ANGOLA – ANGOLA

Katolicka crkva-Catholic church Nossa Senhora da Nazare

Katolicka crkva-Catholic church Nossa Senhora da Nazare

Nada and Joao Jardim

Nada and Joao Jardim

Ostrige na trpezi-Oysters ready

Ostrige na trpezi-Oysters ready

Ostrvo Luanda-Ilha de Luanda-Island of Luanda

Ostrvo Luanda-Ilha de Luanda-Island of Luanda

Plaza u Luandi u suton-Luanda beach in the sunset

Plaza u Luandi u suton-Luanda beach in the sunset

Pogled na glavni grad Luandu-A view over capital Luanda

Pogled na glavni grad Luandu-A view over capital Luanda

Pogled na Luandu sa tvrdjave Sao Migel-A view of Luanda from the S+úo Miguel fortress

Pogled na Luandu sa tvrdjave Sao Migel-A view of Luanda from the S+úo Miguel fortress

Tvrdjava Sao Migel  iz XVI veka-Fortress of S+úo Miguel from the 16th century

Tvrdjava Sao Migel iz XVI veka-Fortress of S+úo Miguel from the 16th century

Devojka sa psom na gradskoj plazi-A girl with dog on the city beach

Devojka sa psom na gradskoj plazi-A girl with dog on the city beach

Mesecev vidikovac-The Viewpoint of the Moon

Mesecev vidikovac-The Viewpoint of the Moon

Zidine stare portugalske tvrdjave Sao Migel-The walls of the old portuguese Fortress of Sao Miguel

Zidine stare portugalske tvrdjave Sao Migel-The walls of the old portuguese Fortress of Sao Miguel

Čovek po imenu Jovan Baštić, kao kršteni kum, u crkvi Svetog Save u Beogradu, nosi dete u naručju. Njegovo pravo ime je João Jardim, što potpuno odgovara srpskom prevodu tih reči, a još je i crn. To pravoslavni sveštenik nije baš očekivao, ako je već morao da mu promeni ime u srpsko, tako da bi mu omogućio da kumuje unuku svoje supruge Nade.
Ovaj bivši ministar u revolucionarnoj vladi Angole bio mi je nezaboravni domaćin u Luandi, glavnom gradu te države. On i njegovi ratni drugovi, takođe bivši i sadašnji ministri, a danas uspešni poslovni ljudi, u njegovoj vikend-kući na plaži, na malom peščanom ostrvu preko puta grada, sa neskrivenim entuzijazmom pričaju o vremenima borbi u džunglama na jugu zemlje, protiv pripadnika pokreta Unita, koje je podržavala Južna Afrika. Danas ih je većina u Parlamentu, u kome ovu prebogatu zemlju uspešno postavljaju na noge. Gde je veliko prirodno bogatstvo u Africi, tu je, nažalost, i prokletstvo za zemlju koja ga poseduje.
Jedan od mojih sagovornika, inače poznati angolski pesnik, u neobaveznom razgovoru, priča mi o svom prijateljstvu sa Agostinjom Netom, lekarom, pesnikom i prvim predsednikom ove zemlje. Glasno recituje njegove stihove, pomalo sa patetikom umornog borca koji bi da ideale pretoči u stvarnost. Ipak, ponosan je na činjenicu da su pesnici Trećeg sveta postali simbol otpora tako što su podigli svoj glas protiv kolonijalne represije u Africi.
Žoao, zvani Jovan, seća se dana kada su od hrane imali samo jastoge. Danas mu stara slava omogućava da ima fabriku jastoga, koje svakodnevno šalje u Francusku. Nalaze se ispred nas kao velika narandžasta bašta, tek izvađeni iz morskih dubina. Nada i Žoao uživaju u kući na ostrvu i svojoj nesvakidašnjoj priči koja je odavno postala stvarnost.
Slušamo Bongu, jednog od svetski poznatih angolskih muzičara. Ritam je brz i živahan, postaje sve brži u spoju afričkog i brazilskog, sa primesama setnih portugalskih tonova. Na narodnoj plaži, suprotno od ostrva bogatih Angolaca, a kraj same Luande, na crvenkastom pesku, pri zalasku sunca, svi plešu u ritmu Bonge i ispijaju kaipirinju, božansko lokalno piće sa rumom od šećerne trske i limetom.
Mir se konačno ustalio u ovoj zemlji i svi deluju srećno. I svi imaju nadu da će tako ostati.

Mart 2003.
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A man who goes by the name of Jovan Baštić, is a godfather to a child nestled in his arms, at the church of Saint Sava in Belgrade. His real name is João Jardim, which completely corresponds to his Serbian given name, and furthermore, he is black. This came as a surprise to the Orthodox priest, who had already had to change his name into a Serbian one, so that João could become a godfather to his wife Nada’s grandchild.
This ex-minister of the revolutionary Angola was my host in Luanda, Angola’s capital, whose hospitality I would never forget. At his beach house on the small sandy island opposite the city, he is with his war comrades, also current and past ministers, who are nowadays successful business people. They are discussing with unabated enthusiasm the days of fighting in the jungles of the South, against the UNITA, a movement that was supported by the South African regime at the time. Today most of them are Members of Parliament, helping this very rich country get on its feet. Unfortunately for African countries, abundance of natural resources always becomes that country’s curse.
While chatting with me, a well known Angolan poet, tells me about his friendship with Agostinho Neto, a physician, a poet, and the first President of Angola. He recites his verses in a loud voice, with the pathos of a weary warrior, wishing his revolutionary dreams would come true. Yet, he is proud of the poets of the Third World who have become a symbol of resistance, raising their collective voices, against the colonial repression in Africa.
João a.k.a. Jovan, reminisces about the days when the main staple of their diet was lobster. His glorious past has stood him in good stead, so today he owns a lobster export business, shipping daily to France. The lobsters in front of us sprawl like a massive orange garden, just harvested from the depths of the sea. Nada and João are having a fabulous time at their beach house, living out their unusual story, a dream that has come true. We are listening to Bonga, one of the world famous Angolan musicians. The rhythm is fast and lively, becoming even faster through the blend of African and Brazilian beats, with the hint of melancholy Portuguese tones.
On the reddish sand of the city beach, right across from the island of the wealthy Angolans, at the edge of Luanda, everybody is dancing to the beats of Bonga, downing capirinhas – a divine local drink made with sugarcane rum and lime.
Peace has finally prevailed in this country and everyone seems happy. They all hope that peace is there to stay.

March 2003

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