Sambizanga lakes

Beyond the inner tarmac circle, this is what the roads of Luanda look like almost everywhere. As we left Sambizanga, a lady caught me taking this picture, and she roared with laughter and shouted to the man I was with: ‘Don’t let those tourists take shots of our lakes of Sambizanga!’ And then she laughed even more. They are lakes, and I feel deeply ashamed that when I first got here I said that people don’t need four by fours. They do. But the truth is, the people who have them – the rich and the foreign – don’t actually enter these areas that much. The people who need them are the poor and the local who live here and must cross the lakes every day.


This is a good business: giving piggy-backs across the lakes.


We sat in a bar around the corner from here and drank bottled Coke for 60 kwanza, a quarter the price of Belas Shopping. An old man muttered sweet somethings to himself and other men stared. Then we all got talking. I won’t tell you about what. That’s a secret and if you’re interested, wait for my book. I will tell you one thing though: the people who live in places like this are a whole lot more open and chatty than the wealthy.
‘What do we have to lose? We have nothing! What do we have to lose talking to you? Of course you can use my name. Say what you like. It’s time they were told the truth.’ I am feeling very humbled.

Advertisements