Literature Archive > Angola > Boaventura Cardoso
Boaventura Cardoso

Boaventura Cardoso Silva, Angolan writer and politician, was born in Luanda on 26th of July 1944. As a child, he lived for a few years in Malanje, but soon moved to Luanda where he attended primary and secondary school. He studied Social Science in a school founded by the MPLA and later got a degree in this discipline from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. After independence, Cardoso actively participated in the formation of the MPLA government. He was Director of the National Institute of Book and Disk (INALD), Secretary of State for Culture, Minister of Information, Ambassador of Angola in France, Italy and Malta and representative of Angola to the United Nations (FAO, WFP and IFAD). In 2002, he was appointed Minister of Culture and held this position for eight years. Currently, he serves as Governor of the province of Malanje. In the field of arts, he began writing in 1967 and published several short stories and poems in newspapers and magazines in Luanda. His first book, Dizanga Dia Muenhu (1977) [Dizanga Muenhu Day], was published shortly after the Angolan independence. Cardoso is a founding member of the Union of Angolan Writers (UEA). His publications include: O Fogo da Fala (1980) [The Fire of Speech], A Morte do Velho Kipacaça (1987) [The Death of the Old Kipacaça], O Signo do Fogo (1992) [The Sign of Fire], Maio Mês de Maria (1997) [May Month of Mary], Mãe, Materno Mar (2001) [Mother, Maternal Ocean], and Noites de Vigília (2012) [Sleepless Nights]. His book Mãe, Materno Mar was awarded the National Prize of Culture and Art in 2001.


The Nation by Boaventura Cardoso:

"[Formation of the nation] is a process and continues to be one, never mind the fact that Angola has recently celebrated its thirty-fifth year of independence. This project of the Angolan nation mobilized nationalists in the struggle against colonial domination. As you know, it is intellectuals who are at the origin of the main liberation movements, especially the MPLA. So, it was a group of Angolan intellectuals who drafted the MPLA manifesto. I mention the MPLA as it is the party of the majority and the one that carried out a broad struggle mobilizing the people against colonial domination. Today writers continue to believe that they are writing about the nation. They continue to narrate the Angolan nation, even though it is now a completely different context. Angola has been at peace for the past nine years, but it has gone through the process of war, a dramatic armed conflict that left great fractures in Angolan society. Fortunately, we are now at peace and are in a phase of national reconstruction. To go back to the question of Angolan narrative, writers before independence had this great ideal which was the end of colonial domination and the struggle for independence. Today this is no longer the reason why these writers write. Those writers who write about an independent Angola today also reveal their concern, their worries, their angst. Because, there are those who think that the roads to ‘revolution’ are not being followed. What others express in literary terms is the hope for a better future."  

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