29 April 2007

Urban Wildlife in Maputo

Everyone has that one thing that freaks the shit out of them. For me, it's rats. I am not completely phobic, but don't ask me to babysit your pet rat when you go on vacation. Mice go into the same category.

So the rat I found hiding under my laundry sink this evening really got my heart racing. It darted out and then rushed back into hiding when it heard my flip flops scuffing along. I caught myself before some high pitched expletives started echoing around the back courtyard of my apartment building.

Rats and humans have been sharing food, disease vectors, and living space for a long time, but it doesn't mean that I have to like it. There is a rat with a white spot on its back that I occasionally spot crossing the courtyard. Really early one morning I caught a young, skinny rat exploring the walkway between my neighbor's and my doors. It looked at me, sniffed, and then continued along the wall. I know that there are other rats, and that is why my doors stay closed even on warm days.

I come by my disgust legitimately. When my brother was 5, he left the door to our home open in the middle of winter (he had just come in from sledding). Two big barn rats decided to set up house in the warm place with food. One took up residence in my closet. For two weeks, all I could hear at night was the rat scratching, trying to get out.

Try telling your dad that there is something in the closet trying to get out when you are 13. Ha! Ha! Ha! I was told to go back to sleep because I was too old for that kind of behavior. After multiple nights of me waking my parents to complain, my dad took our chocolate lab into my bedroom. I don't know exactly how it all went down, but Ginger killed the rat within 10 minutes. It was big. We found the other rat by the smell of its corpse 3 weeks later. It had eaten some poison my dad put out and died in the ceiling of my mom's office/sewing room. Anyway, that's why rats creep me out.

Roosters and guinea hens next door? Noisy, but okay. Spiders? Sure. Ants? Annoying, but fine. The cute little gecko that lives in my sneakers by my kitchen door is more than welcome. Even cockroaches are a-okay. (Chris had some pet Madagascar hissing cockroaches for a while when we lived in Oregon.) I may have been born in the Year of the Rat, but that doesn't mean I have to like rats.

28 April 2007

Historic Wildlife Trade

The blog I posted the other night was pretty random. I got really geeky excited over a bunch of old weights and measurements with no explanation. So now I'll try to explain.

Ivory - Museu da História Natural (Maputo). The tip of the tusks is at least 70".

Two summers ago, I got a small research grant to travel to Portugal to collect archival data from the colonial archives about the historic wildlife trade in Delagoa Bay (now Maputo Bay). It was a way for me to look for data about historic plant use, Ronga culture, and landscape descriptions as well.

I found old customs records containing information about a wide range of plants and animals being exported out between 1845 and 1906. The records provided monetary values (in Reis), number of tusks, teeth, and horns, packaging sizes, and weights, but not in a form that I could understand. This made it difficult to calculate the potential sizes of animals killed for their ivory, skin, or horns.

White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) - Museu da História Natural (Maputo)

Why bother trying to figure out how animals were hunted or how big they were? Or how many trees were harvested? It all goes back to my questions about the African savanna landscape we see today has been shaped by human activities and decisions in the past.

Hippo skull - Museu da História Natural (Maputo). Hippo ivory was used for dentures in the nineteenth century.

I now have some real numbers to crunch. In July, I will be presenting my preliminary results at the Society for Conservation Biology meetings in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This makes me more than a little nervous (the talking part), but I am hoping for some good feedback so that I can polish up my "little project" into something worth publishing.

The following is my abstract for the presentation:

Wildlife Trade Exports from Delagoa Bay and Its Hinterland 1845-1906

While previous investigation of East African export records has focused on the social, political, and economic changes generated by the slave and ivory trade in this region, these same records could be used to document regional long-term ecological change. This study analyzes available export records for Delagoa Bay (now Maputo Bay, Mozambique) and its hinterland from 1845 to 1906 in order to understand the potential ecological impacts of historic natural resource extraction on this region. Types, amounts, and values of exported biological, non-agricultural resources were collected from the alfândega registers held at the Archivo Histórico Ultramarino in Lisbon, Portugal. Published accounts of nineteenth century explorers and travelers were used to identify unusual items and the extent of Delagoa Bay’s hinterland. Information on the ecological niche of identifiable exports was drawn from the literature to determine potential ecosystem impacts. Elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn, and hippopotamus teeth comprise the top three exports from 1845-1906. Other listed exports include pelts, skins, bones, and horn of various wild animals, sea turtle shells, cowry and conch shells, whale oil and ambergris, fresh and dried fish, specialized timbers (Diospyros kirkii, Spirostachys africana, Dalbergia melanoxylon), mangrove bark, rubber (Landolphia kirkii), and a lichen (Roccella montagnei).

