Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Samora Machel: Collect them All

Água da Namaacha brand of bottled water currently has a campaign with various photos of Samora Machel, accompanied by quotes, appearing on their water bottles. Samora Machel was an independent Mozambique's first president, from 1975 to 1986. This would be kind of like Dasani putting George Washington's portrait on the side of their bottles, but also kind of like putting Bill Clinton's face, in a variety of expressions.

The quote on the bottle on the left:

Trabalhar sem estudar é andar às escuras...grandes são os riscos de nos enganarmos no caminho, de tropeçarmos e cairmos!

To work without studying is to walk in the dark...great are the risks of getting lost on the path, of tripping and falling!

The quote on the right:

Um responsável...que não ferve a água de beber, que continua a recorrer a curandeiros, conduz o povo a fazer o mesmo!

A responsible figure...who doesn't boil drinking water, that continues to run to the (traditional healer), drives the people to do the same!

I found the second quote to be very interesting and had some interesting discussions about it at work today. Part of the project I work on engages curandeiros (traditional healers) in the care of HIV positive patients - trying to get them to refer patients to the health facilities. But history becomes an obstacle: when Mozambique first achieved independence, it went through a modernization process and many traditional figures such as village chiefs, healers and herbalists were marginalized, considered vestiges of a primitive culture. Some curandeiros remember that time - the same era when the quote above was probably made, in the early 1980's - and resist integration into any government program. 

More Samora Machel bottles to come. I plan on collecting them all. 

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