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José Craveirinha was a Mozambican journalist, story writer and poet, who is today considered the greatest poet of Mozambique. His poems, written in Portuguese, address such issues as racism and the Portuguese colonial domination of Mozambique.
Was a Mozambican writer born on May 28, 1922, in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), and died on February 6, 2003 in South Africa. He was the son of an Algarvian father. His family moved to Mozambique in 1908 in search of fortune. He pursued his studies at the Escola Primeiro de Janeiro that belonged to Freemasonry. As a teenager, he began attending the African Association. He collaborated in the African Brado, which dealt with matters of a local nature and which concerned mainly the most unprotected population. He campaigned against racism in Noticias, where he worked, and was the first journalist to be officially unionized. In 1958, he also began to work in the National Press. He continued in Noticias until the founding of the newspaper A Tribuna in 1962. Between 1964 and 1968 he was arrested because of his connection to FRELIMO but had the opportunity to meet the painter Malangatana in prison.
He began to write at an early stage, but his poetry took time to be published. In Lisbon, the first work to emerge was Xigubo, in 1964, through the House of Students of Império. From a certain point, the author’s political awareness began to be reflected in works such as “O Grito” and “O Tambor”.His poetry has a social character that lies in the deepest layers of the Mozambican people. Writer of affective links with Portugal, he was awarded the Camões Prize in 1991 and received decorations from the presidents of Portugal and Mozambique, Jorge Sampaio and Joaquim Chissano respectively.
Vice-president of the Bibliographic Fund of Portuguese Language, a writer awarded the “Literary Life” prize of the Association of Mozambican Writers, was honored on May 28, 2002, following the initiative of the Mozambican government to consecrate the year 2002 to José Craveirinha.
Born: May 28, 1922, Maputo
Died: February 6, 2003, Maputo
Source: Plural Editores