27 April 2007

Are you HIV positive?

Sometimes conversations can be real downers. Yesterday, I had one of those talks with my friends Natalina and Ventris. They are visiting researchers in political science and history from the U.S.. Natalina has been studying Mozambique's informal markets, and grassroots organization for HIV/SIDA support and education. During the course of her market research she kept meeting HIV positive women trying to support their families. This led to her current exploration of the HIV/SIDA crisis in Mozambique. She interviews HIV positive individuals (mainly women), as well as medical staff at hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

We were talking about marriage and living apart from your spouse for long periods for research. Like Chris and I, she and Ventris were apart for a long period when she first came out to Mozambique. So Natalina has a sympathetic ear when it comes to me talking about missing my husband.

I mentioned to her a conversation that I had last weekend with my husband Chris. I told him that he didn't need to ever worry about me cheating on him in the field because (1) I love him very much, but also (2) the first thing I think when I meet someone new here is, "Are you HIV positive?"

I feel horribly guilty admitting this, even though it in no way affects my interaction with a person. The reason I think about their HIV status is because I wonder how long I will be able to interact with them and enjoy our potential friendship. They could get hit by a truck tomorrow (and so could I, given the driving in Maputo), so really, their HIV status doesn't matter. However, I am sensitive to other people's pain. It saddens me thinking about the illness that they will most likely experience in the future if they are HIV positive (or the pain of losing a loved one to the disease). I don't know if that makes any sense, but there it is.

I felt guilty admitting this, but Natalina and I are good friends. We have had many conversations on a lot of strange topics. I felt a little relieved when she said that she often thinks the same thing. But she says that it is worse for her. Working with HIV positive people makes you hyperaware of HIV/SIDA's symptoms. Natalina says the number of people walking around in Maputo with symptoms of HIV, if you know what to look for, is shocking - much higher than the official rate would indicate.

The official rate given by the CDC for Mozambique is around 16%. The real rates are much higher than the official counts. Many people refuse to be tested, and others refuse to admit that they are sick (particularly men). These selfish individuals continue to have unprotected sex (with both spouses and others), thus spreading the virus even further. Serial killing wife after wife after girlfriend. According to a 2006 UN report, the rates for pregnant women ages 15-45 have increased dramatically since 2000 (countrywide 11% in 2000 to 16% in 2004). In Maputo province, the rates for pregnant women rose to 18-27% in 2004. Most of the official statistics are based on HIV rates in pregnant women, since they seek treatment to prevent their unborn children from being HIV positive.

Unofficially, the rate for Maputo Province is probably around 45% - based on observations by medical personnel. That means that every other person I meet is probably HIV positive. Natalina interviewed a public clinic nurse on Ilha de Mocambique (Nampula Province, up north) who says in 10 years (maximum) that the island will be empty of people. Everyone the nurse has tested has been HIV positive, and she has worked around HIV positive people long enough to know the symptoms and diagnose the effects of the virus in the untested.

Many in the aid community and Mozambicanos believe that people up north have lower rates because they are Muslim. Bullshit. Men sleep around. So do some women, although it seems to be more common among men (but who are those men sleeping with?). It doesn't matter whether they are Muslim, Christian, or practice traditional religions. It doesn't matter how faithful a person is if their spouse sleeps around. In many cases here, a woman cannot ask her husband to use a condom for fear of being beaten - even if she knows that she is HIV positive. Women can be kicked out of the family compound when their husband dies from SIDA related complications - blamed for his death and left with nothing. SIDA orphans wander the capital barefoot, begging for a few metacais to buy bread to eat and picking through the garbage to find food and valuable things to resell.

I remember a long time ago in junior high school when AIDS was a new thing. That was a very long 23 years ago.

25 April 2007

Cracking the Code

It’s 10 pm. The electricity is out in the Coop neighborhood, so I am writing this armed with a 3-hour laptop battery and Petzl headlamp. Despite the darkness, I’ve finally cracked a code that has been teasing me for almost 2 years. A code that with some better language skills, I might not have had to figure out on my own. This "code" of Portuguese weights and measures was used by alfândega (customs) record keepers in Mozambique in the 19th century. Not terribly exciting for most people, but it means that I can now analyze some of the effects of historic wildlife trade on the landscape surrounding Delagoa Bay.

