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Lives of Women: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina

Lives of Women (Rosalina Malungana)


22 October 1995, Facazisse

H: So you came to love Agosto, when he was your husband?
R: Eeh!! Eee! He too really loved me, very much! When I was with him, I was eighteen years old. He was about twenty-nine or thirty, mmm. Eh! But he was really my friend. Eee! He was so quiet, indeed he was a little like your husband. . . . And he was really a friend of my family, the family of my mother. Shee! He really loved my mother, and my brother, that Bernardo. . . . And truly, he loved my family, because sometimes he even went to the home of Patapata. Mmm. To visit him. . . . And sometimes he fetched my mother's sisters, to visit us in Chibuto. Especially on Sundays, when he wasn't working.
H: So your family accepted him?
R: Hee! Eee! Oh! They really loved him! Eee!! Even, he was a mukon'wana [son-in-law], for my mother. Mmm. And to Patapata, he said kokwana, because I too called Patapata kokwana. Because he was the brother of my mother. Eh! Sometimes my uncle killed, maybe a reedbuck, maybe a duiker, took a wagon, to go put it in the road. When [Agosto] came from Xinavane, going to pick up migrant workers, he met the brother of my mother, there with that duiker, or reedbuck. For him to give me, to make sauce, to eat meat at home. . . . Eh! That Masukesuke, and his father [Patapata], sometimes left Mazimhlopes to come visit me, in Chibuto. It was [Agosto] who took them in his truck when he came from Xinavane, when they want to visit me. Mmm. They ate, they drank wine—[laughs] how they liked him! Mmm. . . . I was also a very good friend of his brothers. He had brothers, Armándio, Guilhermo, Ilídio. They came here, to work here in Africa. They were good friends of mine. They were family, truly.

28 January 1996, Facazisse

H: Did you farm, or do other work, while you were living with Agosto?
R: Me, I don't like to sit, 'eee,' with my arms crossed! Eee! No way. Long ago, I still remember—maybe I already told you, one day here. I was with my husband Agosto. I had everything. But there was a day, my mother, when she comes to visit me—sometimes she came in the truck to visit us, in Mohamu [Chibuto]. And then one day mamana says, "Ah! Eh, Buxeni." "Mama?" "Eh! You're just sitting there, 'eee'!" I was sitting here, Agosto was there. I don't know what he was doing, he was writing something. "Eh! Heh, Goxita!" Because well we, we say "Goxita"! [laughs] Eh, Agosto! Because she couldn't pronounce it well! "Heh, Goxita!" "Mama?" "Eh! Your wife, she's just sitting there, 'eee'!" He says, "Eeh. But what do you want her to be doing?" "Hoh! She doesn't cultivate?" "Eh, cultivate? Cultivate for what? Oh! She has everything at home, everything is there. Cultivate for what? She cultivated at your house, not in mine!" . . . "Hmm." My mother. "Swifake [fresh green maize ears], 1 where does she find it? Doesn't she eat corn anymore, now that she's been married by a mulungu?" "Oh! She eats it. They'll give it to her. Many people come [to my shop], they'll give her swifake." "Eh, eh, eh, eh! Do you hear that?" She says to me. "You, one day, they'll come indeed, they'll bewitch you! They'll come with swifake, wife of a mulungu, they'll bewitch you, with that swifake! Pick up your hoe, cultivate yourself!" He says, "Ah! Me, I don't want that, I don't want it."

Well, the sun rises, Agosto takes his truck, he goes to Xinavane, to pick up migrant workers. . . . [My mother], she stays, she says, "Eh, Buxeni." I say, "Mama?" She says, "Your husband went to Xinavane, out there, far away. Here, there's a place you can sow, over on that field—," because there were fields . . . [belonging to] Muslims there. There was one man called Ismael, who had two wives. Even, one of them was a cousin [Port. prima], because my mother and the mother of that girl had the same xivongo, Tivane. So she was considered my cousin, my sister [Sh. makwavo], that Joana. She was in the company of that Ismael, with the other wife, Rosana. . . . They didn't live at that place, they were already in Javanyani, at the shop, their husband opened a shop there. And then [my mother] says, "Since they're in Javanyani, you can take this hoe, he's not here, he went to Xinavane. You stay and cultivate. He won't know that you're cultivating here. Buxeni! Cultivate, my child, all right? Don't tell him anything!"

Well. When he goes to Xinavane, Agosto, I take that hoe, I go to the fields.

H: You did!
R: Eeh! To the fields. I hoe, I hoe, I hoe, I hoe, I say, "Eh! The time! It's time to go home." We'll find him around five o'clock, when he comes back. Or three o'clock, he comes back with migrant workers. . . . And then, the rain falls. He didn't know! He thinks that it's Joana and Rosana who are cultivating there. But it was I who did it. It rained, I sow corn. I sow beans. I sow millet. I go, "tshwee!" [i.e. work very fast] I told the women there, "You can't say anything, that I'm doing this!" Well, [the crops] are already coming out. Ah! He sees it, but he doesn't worry about it, it's the field of Rosana and Joana. Well, another day, he sees me take the basket, I'm going to the field. The beans were already like this [R indicates size]. Well, he begins to see, "Eh! Heh, you!" Because he spoke Shangaan very well! "Heh, you!" I say, "What?" "Eh! You're stealing from people!" "Oh! I'm stealing from people?" "Eeh. I'll tell Ismael, truly. What are you doing there?" I say, "I'm harvesting beans." "Oh! Beans, of Rosana and Joana? You'll be in trouble, you!"

I say, "Eh, they're my beans." "Heh? What do you mean?" I say, "They're mine, those beans. And that's my corn." "Ah, you're lying." "Truly! They're all mine, I sowed it all, it's all coming out, it's mine." "Ah! So what your mother said, you did?" I say, "Oh, you were taking your truck to Xinavane. And me, I come here." He says, "Eee! Mmm. That woman, she has qondo [common sense, knowledge]! Eh! So your mother has qondo, much more than you!" I say, well I reject [what he says]. "My mother has sense, mm, more than I have. But you didn't let me [cultivate]! Now, am I not here cooking beans, sowing things that I like? One of these days I'll be eating swifake. Mmm. My mother wouldn't leave me alone. Now I've already cultivated, I sowed corn, I sowed beans, I sowed millet."

He was so happy, truly, when he saw what I did in the field! Heh! When my mother comes, "Eh, mamana! Truly, you have good sense! Even more than that wife of mine!" I say, "She has sense, but didn't you refuse me? You say your wife doesn't have sense?" Well, my mother, she says, "Ah, you're happy, aren't you?" He says, "Eee, I'm happy! Because she's my wife, she cultivates well." She says, "Mmm. That's what I want." You, sometimes you'll want peanuts. Your wife will harvest peanuts for you, she'll cook them, you'll sit and eat. Isn't that nice? That's it. This one. I didn't let her be lazy, this one! I began to beat her, when she was a little child! When she didn't cultivate well, I beat her! She gets used to cultivating—this one, she really knows that hoe! That's her fortune. When I die, she'll stay with her hoe, it will help her."


10 May 1995, Facazisse

R: I, and Agosto, we weren't married, we didn't manage to marry. We just lived. I got pregnant three times, I had three children, they all died. They were all boys. . . . They died just when they were born, when they were being born. They died outside [of my womb]. That is, two, one was aborted, at six months. He was a boy. And the other, he was being born, mmm, he died. The other too, he came out, then he too died. From here I went to get injections, that traditional medicine, that washes you [inside], but ah! It's a person's luck. To have children, is luck, because God wants to give them. Mmm. . . . Agosto, he had this illness, asthma. He was already about thirty-five years old when he got it, he didn't have it when he was small. But since he was a driver . . . and he smoked many cigars, it attacked his chest, that was it. It didn't last very long—he went to the hospital, he died. He was very young. He was very young. Mmm. . . . Indeed, when he died, his brothers went around looking for me, to give me something. Mmm. That Armándio, and Ilídio. . . . Even, that one said, "Ah, me, I want to cleanse the tindzhaka, of my brother." That Ilídio! [laughs] "Eh, you, you cleanse tindzhaka, no! Stay there with your wife. I too will find another man, if I want." And he said, "Ah! I'll be jealous, very jealous! When I see you with another man, knowing that you were the wife of our brother. He died, but you can stay with us!" I said, "Ah, mm-mm. If I can, I'll find work."

