what Angolans (and some others) are saying about Angola

“Only Bielorussia, Turkmenistan and some other rather strange places manage to get victories of over 80%. Angola is now part of such a select group of countries. Nothing to be shocked about. Business continues as usual, just with a new suit lent by the international community, branded legitimacy.””

“And the winner is…  You see, it was predictable. The former rebels knew they would not make it. But it looks like they are now divided along ideological lines.  Well, the only positive thing is that the elections were not marred by violence – which is a big achievement.”

“Imagine knowing that you’re paying your taxes to a parliament in which over 80% of them belong to the MPLA! They’re not having more of my money.”

“Well I tried. I voted number three. I knew they’d win, we just didn’t know they’d do this well.”

“It’s ok, it’s ok. We’ll have elections again in four years’ time and we can get rid of them then.”

“How are you? Probably just as disappointed as the rest of us about the MPLA’s victory…”

and my favourite:

“I think vitória é certa is the wartime slogan that most readily comes to mind…”


P.S. You can see the preliminary EU observer report on the elections here, and the Angolan national electoral commission site – which provides very clear and easily accessible data on the results – is here.


8 thoughts on “what Angolans (and some others) are saying about Angola

  1. It probably goes without saying that I am sick to my very heart, and the whole ballot or bullet question must, again, be resolved in the same way as always…

    People disappeared from Luanda and Cabinda both, from what I hear.

    Today, I taught my classes and we listened to the Independance Cha Cha and I nearly cried. When will those dreams again have the power to move into the light? When will we stop whispering?

  2. I would just like to thank you for you essays. I am taking a African History class and my professor recommended this site to learn more about Angola and the so-called elections. I was extremely interested in the quotes in this particular essay. Once again thank you for doing this and I hope you keep writing!

  3. Thank you Amber for your kind comment. But please remember, I am just one voice and I am not Angolan. If you are writing about Angola, please try to speak to Angolans. And go to the blog by my colleague and friend Wilso Dada which I have listed on the right. It’s called morro da maianga. He is a wise bird and if anyone can give balanced and accurate analysis on Angola, it is he. I am but a mere beginner, trying to wade through the fog and make sense of many different voices. But thank you for your support. We must all work together.

  4. Thanks for responding so kindly to my student. I was happy to direct her here for some English-language writings. We are, of course, discussing all of this in class…

    You know that I despair of the possibility of any change from within the system (as much as Obama gives me hope…but I fear we will be betrayed by him in the end, too). I cannot think of a single time in history where elections have actually changed anything meaningful. And, really, to think of it, it would be more surprising if they had/did. Would the MPLA ever allow for the possibility of its own demise? Not in a million years. Change does not come from above, and the above will not allow for the kind of mobilization from below manifest electorally.

    So, yes, I do believe that actual revolution is the only way we will see change. And yes, that’s easy for me to say…Though I did grow up in a war zone, it was not an Angolan war zone, I know. I know why people are tired and I know why people are scared. But peace and justice are again at odds, and one has been bought at the all-too-dear expense of the others.

    Don’t know if that is clear, but look forward to reading more from you.

  5. Amber, I missed out an ‘n’! It’s Wilson Dadà. If you don’t read Portuguese, do not despair: I am hoping that soon his blog will be on Global Voices and will be translated into English (and many other languages).

    Jess, I’m not as optimistic as you about Obama. Not at all. He’s made his mark quite clear with his statements on Israel. In many ways, this sums him up for me. Of course he’s better than McCain – that goes without saying – and I hope he gets to power, but I am under no illusion that Obama is going to do anything wonderful. I am sure he won’t. I don’t think anything will change of any significance, apart from one thing IF he gets from power. I don’t think you will like this, but I’m going to say it. If he gets to power, I believe one good thing will happen: a few more people on this planet will realise that there is really no difference between humans of different skin shades. And that – for me – is progress. They will realise this because he won’t be more of an angel, he won’t try to ‘help’ Africa or people of darker skin any more than, say, Clinton did. He will put US foreign policy first, and US power first. There will be no revolution. And that will perhaps help some people to start to think about equality in a more meaningful way. But it will be by default, not by design.

    And I agree about Angola in some ways. No, I don’t think there should be armed revolution because it’s been tried and tested and shown to have failed dismally and to have brought much misery. However, I do believe that the only people who can help Angola are Angolans. No outside benevolence from foreign popstars or politicians will help Angola. IT has to come from within. And Angolans have to be the ones to realise that if they vote for the MPLA they get the MPLA, until – as one friend put it – the Second Coming.
    But there is much more about this too… of which I am trying to write about now!
    A luta, com certeza, continúa!

  6. The thing about Obama that it may be difficult to gauge from outside — the thing that gives me actual hope — is the massive mobilization of tons and tons and TONS of people, many of whom have never participated actively in politics, behind his campaign. To me, it’s less about Obama as an individual and more about what this means to so many folks who haven’t had a candidate EVER talk to and respect us and our experiences as legitimate. I agree with you on his Israel stuff — I cringe every time he talks about it — and lord knows he’s done a bit too much shuffling for my taste (see: Jeremiah Wright). But my faith is in the people that I HOPE will hold him accountable, not in him as an individual.

    And yes, as predicted, I could not possibly care any less about Obama as some sort of symbol of racial progress. I don’t care about winning hearts and minds, and I think that is an ultimately futile campaign to begin with. There’s always been a few “respectable” folks let through the weighty doors of white supremacist policies in order to feed the illusion of meritocracy. It hasn’t changed much for the rest of us.

    A luta continua, com certeza, e a miseria continua tambem. Fanon warned us about the dangers of failing to expropriate the middle class who came to being by accommodating the colonial state, and he was all too correct. Who was fighting in the revolution and who benefitted — very little overlap. You know my thoughts on this, though, and I can’t see any way to electoral change. Folks know what the consequences of voting in the MPLA are, but that doesn’t mean that the ballot gives any viable means of making different choices.

    On a slightly different note, have you checked what MEND is up to in the Niger Delta? They’ve started coming after the deepwater platforms, which presents a whole new kind of hope for folks in Angola, I think.

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