In this African lifestyle narrative, focus is on Angola – a country blessed with abundant natural and human resources.
Angola is a large country located in southwestern Africa. It has a broad variety of landscapes, which includes a semi-desert, a rain forest, rugged highlands of the south, and the densely settled towns and cities. The capital and commercial centre is Luanda, a large port city on the northern coast. This ultra-modern city blends Portuguese-style colonial landmarks with traditional African housing styles and modern industrial complexes.
Map of Angola and its Neighbours
Angola has a population of 32.9 million people, most of whom are still highly influenced by European culture due to Portuguese colonialism in the country. The official language of Angola is still Portuguese. The country gained it independence from Portugal in 1975.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Angola is a country that is rich in natural resources, including precious gems, metals, and petroleum; indeed, it ranks among the highest of the oil-producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest and wealthiest of the Portuguese-speaking African states, and Portuguese influences have been felt for some centuries.
The mixture of Portuguese and African culture has made the Luanda region feel more like a Latin American than an African country. Its nightclubs, restaurants, and annual carnival might seem at home in Brazil had not war and security measures made this sort of social life difficult.
Nevertheless, the country has much to celebrate in its cuisine, festivals, and artistic traditions.
As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, palm oil is an indispensable part of many Angolan dishes, and a number of dishes emphasize the Angolan population’s love of seafood. The feast of Nganja, usually celebrated in April, is a harvest festival during which children roast corn. The Futungo market, near Luanda, provides craftsmen with a place to sell their handicrafts.
Angolan decorative arts consists of wood, clay, copper, reeds, ivory, shells, and the human body. The wooden sculptures of the Chokwe people, the carved ivories of Cabinda, and the elaborate hairstyles of the Nyaneka and Nkhumbi peoples are especially famous. Music and dancing play a central role in cultural life, with the drum as the basic instrument.
The influence of Portugal has become predominant in the towns, thereby increasingly overshadowed traditional culture. During the 19th century, a dynamic group of educated Africans emerged in Angolan towns. These individuals wrote newspaper articles, histories, novels, and poems in Portuguese; they also explored Mbundu folklore and ethnography.
The decades of political struggle in the country led to curtailed artistic freedom, implementing a rigorous system of censorship. Additional artistic outlets emerged by the mid-1990s with the rise of a national television service and the beginnings of a national film industry.
Angola has many traditional instruments, including the ngoma, a bongo drum, and the mpwita, a drum originally found in Kongo. Also noteworthy are the mpungu, a trumpet, and the Luandan hungu, equivalent to the mbulumbumba of southwestern Angola, both types of gourd-resonated musical bow. These stringed instruments traveled with slaves to Brazil, where they developed into the berimbau.
Angolan Bongo Drums
Contemporary music in Angola combines the African influences in the music of the Caribbean, the United States, and the D. R. Congo with the Latin influences of Cuba and Brazil. Angola’s poverty and civil unrest have provided few opportunities for professional musicians. The Ministry of Culture has exerted much control over commercial music production since independence. Despite this, musical expression has flourished in informal sectors.
Currency: Angolan Kwanza (AoA)
Luanda – Capital of Angola
Export Goods: crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton
Import Goods: machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods.
Some Tourists Attractions
Kalandula falls are the biggest attraction in Malanje and probably in Angola
The Island of Mussulo – in the southern outskirts of Luanda
Sangano Beach – almost 100 km south to Luanda
From this African Lifestyle Narrative, Angola is truly a remarkable land