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Paulina Chiziane

Paulina Chiziane was born in Manjacaze, in the southern province of Gaza, in 1955, in a chope family. In her early childhood, she moved to Lourenço Marques to study in a catholic school, where she learned Portuguese. During the anti-colonial struggle carried out by FRELIMO, she joined a youth liberation group. After the independence, she worked in the Ministry of Health and in the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1985 she joined the Red Cross to help people during the post-independence conflicts that were affecting Mozambique. Chiziane’s career as a writer started in 1990 when she published the novel Balada de Amor ao Vento [Ballad of the Love to Wind]. Since then, she published four novels Ventos do Apocalipse [Winds of the Apocalypse] (1993), O Sétimo Juramento [The Seventh Oath] (2000), Niketche (2002), O Alegre Canto da Perdiz [The Partridge’s Joyful Song] (2008) and a book of short stories, As Andorinhas (The Swallows, 2008). In 2003, Niketche was awarded Prémio José Craveirinha in Mozambique.

 

 

The Nation by Paulina Chiziane:

"I don’t know, but sometimes I say that the nation doesn’t exist. It is still a seed, the embryo of something that will come one day. I think the nation, really… To be honest, I don’t really know what the nation is, but for me it doesn’t exist. The nation is a dream about something which has to be created still. I lived in the province of Zambézia for six years. When I was living in Zambézia I felt like a foreigner. I feel closer to the South African people in Cape Town than to the people in Zambézia. It is very distant. Everything is completely different: the language, the culture, the customs. I am travelling inside the country more and more, and I find huge differences. So, I think to myself: What is a country? What is my country? Unfortunately, those that can talk about the country, those that can write about the country, they’re all confined to this same space, and they all give the idea that the country is Maputo, this suburb, this park, this street. This country is much more than that. So, I am talking about the country, I am talking about the nation. If the country has all this diversity, what is the nation? And when will the idea of a nation appear?"

 

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