This symbol (above), as well as the @ symbol cover the pages of a notebook I carried daily during my visit to Lisbon, Portugal in the summer of 2005. I was there on a small research grant collecting data on historic wildlife exports from Delagoa Bay and its hinterland. Delagoa Bay is the old name for Maputo Bay.

Tonight, I finally figured out that the symbol is shorthand for libra (pound). Now that I know what the symbol stands for, it seems so obvious. The @ symbol refers to arrobas. What are libras and arrobas? And all the rest of the archaic weights I found?

1 bar/baar/bare = 229 kg
1 arroba = 14.9 kg = 32.41 lb
1 faraçola = 12.4 kg
1 mane = 0.95665 kg
1 arrátel = 0.459375 kg
1 libra = 0.4536 kg
1 marco = 0.2368 kg
1 onça = 0.02835 kg
1 matical = 0.00441346 kg
1 oitava = 0.0037 kg
1 panja = 5.175 to 5.52 L
1 panella = 8.4 L

These values varied depending on the port. A bar in Sofala was not the exact same weight as a bar in Ilha de Moçambique. I translated everything into kilograms because commie units, I mean SI metrics, are used for science. (BTW in doing all these weight and measure searches I learned that only 3 countries in the world do not use metrics – Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States. Interesting). I'm posting them in case someone else ever needs to track this all down. I've done many searches on the web but found nothing.

These values came from the following 2 major sources (again, just in case you ever need to cite them):

Alpers, Edward A.. 1975. Ivory and Slaves: Changing Pattern of International Trade in East Central Africa to the Later Nineteenth Century. University of California Press: Berkeley.

Nunez, Antonio. 1868 [1554]. O livro dos peços, medidas e moedas. In de Lima Felner, Roderigo J., ed. Collecção de Monumentos Ineditos Para a Historia das Conquistas dos Portuguezes em Africa, Asia e America. Tomo V. Serie 1. Historia da Asia. Typographia da Academia Real das Sciencias: Lisboa.

A big thanks go to Dr. Antonio Sopa of the UEM Archivo Histórico de Moçambique for directing me to the Nunez document.

Now, anyone know what species of southern African cat was called a "tigre" in the late 1800s in Portuguese East Africa?

5/9/07 - I discovered this morning that a "tigre" is a Large spotted genet (Genetta tigrina). The tails and skins were used as part of Tsonga and Zulu soldiers (impis) uniforms.

24 April 2007

Diz Óla

I get a real kick out of funny signs, brandnames, and directions. TDM, Telecomunicações de Moçambique, has added appropriate labeling to their public phones since I was here in 2004. Yadda, yadda, yadda does translate into Portuguese - blá, blá if you are having trouble reading and don't want to blow the picture up.

Every time I pass one it makes me smile.

21 April 2007

Things that caught my eye

I like to take pictures of things that catch my eye but don't always make sense to take (at the time). It all started with me trying to get close ups of insects and flowers. With a digital camera, my horizons have greatly expanded. I can clip smaller pictures out of bigger landscape shots and get better close ups of small things. Here are some of those pictures in no particular order.


Looking up through the branches of a 7m tall Terminalia sericea

Making hats in Liberdade

Racing toy cars

I pass these rapazes all the time. They are shade tree mechanics. When they're not working they like to play cards or sleep.

Elephant fetuses from the size of a dime/metical to ready to be born. This exhibit is the only one of its kind in all of Africa and can be found in the Museum of Natural History, Maputo.

Check out the hair

Tug going out to guide a larger ship into port, Bahia de Maputo

Old Afezalia quazensis seedpod with bird's nest fungi. Hornbills eat the seeds.

Local hangout

"Beijo na Mulatta" (Catharanthus roseus) - used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, rheumatism, insect bites, warts, and gonorrhoea. Some extracts used in cancer treatments. People also plant it around their homes because the flowers are very pretty.

Boy at dusk by the roadside

Dung Beetle with food supply

Bairro lojas sell a little bit of everything and a whole lot of alcohol in various forms. My favorite brandname is "Knock Out." Hey, you can't beat honest advertising.

19 April 2007

Viral Infections and Unprotected Connections

Getting sick when you are far from home and family really sucks. But I think having a fever and runny nose in the sub-Saharan savannas of Mozambique is worse than having it in the sub-Arctic scrublands of northern NY. Worse than ice and snow and stuffy heads and fever? Yes, because if you are burning with a fever in nothern NY in the middle of winter at least you can open a window to cool down. And in the summer? You can still find snow in the freezer (you didn't think we actually got snow on the 4th of July did you?).

