Life In Catembe

Originally published September 16, 2014

Life on Catembe is very quiet. Away from the hustle and bustle of Maputo, Catembe is a small island about 10 kilometres wide. To go into the city everyday we have to take the ferry that runs every hour at half past. Going on the ferry to and from the city you see all kinds of life.  I found it so interesting to see people going about their daily routines.  People walk around the boat selling everything from food to hair accessories, to airtime for your cell phone.  Inside there are benches set up in rows. Often you see people with large bags and buckets of merchandise that they will set up and sell on the streets of Maputo or bring back to Catembe to sell on the island.  Once we were sitting and a preacher came around to lead a prayer and song to the people on the ferry and everyone joined in.  

 fishermen finding the fish they’ll sell

 fishermen finding the fish they’ll sell

people coming off the ferry boat

people coming off the ferry boat

Getting off the ferry involves a lot of movement. everyone tries to squeeze by and hurry off before the cars. I was always shocked at how the women carried their large bags of merchandise on their heads without fumble or flail.  In a 10 minute ferry ride, you see so much. The ferry was like a gathering place, and i was always excited to see  what could happen next.

The beach was another place to see the many different forms of life on the island and was like a main pathway for people to walk on. With the hotel being right on the beach, i was always fascinated to watch people go about their lives. We would see kids playing on the beach, women walking with bundles of wood and buckets of water on their heads, fishermen, and even herds of cows and goats.  Catembe Gallery Hotel was a popular destination spot for many local Maputo residents to come for lunch or a short weekend getaway and had the best view of the city from their ocean side restaurant.

 women carrying wood and water home

 women carrying wood and water home

marla slavner