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Nearly Five Decades Of Independence, But Will Angola Ever Be Free?

Back in November, in a bid for distraction from the US elections, I turned my attention to native concerns and called my beloved grandmother and auntie in Angola. Initially, I scheduled this as a simple check-up but with the looming spirit of democracy heavy in the air – Angola’s Independence Day falls on November 11th – I couldn’t help but contemplate if there was anything worth celebrating other than my family’s health when masses of Angola’s population remain living in poverty?

This year Angola will celebrate their 46th year of independence from Portugal’s colonial control. Yet, many in the diaspora are unfamiliar with the country’s heavy past – my brother included.

“I first learned about the Civil War through playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” he explained one evening. “It was the first mission.”

In fact, it’s not uncommon for Angolans in Angola to be unfamiliar with the different wars that occurred in their homeland. Many fail to learn the exact details of the War of Independence, as the Civil War started shortly after and has dominated Angola’s global perception to date.