Remembering my misery last time I had the flu in Mozambique, I brought drugs from home to dry up my nose. Last time, all my Mozambican friends kept telling me to use a handkerchief. Ick! I don't advocate using a forest to blow my nose, but carrying around a snot-laden square of cloth in my shorts pocket (that I reuse again and again) to wash out later is disgusting. Thank goodness for toilet paper.

The drugs work really well, but leave me unable to process coherent thoughts. I am surprised that a colleague agreed to meet me for lunch on Wednesday after speaking to me on Tuesday. I think I literally asked her, "What is lunch? Why would I need a lunch? Is lunch a good thing? Would my mom think a lunch was good for me to have?" Finally, I just ended the call by saying I was too confused to think and that I would call her the next morning. Fortunately, she speaks English and I had prefaced the conversation by saying I had the flu and was running a bit of a temperature (100F). I can only imagine my response in Portuguese. Actually, it might have been more coherent than I normally sound in a regular conversation. I really don't remember. If you talk to my husband Chris he'll tell you that I frequently use fevers as an excuse to make up bullshit stories. Maybe I used telepathy to ask her, but I do remember thinking those questions at the time.

After spending Tuesday in bed with a fever, I made the most of Wednesday by going out to lunch with my colleague that had called the day before, and cleaning a virus off my laptop hard drive. I do a regular security check once a month, but this was not a regular check. I've been having some trouble with my flash drive and printing at the US public affairs office. So I was aware that something weird could be on it. When I opened my flash drive at home Wednesday morning, to add another file for printing, there was an unknown folder waiting for me. Of course I clicked on the folder because I love spending an entire day debugging my laptop. Well, 17 hours 30 minutes later I was bug free (my fingers are still crossed). The UGA technology support webpage was really helpful - lots of links to free software. I would have eventually stuck the infected flash drive into my laptop's usb port, but I would like to think I would have been more careful with that file if I hadn't been under the influence of cold and flu medicine.

So what did I learn? Lay down, when I start talking incoherently and asking for my mom. Lunch is a good thing, but don't agree to anything or do anything under the influence of cold and flu medicine. Never stick your flash drive in an unprotected socket. And always use protection even in places you think you're safe - like a US government facility. Viruses are everywhere.

Zulu Love Letter

16 April 2007

A tribute to my Dad, McGuyver's alter-ego in a strange parallel universe

Do you ever have one of those moments when you're really proud of something that you've done, that really isn't that spectacular, but you really need to share it and no one is around? Well, I just had one of those.

So my birthday is drawing to a close, I have "la gripe," I had 4 meetings with student research assistants this morning, and my shower was on the blink. The meetings with students went really well - mini-projects about ethnobotanic knowledge transmission, a study on the impact of REM on health and traditional medicine, historic climate change and bad weather, assessing the importance of plants in choosing home sites. My Portuguese is improving in leaps and bounds. The students and I are still speaking both, but mainly to make sure that what we are saying is completely understood by both parties. The percentage of understanding is rapidly increasing. Yay!

My second big score was having my family back home contact me to wish me a happy birthday. That really felt good. Thanks to everyone for the phone calls and e-cards. I also had friends here text me birthday greetings throughout the day.

But my proudest moment came when I fixed my damn shower all by myself. And for this I thank my Dad who turned 80 on 8 April. Since arriving, the water pressure from the shower head has never been great. I just assumed that it was just the way things were. But after not using the shower for the weekend (I was at REM, not just being gross), the pressure decreased even more to just a trickle. So, being my father's daughter, I decided to have a closer look. It was scaling caused by the extremely hard water. My guess is that by not using the shower over the weekend, any residual water crystalized up and there was no regular water flow to push out this new formation. I'm sure a real plumber could explain it better.

Scaling is something that I am used to, having grown up with well water full of stuff like calcium and iron and sulphur. I asked myself, "What would my dad do?" Well, take the damn thing apart and soak it in some sulphuric acid that just happens to be lying around the house (as my brother well knows). Or just soak the head if you can't remove it and pick at the scaling with a wire brush or toothpick or pin or something. I had found a small container and was prepping the head to soak it, when I discovered that it was screwed on. Even better.

So using acetic acid (aka vinegar), a Swiss army knife with flat head screwdriver attachment, a cereal bowl, a dental pick, and bubble gum, I have a fully operational shower head!!! Yay!! Now I feel completely silly for being so proud over something so simple, but I will be clean. Thanks Dad for teaching me some simple home and car repairs, letting me tag along when you fixed stuff, and for that old type-writer you brought home for me when I was 7 to tear apart and see how it worked. That's cool.

My dad is a big one for gadgets too. He gave me a hand-crank flashlight before I left for Mozambique that has been very useful - esp. this past weekend. My Mozambicans colleagues thought it was a little silly and really thought that the screwdriver attachments were over the top. However, the phillips head attachment came in handy when Sr. Jotamo wanted to fix a wobbly handle on one of the cook pots. When he saw how well the little tool worked, he set about fixing all the cooking pot handles. So, thanks again Dad for all the little tools and gadgets that you've gotten me over the years.

The bubble gum, by the way, was just to chew. ;-P I didn't actually use it for fixing the shower head. I only wish fixing my flu were as easy. I really hate being sick.

REM Landscapes and Habitats

This weekend was my first visit to the Reserva Especial de Maputo (REM) this year. I accompanied my Mozambican colleagues on a trip to measure the tree biomass found in various habitat types at the reserve. In addition to helping out with the tree counts, I took pictures of the different types of habitat and evidence of disturbance. The pictures here depict the REM landscape - and I try to give habitat types where I can. Some of the types may not seem very different, however, statistical analysis of tree density, coverage, and biomass shows different levels of emergent (really tall) trees versus shrubs and short trees (less than 5 meters). This is the greenest I have ever seen the reserve, although the last time I was here in 2004, it was the middle of the dry season.

The Research Team (sans me) - Sr. Jotamo, Sr. Domingo, dr. Cornelio, & Sr. Dungo (from left to right)

Futi River Floodplain - this area is seasonally flooded. Up to 5 inches of water still covered the flats in some places, so we didn't get out to the mangal (mangroves) this weekend to take measurements.

Carissa spp. forest (chanfuta) bordering the Futi River floodplain. The yellowy trunks with the light colored leaves are very beautiful. It is often found in sand forest.

On our second day, we were stuck on the floodplains for 4 hours trying to extract the landrover from the muck. Pushing, sticking twigs and vegetation under the wheels for traction, and finally tying the quadrat rope, attached to the tow cable, to a distant shrub and pulling the car out of the muck. Fun times. ;-) This is when I got the shot of the Carissa forest boundary. Now I remember why "going mudding" in a 4x4 has never appealed to me as a fun outdoor activity.

Woodland - found along the Futi River. This type of habitat has the greatest amount of human disturbance. The dense, brushy growth follows the area's use for machambas (agricultural fields) and human habitation. Many animal species (antelope species, elephants, etc.) prefer this type of habitat because it is relatively easy to find food here. Humans hunt in this area even though they may no longer live there or farm. There are very few big trees, but it is possible to find edible fruits. We found some ripe tintsiva (Dialium schlecteri) fruits which tasted very good. There was also lots of calho (Tabernamontana elegans) - another popular local fruit.

Woodland Mosaic - One of the big visual differences between this and woodland is the elephant damage. There were lots of torn branches, Strychnos fruit remains, and elephant dung at this site. We also found some Sclerocarya birrea (marula) trees outside the quadrat. This is a fruit well liked by both humans and elephants. It makes great beer.

Jotamo and Cornelio are measuring trunk diameters (at breast height) in sand forest (floresta areanosa). Sand forest is a rare type of habitat found only in the Maputaland region in Africa - northeastern KwaZulu-Natal to Maputo Bay. There are many large trees in this type of habitat and rare endemic plant species. Ronga people protect some of these sand forests as sacred areas. Chiefs and curendeiros may perform rituals and religious ceremonies in these places for land fertility, healings, and ancestral worship.

Sand Forest

Hygrophillis grassland
- basically, this is a seasonal wetland. Most are located in the valleys between dunes and run parallel to the Indian Ocean. Oh, and this is one of the resident elephants that make the reserve famous. There were between 300-350 elephants at last count in 2006 (it was a dung count). REM is one of the last places in Africa where the elephants are free to walk down to the ocean shore and go for a swim in the surf if they like. KwaZulu-Natal, just south of the reserve (about 50km), bills the region as the Elephant Coast.

