Angolan literature and
the arts have shown to themselves to be particularly creative, as a
result of Angola’s wide cultural diversity.
The origins of Angolan literature go back to the mid 19Th century and
been marked by a native press traditionally combative and satirical.
It has rapidly separated itself from other similar literature in the
Portuguese language and reached other countries highlighted, in 1935,
by the publishing of the first novel by an Angolan writer, António
Assis Júnior, untitled; “o segredo da morta”.
The “generation of 1950” with the magazine “Mensagem”, brought to the
spotlight people such as Agostinho Neto, Viriato da Cruz and António
They have continued that tradition of combat and the impact of their
work has been decisive in shaping the entire generations’
consciousness of necessary resistance to colonial domination and
In the following years, authors like Óscar Ribas, Luandino Vieira,
Arnaldo Santos, Uanhenga Xitu, Mário António, among others, have
started to recreate a language that helps express styles of living, of
thought and of action that were more specifically connected to the
Angolans, to encourage the diffusion and strengthening of their own
After the independence of the country, the creation of the Writers
Union of Angola boosted the publishing industry, revealing the works
of the poets Jofre Rocha, founder member of the Writers Union of
Angola, Arlindo Barbeitos, David Mestre and Ruy Duarte de
Carvalho and the prose and fiction of Henrique Abranches, Manuel Rui
Monteiro and Pepetela. Pepetela received the Camões Prize with the
All of them, with great aesthetic and literary level, started to
question the courses followed by the country and helped the poets
build a new sensitivity. The prose writers raised a consciousness of
the nation as a whole.
The following generation, after the 80’s, appears to have nothing more
to demonstrate on historical and political grounds and thus leans
towards a greater freedom of creation, with themes predominantly of an
intimate nature. Standing out for the richness of their written images
are poets José Luís Mendonça, João Maimona, João Melo, Paula Tavares,
Lopito Feijó, Botelho de Vasconcelos, among others.
The 90’s have seen the predominant comeback of the prose writers,
characterising the principle present literary production in Angola.
On an equal footing with Pepetela, Manuel Rui, Henrique Abranches and
Arnaldo Santos, who have never ceased to publish, new names have been
making their appearance or confirming their position, like José
Eduardo Águalusa, José Sousa Jamba, Boaventura Cardoso, Fernando
Fonseca Santos, Cikakata Mbalundo, Fragata de Morais, Jacinto de
Lemos, Roderick Nehone, Alberto Oliveira Pinto, Jacques Arlindo dos
Santos… They keep alive the tradition of Angolan literature, at the
same time enriching it with the diversity of their themes and the
growing quality of their writing.
Drama continues practically unexpressed as since the independence only
twenty three plays by nine authors have been published: José Mena
Abranches, Pepetela, Domingos Van-Dúnem, Trajano Nankhova, Henrique
Guerra, Manuel dos Santos Lima, Costa Andrade, João Maimona e Casimiro
Source:Angola Digital - Edition and Research