Ilha do Ibo is like Ilha de Moçámbique, but more remote. Getting here was particularly hard. Even though it’s only 70 km on a straight line from Pemba, I had to take 3 rides, overnight in Quissanga and then take a boat that took 2 hours to get to the island. Very tiring. But it was worth it.
On the way I met a boy named Suale, that was travelling from farther than I was only to buy fish on the island, dry it and take it back to his town to sell it.
Ibo stands for “Ilha Ben Organiçada” (Island well organized) and used to be a prosperous international trading port in Mozambique. The times have changed now and the crisis hit this locality where you struggle to find many products that are common on the rest of country. The electricity and phone network work just fine but water is a bit scarce.
That is one side of the island. On the other side the people are very nice, the place is very safe, and it can be very colorful as well.
Then there is the old fortress, where the Portuguese defended this important trading point. During the Independence War many locals were held prisoners in there. Nowadays it’s used as a cultural center where you can find handicraft artists at work.
I made some friends while in the island.
On the house I was staying there was also Eliseu, a high school history teacher. He teaches 8th grade students from 12 to 20 years old, all sharing the same class. He is also a great cook.
I had a cold so I went to the pharmacy to get some medicine. To my surprise they don’t give any medicine without prescription, but both the doctor and the medicine are for free. There I met the pharmacist Nelson who liked my camera and asked me to help him make a music video for his hit song “Queres um Pão ou Maça”.
One of the most interesting persons I met is Joãn Baptista, counselor and historian of Ilha do Ibo. He was born on 1927 and can tell stories of times even back during slaves trade.
When someone told me there was another Argentinian in the island I had to go meet her. Florencia and her boyfriend James are really nice people.
At this point every older woman is a “mamãe”, every older man is a “pai” (dad) and people my age are “brother” and “sister”.
Florencia introduced me to a really cool group of travelers that invited me join them on a boat trip through various islands around the cost of Cabo Delgado. An amazing trip that I will tell you all about on my next post.
Then I came back to Ilha do Ibo to finish the music video with Nelson that you can check out on this link.