Saturday, 30 August 2008

Cycle taxists in Mozambique

For the Portuguese readers I suggest the following article that tells about the bicycle taxis community in Quelimane, a city in Zambézia province. It says that the bicycle is the transport more used to carry passengers and merchandize. In a city without public transports the bicycle is the queen. Since 2002 the cycle taxists community has significantly increased and many families have a monthly contract/subscription for the use of this transport.

Moçambique para Todos Blog has published more about it. Read the entire article here and here and see other great photos.

The two photos above are not from the cycle taxists, but just show other examples of how people can manage over here. The first photo shows two boys coming from school and the second photo shows an adult (maybe the father) carrying two children also from school in Inhambane province.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Rastafari Festival in Xai-Xai

I have taken these photos some time ago, but just now remembered to post it. I was in Xai-Xai and the city was welcoming a Rastafari Festival. There was a good vibe with lots of reggae music, dance and vegetarian food. These two guys have traveled from Maputo to Xai-Xai (more or less 230km) with their gingas. Ginga is the name Mozambicans give to their bicycles. I believe the name is also used in Portugal. Can you confirm?

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Classic style in Chókwe

At the local university in Chókwè style over speed.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Better together

Sunset at Macarretane is magic. Bicycles crossing the bridge while the light fades away. Women carrying wood and water on their heads. Hippos in the river.

Two in a bicycle is so often seen. Three is also common. Better together.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

More pics of Niassa - Mozambique

Andreas Martins has some amazing pictures on his PhotoCommunity webpage. Please check his work. These two pictures show the north of Mozambique (Niassa Province) where the mountains are breathtaking! Again bicycles are a part of everyday life, of every activity. Let me say that bicycles fit the picture so perfectly. I could not imagine to be other way.

There are more bicycles - but is there more development?

Há Mais Bicicletas - mas há Desenvolvimento?
There are more bicycles - but is there more development?

This is the name of the book from Joseph Hanlon and Teresa Smart launched in Maputo on the 12th of August.

The book explores the economic situation of Mozambique and presents a critic vision on development. It also makes the connection between the use of bicycles and its role on development. Especially in the centre and north provinces a bicycle is more than just a vehicle. It is a way of creating financial income for the families. A possibility of creating a business, of having a job, of being the boss, making income.

The authors reveal that the number of bicycles has doubled and this fact is seen as a development signal.

Bicycles are a gift for the poor.


Since it was created in 11 August 2008, The Mozambique Bike Culture Blog was visited by 209 persons. Many thanks to all and continue checking the pictures and texts. Please leave your comments. Your remarks have been so positive and so strength giving.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

It's Summer Time - Chongoene Beach

It's Summer time and the weather is hot. At least in Europe. Here in Mozambique the hotter days are still to arrive. October, November and December are the month with high temperatures.

This bike seamed abandoned in Chongoene beach. Off course it was not abandoned. A bicycle in Mozambique is a very unique treasure and families plan their lives to have one. No one abandons a bike. Everyone wishes to have one. And the true is that the number of bicycles in Mozambique has doubled. A book was launched the past week and stated this information. I will post more about the book and the increase of cyclists.

Monday, 18 August 2008

School Day - Cycling Day

Today was school day. The academic calendar is different from Europe and classes are still going on. Many students cycle home to school. Everyday is a cycling day for the lucky ones.

If you don't have a bicycle you can walk one hour or more just to go to school.

With the uniforms they look very handsome. Trousers or skirts, shoes or snickers, white shirts and ties.

It's lunch time and with a bike everything becomes much quicker. You can also stop anytime and check what is going on the other side of the road or have a little chat with a friend.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Stoping for a picture

I was coming home with my camera and lost all the shame and just asked: "Good afternoon, can I take you a picture?" The answer was positive and here is the result.

Mozambicans are very friendly and immediately another man stopped and said: "Can you take me also a picture?" No was an impossible word. I had to wait until he was prepared with the radio he took from the jacket. More style and happiness are impossible.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Bananas on Bikes

Two men carrying bananas and caniços (a kind of sticks that are used to build houses, fences and roofs). A bike can be a very helpful tool of transport and to transport goods. People here use theirs bikes proudly. Like in Copenhagen they make them personal. Some times they even give it names. A new bike costs around 2600 meticais (more or less 50 euros), an amount that is very much to most of families’ incomes. Therefore a bike is sometimes a medium and long time wish and families try to save some money to buy it.

Riding in Chókwè

Chókwè is a very nice city to live and a quiet place for bikes. Everyday hundreds of cyclists flood the streets like ants going to do their jobs, playing their roles. Many women go to sell fruit and vegetables in the market or going to take care of the small farms where the tasteful papayas, tomatoes, lettuces and corn. You can find all types of bikes. Even some race and BMX bikes! I would like to post some photos of it soon. Here you can see two cyclists at the Independence Square very near to the water channel that brings water from the Limpopo River to the agriculture fields. Women just are so stylish riding their bikes with the capulanas skirts!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Family bike

On the road to Zongoene beach, a father and his son stand on the side of the sand road and let us pass. Everyone is very friendly and wave to to us with a simple and authentic smile. Children just love to see the white people. They say: "Molungo!" It means "white" in the local dialect. On the 45m journey we see many lovely villages and lots of bikes. In these remote villages a bicycle can realy make the difference. Going to the market to sell fruit, wood, clothes, vegetables, carring a elder person to the hospital, going to see the family in another vilage, going to school or work.

This is the first photo of The Mozambique Bike Cukture Blog where I would like to picture the everyday cycling in Mozambique. Keep checking this blog. I would love to receive your comments.