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Trading Story: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina

Lives of Girls (Valentina Chauke)
Trading Story


27 June 1995, Facazisse

V: When we were girls, we used to play in Magude, at the shops [owned by] the Banyans. Tinguvu [cloths], where else will you find them? That's why we go there, to the shop. When they know that we drink tea, they'll take a kettle, and sugar, to give to you, with bread!—when you haven't yet bought anything!
H: Why did they do that?
V: Out of tintswalo [kindness]! Out of tintswalo. They had it, mmm—they had it, the Banyans. The valungu really liked us. We liked them through eating! Mmm. When we go there, on the day when we want to go to Magude, it had to be maybe two, maybe three of us, we go to Magude. I go with all my fellow girls, we go together to the shop. We reach Magude, they take a kettle, they give it to us. They take sugar, they give it to us; they take bread, they give it to us—in the basin. We begin to eat. . . . I remember that the valungu helped us. We didn't despise valungu, they really liked us. The Portuguese, the Banyans, it was the same. Week by week, when you go to the shop, they knew our names! [They gave us food] because, you enter the shop, you go—you're visiting them. They say we're their customers. 1 When you come, from over there, he says, "Come back here! There's this, and this!" Ah! Long ago, we were friends with valungu. They really fed us! 2 They were friends of the blacks.

Trading Story: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina


Note 1: Customers: singular, farangezi, from the Portuguese freguês.  Back.

Note 2: Kuphamela: to dish out food from pots onto plates, a symbolically important display of hospitality to visitors and a demonstration of kinship.  Back.


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