Open Woodland - here the trees are a little taller than in woodland areas and there is grass in the spaces between trees. Fire helps maintain the grassed areas. At this site, there was lots of Strychnos, both macuacua (S. madagascariensis) and masala (S. spinosa).

Wooded Grassland - not completely savanna yet, however frequent fires keep down the brush and kill the little trees and saplings. This area probably burned within the last few months as the burn marks on the trees seemed relatively fresh. It has been very dry here even though the "rainy" season is currently coming to an end.

Savana - Setting out the quadrat for savanna tree biomass measurements. Once the quadrat was set, the measurements took less than 5 minutes. The trees in the photo were not counted as they are dead. It actually took more time to set and remove quadrat bounderies, than it took to make measurements.

Eucalyptus Plantation - located near the entrance to the Main Guard Camp in Madjadjane. The eucalyptus were planted during colonial times as a scheme to make money from the timber and pulp in an area of low agricultural productivity. Unfortunately, eucalyptus trees suck water out of the ground like you wouldn't believe. The trees were planted along the Futi, a seasonal river. While well meaning, the plantation has caused more problems than it solved. Although no study has been conducted on the effects of eucalyptus plantings at REM, research (one example) in other places has shown harmful effects on local climates and native species. Southern Mozambique is subject to frequent droughts, and there isn't much water in the area to begin with... so in hindsight, not a great idea.

Lagoa Nini - one of several freshwater to brackish lakes found at the reserve. Crocodiles and hippos live in the lakes along with various fishes like tilapia, and parasites like bilharzia and schistosomiasis. So, no swimming for me!!

Me on the savannas of REM the day before my big 3-5.

07 April 2007

Dia das Mulheres de Mozambique

Today, 7 April, is Mozambican Women's Day. In honor of the day, I've sorted through my files to post pictures of Mozambicanas.

A few quick facts about Mozambicanas:

A woman's life expectancy at birth is 40.13 years.
On average, she will have 4.62 children.
32.7% of all Mozambican woman are literate.
70% of all Mozambicans live below the poverty line and make less than $300 US per year.
Of the total estimated population in 2006 of 19,686,505:
4,177,235 girls are 0-14 years old
5,519,291 women are 15-64 years old
322,412 women are 65 years and older

Famous Mozambican Women include:

1. Alcinda Abreu - Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation (03 Jan 2005 - )
2. Adelaide A. Amurane - Deputy Minister of Labor (1994 - 2005)
3. Zena Bacar - Mozambican musician (singer)
4. Zena Bakar - Mozambican musician (singer)
5. Esperaça Bias - Minister of Mineral Resources (Feb 2005 - )
6. Lídia Brito - Mozambican forest scientist and Minister of Higher Education, Science & Technology (2000 - 2005)
7. Paulina Chiziane - Writer
8. Chonyl - Mozambican hip hop artist
9. Celina Cossa - Mozambican Farmer and Activist
10. Alcinda A. de Abreu - Minister of Social Action Co-ordination (1994 - 1997)
11. Luisa Dias Diogo - Prime Minister (17 Feb 2004 - )
12. Açuenca D.C.X. Duarte - Deputy Minister of Justice (1995 - 2000)
13. Isidora Faztudo - Deputy Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries (1995 - 1999)
14. Ângela Ferreira - Mozambican-born sculptor
15. Alcinda Honwana - anthropologist
16. Feodata Hunguane - Minister of Information (1986 - 1992)
17. Clarisse Machanguana - basketball player, has played in WNBA (US) and Spanish leagues
18. Graça S. Machel - human rights campaigner, Minister of Education (1975 - 1989), current Chancellor of University of Cape Town
19. Lina Magaia - short-story writer and novelist
20. Virgília Bernarda Neto Alexandre dos Santos Matabele - Minister of Women & Social Affairs (2000 - )
21. Salom M.M. Moiane - Deputy Foreign Minister (1994 - 1999)
22. Lilia Momplé - novelist, scriptwriter, and administrator
23. Maria De Lourdes Mutola - Olympic runner (2000 gold - 800m)
24. Mahommed J. Rafique - government minister
25. Frances V.V. Rodrigues - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation (1994 - 2005), Ambassador to Belgium, France, Netherlands & European Union (1985 - 1994)
26. Maria dos Anjos Rosario - Secretary of State for Technical & Professional Education - Government of South Africa (1988 - 1992)
27. Nomia Sousa - Mozambique's unofficial Poet Laureate