new war unless Frelimo succumbs to the demands. Renamo demands, among other things, changes to the election system, that Frelimo will share the income from the newly discovered mineral wealth in the country and that more of Renamo’s former soldiers be integrated into the army.


Mozambique and Portugal agree on proposals

The dispute between Mozambique and Portugal over the Cabora Bassa power plant is resolved. Portugal agrees to sell shares. This gives Mozambique full control over the plant from 2014.


Clashes in Nampula

A firefight erupts between police and Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama’s bodyguards who have been posted outside the party’s headquarters in the city of Nampula in the north for several months. At least two people are killed. Both sides accuse the other of initiating the shooting. The bodyguards are in Nampula awaiting orders from Dhlakama to launch government hostile protests.

Mozambique Culture

About the author