22 October 1995, Facazisse

R: And later, I found work. That [job] I told you about, that I had in Chibuto.
H: As a midwife, at the hospital.
R: Mmm. And the one who found me that job, was a doctor, Marcelo Branchi [?]. 2 The doctor there, in Caniçado. . . . He took my name, that is, there was a nurse, called Damião, who said, "Look, here are girls who were in the Internato. But that one I know, her husband died." And he took my name to the Central Hospital [in Lourenço Marques], for me to learn to be a midwife. . . . Then that Dr. Branchi, when he spoke with Damião, the nurse, "Look, we can talk with Rosalina. To see if she wants to learn a little about being a midwife. . . . Let's call her to see if she'll accept." And they called me. I went to the hospital. That nurse Damião, when he saw me, he went and told the doctor. "Ah, she's arrived, Rosalina's here." Then [the doctor] said, "Look, Rosalina. We want to talk to you. Maybe you'll accept. Since you, you have no one to help you, your husband died. You're here at home with your parents, that is, your mother. Can you accept to come and work here in the hospital?" I said, "Eee! It would be a great pleasure for me. Me, find work with the state! Eeh! I know that I'm, I'll be very well, in my life. I accept." "Well, all right."

He wrote, "Rosalina Jorge Malungana, born in Guijá-Caniçado." They sent it to the Central Hospital, there. And a note came [back], "That Rosalina Jorge Malungana, who you're asking to come and take a course here, to be a midwife—she'll go to Xai Xai. Because here it's full. Now in Xai Xai, there's still no one. There are only two midwives, who are Laura and Emília. There, she'll be very well. . . . " Well. Then, that Dr. Branchi, he telephoned Xai Xai. He asked—there, there was a Dr. Demoranjo [?], in that hospital. And Laura, and Pereira, who is a nurse, and dona [mistress] Emília. Laura, she's the wife of Pereira, Emília doesn't have a husband. Her husband was in Portugal, but she was in Xai Xai, working. . . . [Dr. Branchi] telephoned there, to see if they had a place for me there, to go and learn. And then that Demoranjo said, "Ah, yes, here there's no one, she can come here. . . . " Then they called me, they said, "Look, there's a place for you. Pack your clothes, and then we'll give you papers for the journey." And he took my bilhete [identity document], he went to the hospital, . . . and then he went to the administration, to see the administrator, who was a white man. Not like now, when there are black administrators. . . . And there, I too went there to [get] his signature, and a stamp.

On the following day, a bus came from the train station. The driver was Alfredo, I knew him. I got in, I went to sleep in the Chibuto hospital. The Chibuto doctor, he was Albino Castanheira. Mmm. They gave me a bed, they gave me blankets and sheets, and I went to sleep. Then, on the following day, I caught the truck, for Xai Xai. And I arrived there, I delivered all my documents. They gave me a room, and they gave me teacups, they gave me plates, pots. . . . "Look, your house, it's here." It was the Sixth Infirmary. I slept there. But, the following day, as it was a big house, an infirmary for the parturients, for pregnant women, I asked to take my bed so I could sleep there where there were pregnant women, so I could talk with them, and play with them. [The doctor] said, "Ah, all right. . . . " There, I began to learn very fast. It was only one year, only. Twelve months. Then, they gave me an exam. Dr. Castanheira, Emília, and Laura were there. They gave me a pregnant woman, who had pains, to give birth. I did the job alone, while they were standing there, seeing what I was doing. Mmm. . . . [R describes each step of delivering the baby, bathing it, giving it to the mother] Well. I had done everything. Then, they telephoned to Guijá. "Look, Rosalina has passed. Because she already knows how do to everything. . . . " And then, they gave me all the papers, I went to sleep in Xai Xai. From Xai Xai I went to Guijá . . . and from there to Chibuto. Now, in Chibuto there was a big hospital. And there, many women came! Eee! How I worked, alone! Mmm. Even, they even sent a midwive called Sara, Sara Carvalho, a mista. . . . They asked her to come and help me. And then I stayed there, mmm, five years and six months. . . .


19 November 1995, Facazisse

R: There in your country, do you have tin'anga? Because in Portugal, they have them. And there they say they're "bruxas" [witches]. It's only, divining bones [tinhlolo], I don't know. What I know is that there is—because there's a little book, "Napoleon Bonaparte," it's written "Napoleon Bonaparte." And it has everything written inside. . . . It's like this, with [dice], that are put in, in a little thing with a lid. And then when you want to divine, you do this: "Will I have luck?" You do this [R demonstrates shaking dice out]. They come out. And then, "Will I have luck?"— if you want to ask about luck, or you want to ask about a journey, if you'll . . . have a good journey, or not. . . . Then, when it's odd—if it's 7, it's odd. If it's 8, it's even. Odd or even. . . . [R explains that there are eight dice, two each numbered one through four; and that even totals are lucky, odd unlucky] Then when you've consulted two, three times, you have to open [the book]. . . . And then you find there what you're asking. Mmm. It's written in a book, that book with the name "Napoleon Bonaparte." There, at the [Chibuto] hospital, there was a nurse who had that book. Mmm. . . . But it has everything there, if you want to consult about a journey, or for luck, or will I have a good husband or not . . . a question that you want to ask, you'll find it there.
H: Who used this book at the hospital?
R: It was Manuel Sigava. Eeh. He died. He was a nurse, and he bought it. He found it in Lourenço Marques. But that little book was made in Portugal. The owner who made it, his name, it's Napoleon Bonaparte. . . . I said, "Eh! Manuel, so you have that book?" He said, "Yes, I have it." . . . Sometimes, if I wanted to know my life, if it will go better or if it won't go badly, sometimes I went there, to consult. Since his wife, she was the cunhada [sister-in-law] of my cousin, she was my sister-in-law. 3 . . . I consulted to know, if I'll have luck or I won't have luck in my life. How my life is, I don't know. If I'll die in disgrace, or not. . . . As a game, I went to consult. And sometimes they came out well! [laughs] Because there was one day that I consulted this way. As a game, I went there to visit, I said, "Eh, Manuel, give me that Napoleon Bonaparte." And he said, "Eh! You! What do you want to know?" "Ah, let me, give it to me, I want to know something." Then he gave it to me. . . . Then, I did this. "Will I be happy in my life, or unhappy? Will I be happy in my life, or unhappy? Will I be happy in my life, or unhappy?"

Three times. And then I did this—[R mimics shaking dice out], those tinhlolo came out. I found even. Even, not odd. And there in the book, it was written. "You won't be rich, or poor. You'll stay in the middle." I don't forget that, those words! "You won't be rich, in your life, but you'll stay in the middle." Then I said, "Manuel! Manuel!" He said, "Eh! But you're annoying, truly! What is it?" I say, "Come here! Do you see in your book, what it's telling me? . . . " And he said, "Well then! It means, you won't be poor, you won't be wearing a sack! You won't be rich, you won't buy a car, or an airplane. But always, you'll eat and you'll dress yourself." And it's true. I had, [what I needed] to eat and to dress myself, what I wanted. Mmm. I had everything at home. Eeh. That wasn't poverty. And here I am, eighty-one years old! I didn't suffer much. I was happy. . . .

And there, when I was working in Chibuto, there I had a lover [Port. amante]. That lover, he was married in Portugal. With children. He was the chief of Public Works, named António Campo Amorim. He was already a man of, of age. Mmm. And he was, it was I who arranged—well. He was running after me, but, since I also needed a man—mmm. I arranged him. . . .

