Born in Catembe, Mozambique in 1926 Noémia de Sousa was a writer, poet and journalist, as well as the Mother of the Mozambican literary canon and the
‘founding mother of Moçambicanidade, the putative cultural nationalism of the 1950’s.’ (1)
She published her only collection of poetry Sangue Negro in 1990, although her writing was widely distributed through newspapers and literary journals during her lifetime. Her vibrant, stimulating poetry draws you into an intensely unsettling world of mistrust, injustice and oppression; her dynamic poetic voices rattling in protest against the banality of colonialism in Africa. Yet her poetry rings with examples of human strength, dignity and pride.
Noémia de Sousa died in 2002 in Cascais, Portugal and remains one of the most notable poets from Mozambique and one of the most popular and loved Lusophone African poets embodying a generation of courage and resistance.
1. Hilary Owen, Mother Africa, Father Marx: Women’s Writing of Mozambique, 1948-2002, Bucknell University Press (2007) pp. 43 – 56
2. Literatas, ‘Relançando ‘Sangue Negro’ de Noémia de Sousa’
3. Afreaka, ‘O Sangre Negro de Noémia de Sousa’
Read another translation of Noémia de Sousa on a more recent collaborative project, da terra.
Read more of my original work here. And do read the beautiful original poem by Noémia de Sousa below: