Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The National Anthem of Mozambique

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.

The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. Mozambique became independent in 1975, and became the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly after. It was the scene of an intense civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. The country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki, an Arab trader who first visited the island and later lived there.

Mozambique is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and an observer of the Francophonie. Mozambique's life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst in the world. Its Human Development Index is one of the lowest on earth.

"Viva, Viva a FRELIMO" (Portuguese: "Long Live FRELIMO") was the national anthem of Mozambique from 25 June 1975 to 30 April 2002.

It was written by Justino Sigaulane Chemane in the 1970s, in celebration of Mozambique's main political party from independence in 1975 to 1992. In 1992, however, multi-party elections were held, and the lyrics to the song were removed, as they were felt to be inappropriate in a multi-party country.

In April 1997, the Mozambican government initiated a contest to see who could write the best new lyrics for the anthem. Pátria Amada became Mozambique's national anthem on 30 April 2002. It was still composed and written by Justino Sigaulane Chemane.

Above, a souvenir sheet issued in 1978 during the 3rd Anniversary of Independence. One of the stamps features the score of the national anthem. Below is a stamp of the composer Chemane with the score of the anthem.