H: How did you meet him, in the first place?
R: Amorim, he saw me when I went to spend the holidays at home. In Guijá. Where my family was—that is, my mother, and my sister-in-law, and the other one also, that second wife of my brother. . . . Amorim, he saw me in town, at the house of my friends. When I went there to visit Saquina. Because my house, it was a little outside of town. Where my mother lived, it was Nsongeni. 4 . . . Saquina, she was a Muslim, she was a mista. Her mother was African, but her father was Indian. Her surname, I never knew, well, those names of India. But the surname that the women gave her, they said that she was N'waKuoma, for being thin. Her mother was Muhlotini, of the Khosa clan. I met that family because Dane, he always sent our clothing there—because her father was a tailor. . . . Amorim saw me when I was going around there, to the shops to buy things. Eeh. And that Amorim, he already knew Saquina, and Isaura. Isaura is a girl from Inhambane, she was a friend of Saquina. Her husband was white, they came from Inhambane, he was transferred from Inhambane to come work in Caniçado, that white man. . . . And Saquina, she was in the company of a Muslim, a misto. Then, when [Amorim] saw me with them, he began to ask, "Who is that girl?" And they said, "Eh, she's a midwife from Chibuto." "And her husband?" They said, "Ah, we don't know if she has a husband there in Chibuto, but here no. . . . She came to visit. She's there in Nsongeni, with her family." Eeh. And then he said, "Ah, but I would like to talk with her, because that girl, to me, she seems good." And then, Saquina said, "All right. I'll go talk with her. If she accepts, I'll tell you." And then she came to tell me, "Eh-heh! Rosalina, you have a lot of luck! That great person wants you."
H: "Great person"?
R: Eeh! Great, because he was chief of Public Works. Mmm. "He said that he wants to talk with you." "Talk with me? Yee! I came here to visit you, I didn't come here to arrange a man." Then she began to convince me, "Eee, Rosalina, you have luck! That man likes you. He said he would treat you well, you can be well with him." And she began to convince me! "Eh, this is great luck that you have, because that man, everyone says that he's a good person. . . . " "Eh! All right. I can't give an answer now. . . . " Then, I went home. And he went to Saquina's house to ask her, if she had already said something to me. They said, "Yes, we did, but she said that she didn't come here for men. She came to spend Christmas with her family." "Ah, all right, you go there, you talk very well with her, I'll give you a good saguate." A good saguate—he'll give them money, for talking to me. . . .

Then, Saquina and Isaura, there was one day, it was Sunday. I'd already come out of church. I was at home, talking with my mother. Then my sister-in-law said, "Eh! Valungu are coming." "Valungu are coming? Hah!" It was Saquina and Isaura. [laughs] Hah! Eh-heh! Because I had already told my sister-in-law something about it. "Heh! Welcome, welcome!" "Eh, thank you, thank you." "Heh! You've come from Caniçado, why?" She says, "Ah, we've come to visit you!" . . . Then we gave them a sangu [reed mat]. My mother said, "Ah, you have to kill a chicken, and cook vuswa for them, because we don't have rice. . . . " They kill a chicken. We cook for them. They eat. We give them tea. They drink. Well, she begins, Saquina. She said, "Heh! Rosalina. We didn't come today to visit you. We were sent by that Amorim. To know the truth, why you won't accept him. Don't give up that man, because that man is an important person, he's not a little boy, who has no good sense! That man is already old, with sense!" . . . "Ah, he'll treat you well, he'll treat your mother, your family well! [Better him] than a young boy who has no sense, who has a head [that], you know, doesn't work well!" . . .

They began to talk this way, my mother was there, sitting. And my sister-in-law was there, and that one also, that Zilda, she was sitting there too. And then my mother said this. "Eeh! Did you come to visit your friend, or did you come to court her for the men? I thought that you came to visit your friend, like she too goes to visit you. Get out!" Eeh! They're afraid, you know? "You came for that?!" [laughs] And Saquina, she was a friend of my mother. Heh! "You leave that Rosalina—she wants someone with sense, that one, he has no sense!" They say, "Ah, this one, he has a lot of sense! Eeh." And my mother, she began to say, "Ah, he-he-he-he! I don't know about Rosalina, if she wants to rest from working. Well. That—no. That's up to you. I'm saying this because she could arrange a man who won't treat her well. There, in her work, she's very well there. . . . I would like her to stay with her work, there, if she wants to dress herself, she has money, if she wants to eat, she has money, she has everything. Now, to arrange a man who has no sense, ah! I don't want it. [Better] she stays there at work. Mmm. The doctors, the nurses, whoever, the other midwives, they treat her well." . . . Well, it's the time when they're taking leave, to go home. Mmm. "Eh, we're going home, we're going home . . . thank you, thank you!" "Eh, greet them at home, greet them at home!" Because the mother of Saquina, and my mother, they were friends. Eeh. My mother got very sick, very very sick. When she went [to go to the hospital], there in Caniçado, she didn't stay in the hospital. Saquina's mother said, "No, your mother won't go to the hospital. Because I'm seeing that the illness she has, it needs traditional medicine. 5 . . . And from then, they were very good friends! Mmm. My mother always used to go to visit her. . . .

Well, my mother said, "Eh!"—she was playing, you know? But she wasn't angry. Mmm. . . . "Even I, here, I'm not going hungry . . . because sometimes Rosalina comes here, she gives me everything, when she has it. She has money, I don't lack anything in my house. She already had a good husband, my mukon'wana—a good, good, good man. God took him, now she's going to arrange another, who has no sense? . . . " Then, when I went to accompany them, I said, "Look. I'll come. But I want to talk, very well, with that man. Since you know that he's a good man. . . . I'm seeing that he's already a man of some age. But it could be that he doesn't have sense." [Saquina] said, "No, we know, that that man—everyone says, "good mulungu, good mulungu, good mulungu." "Eh, I'll come."

Then, I found a good day, it was a Saturday. I said, "Eh, mamana, I'm going to visit Saquina." "Ah, all right, go ahead. I can't say no, because you're used to living in town. Chibuto is a town, here it's the bush. . . . " Well, I said to my sister-in-law and to Zilda, "Eh, I'm going. I'm going to arrange a mukon'wana for you!" I said it, playing, to Zilda and Albertina. Eeh. . . . Then, I went to Caniçado. And at night, when he left work, he came to talk to me. He already knew that I had arrived, here at the home of Saquina. Because they sent a little boy, to tell him at work. . . . And then when he arrived there, they said, "She's here, Rosalina. You must speak the truth. Because she could leave her work, while you won't treat her well. . . . " Then he said, "All right. I, Rosalina, I couldn't call you, to talk to you, [if I were just] making fun of you. No. I need a woman. Because my wife, she's in Portugal. With four children, studying. They can't come here. And she also suffers, from that illness of the heart. She can't be always going around upset. . . . And I want a woman here. Because to go around to those [prostitutes], I don't like that, because I'll catch venereal diseases. . . . Now, I want a fixed woman. That is good. Mmm. I prefer you. Here, I'm already here more than three months, here in Caniçado, working. With those men, [building] the hospital. I hadn't yet found [a woman] who satisfied me. Now I, when I saw you, I really liked you. I know that you, for sure, since you had the idea to arrange a job, to stay with your work, not run around looking for a man, since your husband died, for sure I can trust that you have a good life. You're a woman who understands, you think very well. And I won't mistreat you, you'll have everything from me. You'll be my own wife, here. I won't make you leave your work, to treat you badly. . . . "

Then I said, "All right, Amorim. I am a woman. Who also needs a man. Mine died, very young. Now, if I arrange a man who won't be my friend, I won't like that, because for sure, [Agosto] was really really really my friend, that man! He never beat me, he even—ah, he didn't even know how to insult a woman! . . . He really loved me. And he was a great friend to my mother. The whole Malungana family loved him very much." He says, "Rosalina, but you see that I'm no child. I already have children who are studying. I know what it is to love a woman. If I, if you see that, it's not what you [want], you can return to work. What I want, I want a woman, since I love you, Rosalina, don't give up the luck that you have in your hand!" I said, "Luck that I have in my hand?" [laughs] . . . Well, Saquina, she says, "Yes! What he's saying, it's true! You, truly, you have luck in your hand! Because that man, we know that he's a good man, he's good!" "All right. I accept." I accepted. And then, he said, "Look. Since she accepted, I'm asking for her to sleep at my house."

H: That same day?
R: Eeh! [laughs] I said, "Hah!" [He said], "Ah, how will I know that you've accepted, that you'll be my wife? You accepted, and I'm happy. I'm asking you to accompany me to my house. To my room." Then, Isaura said, "Ah, all right. He's saying the truth, you have to go there, to sleep at his house, in his room. . . . And that's when I also said to him, "Look. If you want me to go with you, to go in your company, I want you to build me a house. 6 Because some day you'll leave from here for Lourenço Marques, because you came to work here, on the hospital. . . . " Because he was a draftsman, he made drawings of houses. . . .

Then, I went there [to Amorim's], to sleep. Then he began to tell me everything, that he'll do for me. Mmm. And then, in the morning, I said, "Look, tomorrow, I have to go home, to my mother. So I can explain all of this. Because I don't want to hide anything from my mother." He said, "I too want this, I don't want you to hide anything from your family. . . . " And then, he went shopping for my mother. [laughs] He bought a rihlelo [winnowing basket], he bought a xirhundzu [cone-shaped basket], he bought a mukumi [extra-large cloth], and a blouse, and a scarf. Mmm. To give my mother! [laughs] My mother! Hee! And then, when I returned home, I had all of that, I had rice, meat, for us to eat. [laughs] And when I arrived there at home, first, since I knew my mother! She's so wild—she's difficult, mamana! I called my sister-in-law, "Albertin-oo! Come here!" . . . "Eh, Zilda!" Then she says, "Hee! Truly, you'll be in big trouble!" "Me, this mulungu, I like him, truly! I accepted." "You accepted?!" [laughs] "I don't know what mamana will do! Look at these things. Mukumi, two cloths, a scarf, a blouse. They're for her. Heh! Well, here. I have rice, sugar, oil, everything. For her to eat, these things. And the xirhundzu, here it is. I want to give them to her." Zilda, she says, "Hah!" I say [to Zilda], "Heh, mamana." She says, "Eee." I say, "Me, I have a mulungu. Well, I accepted him!" [laughs] [Zilda] says, "Indeed, she can't return these things! Indeed, she has to take them. If she makes noise, you, leave her alone, keep quiet. She'll take them." Albertina and Zilda, they'll oblige [my mother] to take them. Because when I've already accepted the man, and he, poor thing, he sent all this for her. But heh! I was afraid! [laughs]

Well, that Zilda, she called my mother. My mother comes, she sits down. Then I say, "Eh, mamana. It's I who called you. Because when I went to Caniçado, I went because of that matter that Saquina and Isaura came here to tell me about. When I arrived there, he began to talk, [saying] he'll treat me well, he'll give me everything that I want, if I go in his company, because his wife is in Portugal. . . . Since I know that, he's already a man of some age, he's no child, and everyone knows that he's a good person, I accepted. To go in his company. But I said first, what I want, is for him to build me a barraca, for me to leave [Chibuto], come here with my things, to live in my own house. But he won't build it right here, it will be in town, in Caniçado. . . . And if he leaves me, if he doesn't take care of me, since there's a hospital here, I'll return to work in the hospital. . . . And he accepted. He even said he would do it right away, so I will come to live here, in town. . . . And then, this morning, he bought these things. He said they're for you, these things. . . . "

She says, "Hmm. Eh, Buxeni." I say, "Mamana?" "Do you mean, you want to leave your work because of men? Aren't you very well there, in your work?" I said, "Ah, mamana. It's because I too, I'm not an old woman who can live without a man. Don't you know? Even those whose husbands die, there in South Africa, or die here, don't they find another man? . . . I have to have a man. Everyone says he's a good person. If he doesn't treat me well, when he's already made a barraca for me, a house for me, well. I'll live in my house, go to work." Well, Albertina and Zilda, [they say], "Eee! She's speaking the truth! And that man, he's old, he has sense, that one! . . . If he weren't a good person, would he have bought these things? . . . " Then [my mother] said, "Mmm. That's so. What will I do? You already accepted! And these things, I can't return them. If I do, then he'll say that I don't have sense! Well. Do what you think. If he doesn't treat you well, don't forget that you have to return to work in the hospital!" . . . Well, I took my mother's words to him. I went to Caniçado, I said, "My mother accepted. . . . She says, thank you very much, for what you gave her. And when I said that you were a man, you weren't a young boy, without sense, she said, 'Yes, if he's like [Agosto], I'll be happy. . . . Now, I don't know if he'll be like Agosto.'" He said, "Look, tell your mother, she can rest." And it was this way.

But then, when I went back to Chibuto, I began to think. Eh! But what do I want to do? . . . Here, I'm very well, because I'm working. Leave my job because of a man? Ah! I prefer to arrange a, a lover, since I'm still young, I need one. To arrange a lover, to live with him here, in Chibuto, while I'm at work. Now, I'm going to leave work because of a man that I don't know, what his life is like, I don't know? He began to insist, he too was always sending me letters. . . . "So, our agreement, Rosalina, I'm here waiting for you." Here [i.e. Chibuto], he even came, with his driver. They came to the hospital. When I saw the red car, I said, "Eee! It's Amorim. He already sent many letters!" Poor thing, he sent letters with money. For me to buy things that I want. Well. I didn't return the money. I bought some things to eat. While I was still thinking. Then he said, "Some day I'll come to know the truth. If you love me or not. Because I'm here waiting for you, but my promise to arrange a barraca for you is stalled. Because I don't see you." Eeh. He left Caniçado with his driver, he went to Chibuto.

And there in Chibuto, he began to talk with the doctor, he was Ilízio Dias Miranda. . . . And then he said, "Senhor doctor, I, when I come here, excuse me for saying this. It's because here, of your workers here, I have one who is my lover. . . . But I would like to take her to accompany me. But now, she's afraid. Of coming—she thinks I'll mistreat her." And then the doctor said, "Eh, Rosalina!" [laughs] When they called me, the fear I had! . . . When I went outside, I said, "Heh! It's Amorim. I can't hide. I'll explain what happened." The doctor, he said, "Rosalina. Do you know this man?" I said, "Yes, I know him." "You know him, how do you know him?" I said, "I know him because he's my lover. Because when, sometimes I go to visit my mother, he found me there." "But he has already asked to take you in his company?" I said, "Yes, he's already asked many times, but it's that I'm afraid because, I could accept, and I already accepted! What I wanted—yes, I accept, his promise to take me in his company. But what I'm afraid of is that he could take me . . . and then treat me badly. Because I'm not used to that. . . . That's why I, I had to arrange this job, because if a man leaves you while you're working, it doesn't matter, because you're working to earn your bread." And he said, "Ah, all right. But how do you know that he won't treat you well? If he doesn't treat you well, you'll return to work, because we know that you're a very good worker. It's better, since you two agreed. . . . " Eh, how happy [Amorim] was! [laughs] Then I say, "All right, senhor doctor. Since senhor doctor is saying this, I too accept, to go with him." Then I went to Caniçado with him. But I went when he had already [arranged] my barraca. I said to the doctor, "Yes, I can go in his company, but my promise was that he first would build a house. Mine! In Guijá, in my land, where my mother is. For me to put my things there." . . .

Later, well, [Amorim] finished his work in Caniçado. I went with him to Lourenço Marques . . . I was lucky, you know, Heidi, because this one too, that António, it was the same thing. He was a good man. The only thing that he has, he's a little jealous. . . . I was with him—'47, '48, '49, '50, '51, '52. That's when his brother-in-law, also called António, the brother of Amorim's wife, he sent her a letter. But [Amorim] always sent money there, he sent money to his wife and his children, to pay for school. And then [his brother-in-law] said, "Look. Your husband here, he has a preta [black woman] who lives with him. You should know that. Some day you'll lose your husband. It's better if you bring the children here. Because here too, there's a school for them to study in." And then the wife, she sent a letter to her husband. "I am here, with your children, so they can study, and you there with pretas? Because António already told me that you're there with a preta, who is always with you. I know she's from Caniçado, Guijá. Called Rosalina." Then, when he found that letter, he was very angry.

He looked for António, to ask him about it. And he said, "Yes, I told her, because—why don't you tell my sister to come here? So you can live with her here? The children will study here. Because you're here with that preta. And my sister, there far from you." And then [Amorim] said, "Are you interested in that? You want me to sit, being a man who needs [a woman], without having a companion here in Moçambique? First, she's an invalid. Second, the children are in school, . . . I want them to study there." . . . And then, [Amorim] sent a letter. "Yes, if your brother told you that I have here a preta, it's true, I do. Not I alone, there are many who have pretas here, who have children with them, in Moçambique. . . . And how would I live, being a man, I too need [a woman]. Living here alone. Only if I were a bull, that was already castrated, all right, I no longer need a cow. Now, I'm not castrated. I'm a man who needs [a woman]. It's true, I have one. But what I want, is for my children to be in school, studying. . . . "

Then he said to me, "Eh, all right." [I said], "We'll see. Some day, if she appears here, I don't want to be killed with a pistol. Because for sure, she'll want to come here. . . . For sure, if she kills me with a pistol, she has reason, because you married her, and had children with her." I said, "If she comes here, I'm going to Caniçado. I can't live with you, because she's your proper wife. If she wants to kill me, she can. With a pistol. Mmm." . . . Well, he was always sending her money. In the end, that money he sent, she saved it. She decided to come with all the children. Without telling her husband—the one who knew was the brother, and he too didn't say anything. Then, when she reached Beira, she telephoned. To tell her husband. "I'm here, in Beira, with all your children. I want you to arrange a house for me, because I won't live with a preta."

She traveled with the money that he sent her, she came by ship, without telling her husband. [laughs] Eeh! Love! I was hunted, Heidi. I was hunted. God, God really loves me, though. I was hunted, by her brother, and by her, herself. She found the house that he was renting, where he kept me. Because he arranged a house for me to live in, it was in Xamankulo, at the foot of the Xamankulo hospital. And his wife, and her brother, they were going around hunting me! Because that man too sometimes didn't stop at home. He always came to my house, sometimes he came to my house to satisfy me, sometimes it was so that I wouldn't arrange another man. . . . Just that he couldn't always sleep there because of his wife. But he always came to visit, sometimes he stole time when he was working at night, he lied that he had work there, for the railroad, when he came to sleep at my house. . . .

But how I came to know that she was hunting me, there was a day when he took me in his truck, he wanted to show me where she lived. He picked me up at home. I went with him. She was a little old woman, thin, his wife. With white hair. Her hairstyle, it was like this, in a bun. She was sweeping here on the veranda. Me there sitting in the truck. Looking at her. He said, "Look, that one is my wife." And the children were on the veranda, with a light. There was Guilhermo, with the girl beside him, courting. Mmm. And me there sitting. . . . "Amorim. I don't want to lose my life." "But why?" "Eeh! That, for me to be hunted like an animal, I don't like it!" . . . "She's not going to kill you, no way! Do you think, to kill a person, it's not difficult?" I said, "Your wife is going around asking where Rosalina lives, 'That Rosalina, she was our maid.' Was I ever your maid, in your house? While she's going around hunting me! She did that to learn where I live! . . . Saying that, 'Ah, we're looking for a girl, called Rosalina, who was our maid. She left, and I would like her to return to my house, where I live in Madlhangalene.'" . . .

And then when I returned from the market, they told me, "Eh, a senhora came here, she was with a man. . . . And they said that they came here looking for a Rosalina who they heard lives here, in this area, who was their maid." And I said, "What did she look like?" "Eh, she's already old, thin. And her hairstyle is like this, for sure there are none like that here"—when you see a person with a bun here, it's in Portugal that they do that. Now here, it was just, the hair was cut, just [kept] like this, the Portuguese, here in Lourenço Marques. I said, "Ah, I know who it is. It's the wife of Amorim!" . . . I had already told Amorim that I want to go home. For sure, since she already knows that I live here, they'll come here. Some day, if it's not the brother who kills me, it will be the wife. Then, I called [Amorim at] work. "Amorim, when you leave from work, you have to stop at my house. Don't go directly to your house. Stop here, because I have something to talk to you about, because your wife and your brother-in-law, they came here. Searching for me." Then when he left work, he got in his truck, he came here. . . . [R recounts what she told Amorim] "And I, I don't want to be killed, because I'm the only daughter of my mother. I'm going. If you want me, you'll call me, for me to come here to be with you. You can arrange a place where they don't know, or I'll go to the house of my relatives, of the brother of my father, that nurse called Arturo. Now, for me to be hunted like an animal in the bush, I don't want it."

Eee! But when he went home, he made a great uproar, with António, and his wife. "What were you going to do, at Rosalina's house? . . . Has Rosalina ever worked here? No. Look, if you kill Rosalina, it's I who will go to prison. Because Rosalina, when she came to Lourenço Marques, it was I who went to fetch her there at her parents' house, to come here. The girl isn't at fault. Well. If it were a white woman that I had here, you could kill her. Because here, even though there are houses for brancas [white women], in that life, there in Araujo [Street], I don't go there, to those brancas who are there to earn money!" 7 . . . Then he came to tell me, the next day. When he was going to work. "Look, at home, this and this happened. . . . " Eh! I, since he always—he always came with money, he always gave me money to eat, to buy things that I wanted. Poor thing, that man really liked me. Well, I went to tell Arturo, the brother of my father, who is a nurse at the Swiss Mission hospital. . . . "I intend to go home. Because here, I'll die. If he wants to continue with me, I too will continue with him, because he likes me, and I too like him. And he's a man who helped me a lot. Or if he wants, he'll . . . say 'I'm going to work there, in Caniçado,' when he's coming to be with me. . . . "

Then my uncle said, "Yes, you're speaking well. Because that man is her husband. Since she left [Portugal], ready to come to see what's going on with her husband. She's hunting you like a rabbit—even if it's not she who will kill you, but her brother, he can kill you. Mmm. If you're thinking of going home, all right." . . . While [Amorim] was at work, I packed everything. . . . When he left work, he stopped [at my house]. I said, "Amorim, I don't know what I'll do." He said, "Eh! This is bad. You, I'll take you to Missão São José. 8 Near your father's brother. There, it's far, they won't go there. Now here, in Xamankulo, it's too close . . . " "All right. We'll do that. . . . " And later I said [to myself], "No. I'll lose my life. Better I live than die. If I manage to arrange work in the hospital, like they said—even if I don't go to the hospital, but I'm going there, to Caniçado."

Do you know what I did, Heidi? I packed my things, I called a [taxi], it took me to the station. I took all that, I put it . . . on the train. When he came from work, he found an empty house. How he cried, poor thing. The neighbors said that. Eh! Not even in the house of my father's brother. [Arturo told him], "Ah, she went to the train station, with her furniture, she went home. And she said that if you want her, you'll visit her there. Because there, [your wife and her brother] won't go. You'll have your house here in Lourenço Marques, she'll have her house in Caniçado." It was this way, indeed. Mmm. . . . He always came on Saturdays, then he returned on Mondays. But then, later, I don't know if it was, [because] his wife was always sad, they said that there was one day, that she fell. With that illness that she had, in her heart. . . . They took her to the hospital. At the hospital, they said to take her to Portugal. That there, she would get better. And so, he took his wife, and his children, he went to Portugal. Mmm. This was in, in '64. And I stayed like this. Mmm. . . .


22 October 1995, Facazisse

H: So while you were with Amorim, you were also working in the market in Lourenço Marques?
R: Mmm. I was living alone. With my family, those children of my sister-in-law. Mmm. Because it was to give me company, when they were children. . . . Then—that's also when I arranged two stalls in the Xipamanine market. To sell things. Ah! I was doing very well, with my life! I had two stalls, sometimes I made byala at home, I sold it. While I'm in the market, there, there were girls who sold the byala. I had money in the market, I had money at home. That's when I began to support the children of my sister-in-law. . . .

10 May 1995, Facazisse

R: The children of my brother, they grow up with me, there in Lourenço Marques, when I'm working in the [market] stands, for them to eat and to go to school, to learn and things. But today, ah, they don't remember their aunt. . . . I gave them food, I sent them to school, I paid for their books, I bought them clothes, until they were grown, married. Sometimes I paid the tax, because my brother, he was this way, very weak for helping the family. Ah, he went to work in the mines, but he wasn't, well, very good about helping the family. . . . He was very quiet, I don't know what he had, he only came back to make children. In the time of hunger, my mother went there, to Lourenço Marques, she said, "Look Rosalina, there at home we're hungry." And I gave her money, she bought food. Sometimes, always, any time they were hungry, I had to go home, on Saturdays, with food to give my mother. Mmm. I gave clothing, I gave food, to my mother and my sister-in-law. While the children were with me.
H: All five of them?
R: Mmm! Mmm. Well, the one who knows, Juliana [Kwinika] knows, very well. . . . Eeh. When I was in Lourenço Marques, it was '47, '47. Settled in Lourenço Marques, working. To help my mother, to pay the tax. Mmm. My brother, since he had that illness, asthma, he stayed five years without going to the mines. He stayed at home, because it always attacked him, always that asthma. I said, "No, now, since I'm also there in Lourenço Marques, I'm well because I have two stands there, selling things, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, other things." And here at home, I made byala. And then here at home, when I was there, the girl who was the lover of my nephew, it was she who stayed at home, selling byala. While I was coming from Xipamanine [market], finding money here at home. Put away. From those who bought byala. And then I came with [the money] from the market, joined it with that [money]. And that's why we never suffered from hunger in my house. I really worked for my family! For my mother, for my brother, and his children. Because I couldn't sit with what I have, alone, this way, while I have family who don't have what they need, no. I had to give, something. Mmm. Especially, I didn't want to see my mother suffering. No. Because she suffered to raise me, when my father died. Eh. I couldn't abandon my mother, no. . . .

19 November 1995, Facazisse

R: And later [after Amorim returned to Portugal], I said, "Eh, I'm returning to Lourenço Marques. That's when I entered Xipamanine again. I arranged two stalls there, I stayed there, since it was the time of the Chinese, they brought tomatoes, onions, kale, cabbage. They brought those things, to sell. I stayed there, from '64 to '71. That's when my mother began to lose her vision. . . . But I worked hard, I did very well with my life!
H: You've said to me before that many people have envied you, because you did so well.
R: Hee!! Hee!! Hee!! Hee!! Envy! If it wasn't for those strong tin'anga, I would have died, truly! Hoh! Heidi. I was well treated, well treated [with protective medicines], so that no one could harm me. Only when my time arrives, for God to take my soul, because here in this land, there is a lot of envy, Heidi. This land, it has so, so, so, much witchcraft! . . . Here in Mozambique, I'm not saying here in Magude, but here in Mozambique, Nampula, Beira, everywhere. There are people who, who know how to envy a person, and who know how to harm a person. Hoh! Do you know, even my family, they're very jealous, they say that I have a lot of luck. Because I never lived badly. Because, I know how to look after my life. I don't like to be sitting like this, without working. To help my life. When my mother was living, if I left from Lourenço Marques, I came to visit my family here, my mother. I got up in the morning, went to the field. Mmm. If I came here, I had to find a person to look after my things. Eeh. So that when I return I'll pay the money that we agreed. Mmm. I left her with food, I said to her, "Look, I'm asking—," because there are many poor people, you know? "I'm asking for you to take care of these things. When I come back, I'll give you 'x.'" "Ah, all right, go on. I'll look after these things." She stayed in my house, taking care of my house. I had to visit my mother, to help her in her fields. [R pauses]

Heidi, it even happened, there were people who arranged a bad n'anga, a Makua! A man. To do me harm, to put a medicine [murhi] here in my yard. So that if I went out there, went outside, it was to make me fall. If I fell, I couldn't get up, or I would get up all, crippled. This medicine, it's called swiphoso. 9 It's a medicine that kills a person right away.

H: But who did this to you?
R: It was a woman called Lídia, from Chaimite. She was a neighbor, I knew her, there in Lourenço Marques. . . . Well, this Lídia, she came here one day. Because I, I had Xipamanine, two stalls there. And at home, I made byala, while I was in Xipamanine, here at home there was a woman who was selling byala in my house. There in Xipamanine, I did xitique. That is, we got together, ten women, or maybe five, or whatever. We combined our money, to give to one person. Then, another day, we combined our money, we gave it to another person. . . . That person did what she wanted, sometimes she went to buy a table, or she went to buy clothing, or whatever. . . . Like me, when I received that money I combined it with my money from Xipamanine. And from home, from the byala, do you know what I went to buy? I went to buy a freezer. And that freezer, it was the kind that worked with kerosene. . . . And then, in that freezer, I put wine, beer, Coca-Cola, and Fanta. The one who sold that, it was that boy, the father of Alcídio, before he married. Manuel, the son of Albertina [R's sister-in-law], and Vasco, this one in South Africa. . . .

It was they who stayed here at home, selling. I returned from Xipamanine, with the money from Xipamanine, I found the money from the freezer at home, and [the money] from that Beatriz, the one who sold byala for me. Isn't that a lot of money? And then with that money I went to buy stuffed chairs. Mmm. Sofas, four of them. . . . I bought a table, and I bought a gas stove. I had a beautiful house, truly. Eeh. [R pauses] Sometimes, if I think of that, if I'm sleeping, all of my sleepiness disappears. From always thinking about that. . . .

And then one day that Lídia came. It seemed that she came to visit me. She found me there at home, I said, "Eh, welcome! . . . " "Heh! That Malungana, she's really rich! . . ." "Eh! Rich? Me, rich?" "Mmm! . . . I'm seeing here a stuffed chair, a freezer, a gas stove, a table—a beautiful house! And they say that you have here a girl who works for you. Earning money." Then I said, "Listen. A person who works, to earn money, you know very well that I don't drink. I never went to restaurants, to sit there, drinking. I have my life, I have my mother, there at home. Sometimes when she's sick, I take money to her. . . . If my mother, when she's sick, where will I find money to fetch my mother? Sometimes there at home there's hunger. Who will give food to my mother? If not I? My father died. My brother is very feeble for that! I have to help my mother. Now that, when I receive money from xitique, I buy things that have value. I don't take that money to go drink." "Ah, then, you always have luck." "Ah, I know how to work. And I have luck."

Well, when she left here, she went to talk with that n'anga, to do me harm. Mmm. Later, she did that at night. Then when I went out, at night, I felt—it seemed that I was seeing a light, it seemed like a flashing light! And I fell on the ground. When I fell, that girl went to tell Manuel and Vasco. "Aunt fell there, on the ground!" . . . And then they went to pick me up. "Aunt, what happened?" I couldn't speak. And then, the voice that I found, I answered, "Go find a car, a taxi, and take me to Saidi." A n'anga, from Nampula, there near Tanzania. . . . "Because I already know what this is."

Then they called the taxi, they took me, they went to knock on the door, they woke up that old man, that n'anga. And he told me to sit down there in the chair. Right away he went to fetch a big book. He began, first he asked my name. "What is your name?" I said, "Rosalina Malungana." "And your father?" "My father is Jorge Malungana." "Your mother?" "My mother is Anina Tivane." Then he began to write—he had glasses. He wrote, and he went to get a big book. It's that book, it's called, it's "Korani." Korani [Koran?]. A big book. Then he began to open it, he said, "Heh!" He began to read. "Eee! Look. A fat woman came to your house?" I say, "Yes, she came." "That woman, she's very envious of you. She said many things about you, about those things that you have there in your house." I said, "Yes." "But do you know this woman?" "I know her." "What's her name?" "She's Lídia." He wrote her name. Then, he opened the book, he said, "Look. That woman, she went to a n'anga of my race, one from Nampula. To harm you. So that you would fall, die right away, because she's saying that you, you have much luck. You have a lot of money, and things that you buy, many beautiful things, there at home. But now, God helped you, because what you have, you didn't steal. You work for that. And your spirits, the spirits of your mother, they don't let you die."

H: The spirits of your mother?
R: Mmm. That N'waXumana, Kondissa, and those spirits of the Malunganas, who are my grandparents. "They don't let you die. They fought to help you." And then, he went into [another] room. He took some things, they look like stones, yellow, red, and blue. Shiny, that really shine, they are medicines, there. He asked for some charcoal. Then, he took a white cloth, a sheet. He covered me, with that sheet. And then, with that smoke, I began to sweat. I'm sweating, sweating, sweating. Then, a lot of snot began to come out! . . . I said, "Look, it's coming out of me." He said, "Let it come out. Because that, that was to kill you."
H: I don't understand.
R: It was to kill me, I was attacked with that medicine, that she buried, in the ground. And it made me fall, that medicine. When I went out, I fell, I breathed that thing that she buried there. Then, that n'anga, he took water, he put another medicine, a powder, there for me to drink. He said to his daughter, he had four daughters, "Take her, give her a bath." . . . Then, he took a bottle. And he poured that medicine, that liquid, in the bottle. He said, "This is for you to smell, to get rid of what she put in your head. And then, when you go to sleep, put this all over your body." And then, he also made me, it's called hirizi. That's their own medicine, for strong protection. You put it inside a white cloth, then you roll it, that cloth. And then they sew it here, and put a string on it, so you wear it here [around your hips]. And then he gave me a medicine for me to burn, in the fire, speaking her name, so that she would disappear, and never come again.
H: You mean Lídia?
R: Eeh. And she disappeared, she never came again.

3 March 1996, Facazisse

R: My mother began to lose her vision in '71. I said, "Ah, I can't abandon my mother. I have to take care of her." They send a letter, there [in Facazisse]. They say, "Mamana can no longer see, here. Namu [sister-in-law], we're writing to tell you that truly, Mama, her eyes no longer see." It's my sister-in-law, Albertina. . . . Indeed, she was going to the hospital, they gave her a little medicine, and there at home, they look for a murhi, a traditional one, to put in her eyes. Eh! I don't know if it was that murhi that ruined her eyes, I don't know, because [the medicine from] the hospital, no. Then, I said, "Silva," he says, "Yes?" 10 "I received a letter. They say that my mother can no longer see. But she went to the hospital. She can only see a little bit." Then he said, "Go on, go there and get her, so I can send her to the hospital here [in Lourenço Marques]." Well, I come here [to Facazisse], to fetch my mother.

In '71. I don't know the month, but it was in '71. I take her, I go home with her. Well, I arrive, at night, around eight o'clock. I telephone [Silva], I say, "I want the announcer Carlos Silva." Well, they call him, "There's a telephone call for you." Well, he goes, he says, "Who is it?" I say, "It's me, Rosalina. I returned yesterday, with my mother. But you have to take her to the Central Hospital." "I was waiting for you, I'll come tonight, to sleep there, so tomorrow we can go to the hospital." He comes, in the night. He goes, "te-phoom!" His car, when it arrives. Well, he comes in, he greets my mother. And he asks her, "Do you see me?" She says, "I see you, a tiny bit." Mmm. "Do you see a black man, or do you see a white man?" She sees, "I see someone light-colored." "You see someone light-skinned?" She says, "Eee." He says, "Rosalina, that's good. Because, someone light-skinned, she sees that, because I'm white." . . . "You'll go to the hospital tomorrow, right?" She says, "Eee." "Rosalina will accompany you, all right?" She says, "Eee." "That's good. I'll give her money to take you." She says, "Mmm. All right." Well, he goes to sleep, he didn't go home. . . .

Well, early in the morning, he takes us in his car, my mother and I. He accompanies us to the hospital, around eight o'clock. He arranges an appointment for her. He turns around and leaves, to go to work. Me, I saw a nurse, he sent us in to the doctor. Well, they take her, mamana, they sit her down in a chair. There was a lantern, a really tiny one! So small! . . . "Open your eyes, vovo." She opens them, they go "eee," they shine it in her eyes. They see everything there inside! Mmm. They saw the veins in there, that they were already ruined. They say, "Do you see that?" She says, "Eee." "What do you see?" She says, "I see a fire, there." Her vision was gone, poor thing. . . . They take her, they return her to the chair. They take a little tube, they pour, they go "eee," they dab [ointment] on her eyes, they pour, they dab, they pour, they dab. They take another thing, a second thing, they pour, they dab, they pour, they dab. They say, "Close your eyes." She closes her eyes. They take some gauze, they put it on her eyes. Well, they take her, there's a little bed there, they take her there. Me, I'm sitting over there. They wait an hour. They're treating other people who come, me, I'm just sitting there, waiting for my mother. Because many people come in there, with ruined eyes. . . .

The hour finishes, they come back to examine her. Well, they wake her up, there was she's sleeping. They sit her in a chair. They take that little lantern, they take off those things, they clean her eyes. They say, "Open your eyes." She goes, "eee," she opens them. They shine that lantern in—those veins that are ruined, the medicine they put in, it had no effect at all. It doesn't do anything. . . . Well, they say, "Look, your mother, her eyes have died. And they put that traditional medicine in her eyes—it was that that killed her eyes. That murhi outside, from the trees, that's what did it, it wasn't medicine from the hospital that killed her eyes." . . . Well, [the doctor] says, "All right. Take these tubes." He had two tubes there. "When she goes to sleep, you'll put it in for her, all right?" I say, "Mmm." "You'll finish one week. The second week, you'll bring her back to the hospital here, for us to see what happens." Well, we finished a week. The second week—that is, when we returned home, he came, Silva, he came to my house. I explain everything to him, that we found at the hospital. I say, "They looked at her eyes, [they said] they died because of that traditional murhi. When they began to hurt, instead of going to the hospital in Magude, she looks for a medicine, from those people who know these things, they say, 'Put this in your eyes,' . . . and they ruined her vision." "Ah, all right." . . .

Well, we finished a week. The second week, we go back. They examine her eyes, ah, it's the same thing, she doesn't see anything. They say, "Nothing. She won't see anything anymore." . . . I say, "Do you understand, mamana?" She says, "Mmm." I say, "They say you won't see anything anymore." She says, "Mmm, I understand, I too know that I won't see anything anymore." Mmm. "The only thing that I want—," those words, I don't forget it, what my mother said! She says, "Listen to me, my child. My eyes, they've died. You, you won't any longer eat things cultivated by me." Because sometimes when I'm in Lourenço Marques, which is Maputo now, there are peanuts here [in Facazisse], she sends a sack of them to me. . . . Well, she tells me this. "My child. My eyes have died. Now, don't expect that you'll receive anything more from your mother. Because I was sending you peanuts, I was sending you beans. These things, you won't have them anymore. Your sister-in-law, she won't do these things! She doesn't do them—they're sent by me! . . .

You have to know, that now it's finished. You, when you're sitting here like this, you must think of farming. When you're not sick. So you can eat what is yours! Because another person can't always be giving to you. Pick up your hoe. If it rains, you'll have [what you need]. . . . " "All right, mama." Well, I returned her here, in '72. I say to that one, Albertina, "Mamana, she wants to return here. She doesn't want to stay [in Lourenço Marques] anymore. Because when her eyes are dead, she has trouble at night . . . on the street, she doesn't see the cars. Well here, she's inside her own hut, with her things. We'll help each other. Me, I'll send you sugar, when I can, and rice, for her to eat." But sometimes when she's here, sometimes she said, "Ah, I miss my daughter!" [Albertina] sent me a letter, "Ah, your mother longs to see you. She wants to go to see you again." I had to come and take her again, to Lourenço Marques. . . .


10 May 1995, Facazisse

R: Even when she died, my mother, she was in my hands. Mmm. Even when she died, in that time, and I too, I was in Lourenço Marques, . . . when I saw that she was already very ill. I said, "No, I'll go to see my mother. She could die, while I'm here." I found a woman. She stayed in my house in Lourenço Marques. And I gave my market stalls there, so that no one would take them, to that woman who was in my house. . . . And I came here [to Facazisse]. I saw that my mother was already very ill. She was no longer speaking much. And then, when she arrived, my sister-in-law said, "Mama, mama, it's Rosalina." And she said, "Eh, Buxeni." Because my other name, I'm called Buxeni. Mmm. And I went close to her. "Mama, mama?" "Eh? Is that you, Buxeni?" "Eee, it's me, mama." "All right, my child. Now, I'm going away. And you, don't forget to hold onto your hoe, so you don't suffer! Those things in Lourenço Marques, it happens sometimes that they end, they [no longer] give you life, do you understand? But my field, my land, your sister-in-law has her field, and mine will stay with you. Don't forget! Even though you are in Lourenço Marques, when you come here, you have to pick up your hoe! So you don't go hungry. And don't wait for someone else to give you food, while you're still living." Mmm.

And then, another thing she said was this: "If you have money, buy a she-goat. Don't forget to buy this, to breed her. That's so you'll have many goats, if she gives birth, and they will help you. And with these goats, when you have them, sell them, and then buy a young male calf, and put it there with my nieces, in Mazimhlopes, all right? Because they have a curral. That's so it will breed, it will help you, because you don't have a single daughter. You don't know whether those children that you brought up, that you fed, whether they will remember you later! They could abandon you, because each person has his own heart. If they remember you, that "Oh, our hahane helped us," if they give you food, or give you a blanket to cover yourself, that's good. But those who don't remember you, it doesn't matter. You pick up your two hands, to help yourself. That's all, I've said everything. I'm going away now, my time has arrived." I don't forget that, Heidi! I don't forget. It's always in my heart, what my mother said to me.


25 June 1995, Facazisse

H: What place do you think of as "home" now, vovo—as your tiko [land]?
R: If I returned to Caniçado, I would have a good field, that used to be my mother's. [But] it's already a long time since I was there, for sure there are other people on it now. But if I arrived there and asked, they could give me half, because I'm a daughter of that tiko. I can't be without a field there, no.
H: So why do you stay in Facazisse?
R: Oh, what will I do, when I have the grave of my mother here, and my trees? [laughs] . . . There in Chokwe, they don't want me here, in Facazisse. Sometimes, when they hear that I sometimes fall, if I'm coming from the Nkomati—that wife of my cousin, that Raudina, and Jaime, 11 they say, "But you, there, you have no child, you have nothing. You raised children who now don't want to know you. Why don't you decide to come here, near us? Here, water is drawn for you. Because our daughter Prescida put a faucet here. And if you don't want to stay here, you could be off to the side, if you don't want to stay here inside our muti. You can build a little hut, at the side. When you're sick, we're here close by, we'll look out for you. Sometimes, you don't have the strength to cook, or whatever. We have food here, that we'll give you to eat. Mmm. But you want to be there, knowing that there you don't have relatives who are looking out for you. Because of the trees, only?"

I say, "Eh, one day I'll come." And indeed, if I go there, I wouldn't like to stay here, inside their muti. Because here, in our land, envy is a great witch. Envy, Heidi, it's a great witch. And it's not good this way! A person thinks about tomorrow, what I'll do. If I do this, I do that, tomorrow, it will help me. Mmm. And now, I won't always be thinking that that one has to give me something. Or, that one is rich, that one has to give me what she has. She's rich, didn't she work? To earn that? She worked. And God helped, to give her the sweat to work. And then that one who didn't work, who was lazy . . . She wants to feed from the blood of another. It's not good, this way. It's not good. You have to find some way for you to work, to find what you need to live. God will help you. Mmm.

Me! I had many things, many things, Heidi! Many things! I was a very good woman for my family. . . . It's true. Many people now are talking about me, "Eeh! Rosalina. It seems that your sister-in-law didn't benefit from you helping her family. Today she doesn't want to look out for you! They moved away from you, they ate, they filled their bellies, then they flapped their wings, they flew away. She's the one who should tell them, 'Let's go see hahane, because she doesn't have any children, how will she live?'" . . .

I say, "Ah, that is nothing. It doesn't happen to me alone! The world is big, the world—there will be others who were good people for their family. And then, when they see that ah, their family ate everything that they had, beat their wings, flew away—because they were like flies! Who wanted to suck the blood that fell in front of them. Then, when they sucked the blood, well, they flew away, and went to stay over there." . . . But me, no. If they ate, abandoned me, if my sister-in-law is my enemy, well, it doesn't concern me. While I'm here in the world, what God wants to give to me, is enough for me to live. And I work, I work with my arms, so I can live. It's this way. Mmm. And I go on, this way.


Lives of Women: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina


Note 1: Farmers highly value swifake (singular, xifake) because it is available only for brief periods, once or twice a year.  Back.

Note 2: Rosalina says this doctor was Italian or French.  Back.

Note 3: A brother of Manuel's wife was married to Felista Khosa, who was the daughter of the elder sister of Rosalina's father.  Back.

Note 4: Site of the Swiss Mission church in Caniçado where Rosalina's uncle Dane Malungana served as minister.  Back.

Note 5: Here Rosalina told the story of how Saquina's mother treated Anina, who had xikuna (bloody diarrhea, perhaps dysentery) in her home, with a powder she prepared herself; Rosalina then called a nurse to give her "an injection to make her strong."  Back.

Note 6: Rosalina used the Portuguese word barraca, which generally means hut or shed. In this context, it refers to a particular style of house: rectangular, with walls made of reeds and poles, which are plastered and covered with corrugated metal sheets for a roof.  Back.

Note 7: Rosalina explained that during this time many single young women came from Portugal to work as prostitutes in Lourenço Marques "because they knew they could earn a lot of money." She recalls a large concentration of these women living in compounds on Araujo Street.  Back.

Note 8: Missão São José: a neighborhood in Lourenço Marques. The neighborhood, near a Catholic church of that name (Missão São José), is where Rosalina's uncle Arturo was living.  Back.

Note 9: Swiphoso: a dangerous medicine of Zulu origin, used for witchcraft.  Back.

Note 10: In a later interview, Rosalina told me that in the mid-1960s she began a relationship with another Portuguese man, Carlos Silva, an announcer for colonial Mozambique's Rádio Clube. Silva, she explained, "stepped into Amorim's place" and offered to "take care of her." It was with his financial assistance that she was able to obtain her two Xipamanine market stalls in 1964. Unlike Amorim, Silva was unmarried, although it seems his "arrangement" with Rosalina was much like Amorim's: He "helped" her by giving her money for food (and perhaps for rent), but he encouraged her to keep her market stalls because he "couldn't provide for everything." Rosalina recalls that "he looked after me very well" and she "didn't lack for anything" while she was with him, and, although he "drank a lot," he was a great favorite with her female friends. (Interview with Rosalina Malungana, 3 March 1996, Facazisse).  Back.

Note 11: Jaime Tivane (who passed away in late 1996) was a grandson of Rosalina's maternal grandfather (i.e., Anina Tivane's father) with one of his junior wives. Raudina was Jaime's wife.  Back.


Binding Memories: Women as Makers and Tellers of History in Magude, Mozambique