Eduardo Mondlane has been a big part of my life, due to the stories I would hear of him from my grandparents. Mondlane and my grandmother grew up together in Mozambique, My Great-Grandfather André Clerc was a Swiss missionary in Mozambique- there to make sure that the colonial Portuguese government didn’t eradicate education in Mozambique. Mondlane was the most enthusiastic and happiest student Clerc had ever encountered and knew he would grow up to do great things- he was right.
Eduardo Mondlane continued with his education, and graduated as an anthropologist. After his graduation he got a UN post, but soon left his post as he was not able to continue with his political activity in Mozambique, to which he continued and became the first president of The Mozambique Liberation Front, from the Portuguese Frente de Libertação de Moçambique aka FRELIMO, a political party which on the 25 June 1975, caused Portugal to hand over power to FRELIMO and Mozambique became independent.
Eduardo Mondlane was assassinated at a friend’s house after a book bomb was sent to the FRELIMO headquarters in Tanzania. There have been many accusations as to who killed Mondlane, however when asked who killed her husband, Mondlane’s wife Janet commented: “Deep down we know it was Portuguese colonialism. There were assorted collaborators, that is true. Whether those collaborators were inside FRELIMO, and whether they are still there today doesn’t matter.”
In this exhibit are postcards that my grandmother has kept, along with a political t-shirt she received as a part of a memorial service held after his death. Along with the post cards are images from the books in the book shelf. Displayed with a bronze book bomb like that which ended Mondlane’s life, are just a small portion of the books that continue his legacy.