It feels like I have been here so many times. Struggling to put my feelings, thoughts, ideas in paper…and fearing how the world looks and feels about all this crazy of mine. Damn!!! But really???? Who cares? The Sun will go down today and come up tomorrow…

In a way, I guess having these lines penciled down will add a drop in the ocean and ensure that somehow down memory lane, someone will remember that I once lived…

I hope this is the restart of my beautiful relationship with writing. I have been unable to write for such a long time, that I feel my head and spirit so full…it can burst any minute. So much so, that the inability to write is impacting on my own inability to read books. Isn’t it interesting. I can read books? My hobby is

Most interestingly, is the realization of the power we attach to Fear. At times, I feel that I respond more automatically to fear than Love. So things like not writing….which is cathartic and an imperative for me….I haven’t done in a long time. The trauma even shows in my hand-writing itself. I can hardly recongise it at times.

I believe my birth was anxiously anticipated. My mother was having her first experience of motherhood…recently been married to the man she adored, recently been appointed Minister of Education in the newly independent Mozambique. My dad was having his 7th child, but this one was special because after a life totally dedicated to the struggle, he now had a family, his all children in one roof, his new wife, his new country…what else???? They only can tell

So here I come.

Screams…lights…a spank in the bum…It’s a girl…my mothers delight…wrapped in warmth…ooh Love…I felt loved and precious

I grew born up in one of the most interesting family settings on earth. How do I start to describe being a Samora and Graça’s daughter….one of a few people born in a presidential palace, with my parents, siblings, nannies, helpers, cooks and soldiers 24/7. My father always said I was not the Presidents daughter…I was his daughter.

That was certainly a most priviledged life. I grew up with amazing women and men as my uncles, grandparent and family friends. Uncle Oliver (Tambo), avo Nyerere, avo Kaunda, tio Neto (Agostinho), tio Marcelino (dos Santos), tio Mugabe … I mean really???

My parents still took me to our Xilembene village as much as they could. Blissful life, right? Despite knowing that we were under tight security. The bandits and the Apsartheid system wanted us no-existant. So I always had a bodyguards and at school we all grew familiar and friendly with trenches so anytime there were bombs (like the Matola bombing in 1981), we were somehow safe.

I loved playing piano and dancing ballet. I hated swimming. I liked my teachers but mostly having time with my friends, mostly the ones who were not part of the leadership family. It made me live vicariously through them…being all normal. I enjoyed all these interesting contraditions in my life…until I woke up when I was 10 and mum has to inform me and Malenga (young brother) that my dad might not come back…he was taken by the bad guys…

Yes, my dad was assassinated.

Every one cried for Marechal, for Samora. I cried and cry for my dad. My dad. My dad who smiled whenever I came into a room.

Being a teenager in a country in which my dad’s name had to be mentioned in a hush left me with scars. The building of my identity was dented, I guess. My mum was superb in her 5 mourning years…always reminded us of him, surrounded with his loyal friends inside and outside of the country.

As a girl I was fierce, daring and not believed in limitations. So what if I was a girl and I wanted to be a modern-dance dancer? I wanted tyo be a dance therapist. I grew with boys and I having the same rights and valued. I could always express my feelings, opinions, plans and all

My mother, my phoenix handled me in a interesting way, I guess me being an Aries child being raised by a Libra woman simply means that I can only smile and shake my head when I remember those days.


I went to Boarding school in Swaziland at a time when the changes in Southern Africa were epic. Apartheid fell. That meant we could all breath. We could be.

Eish….i had a serious crush on a beautiful boy (batting my eyelids) ….so pure so blissful yet so stressing. What did he think of me? Did I always look beautiful? Who am I? Am I girl or a woman? How is this new world handled? Surely I can so do this. Or can I ? afterall, I am Josina. Or Am I Ziyaya?

Yes, my name is Josina Ziyaya. I am a child of the Machel and the Simbine. I am now 40 years old. I have a Msc in Sociologist. I am a divorced mother of 2 amazing children, Zizile-Graca and Fanon N’zanji. I am a sister to Samito and Malenga. I love, I dance, I read, I smile, I cry, I doubt, I plan, I fear, I dream …

Life gave me one of my best rewards when I had the unique of calling Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, papa.

Papa brought me back the blessing of being a daughter again. Papa opened the World to me as if it was an oyster. But more than anything, he loved me and I loved and treasure him I was a daughter again, precious, loved, cared again.

Yes, because of his presence in my life I learnt what being a mother, a wife, a valued-female woman of society is like.

Eish, eish eish,

In spite of all this, for the past months I wake-up every single day and think that one of my eyes do not open in its totally. Ooops then I remember…Josina this right-eye is blind. I walk to the mirror and I see my beautiful face scared, totally lost the eye-sight and the beauty of my eye. Yes, I am half blind because I was bee in a half-lit street of Maputo by a man I thought loved me.

I am one of the most unlikely survivors of the one of most cruel forms of violence in human societies, gender-based, domestic violence. The ind of violence that destroys your spirit, humiliates and shames you in an indescribable way. It knocks your identity, its robs you of dignity…

Yet, I have chosen to rebuild, to love again, to be present for my children, mother, brothers,uncles and aunties, my friends, family friends.

I have chosen to stand for the millions of women who have ever been disrespected,undervalued, harassed, beaten, assaulted, abused, violated, murdered. For all women, I have created the Kuhluka Movement.

And this is my blog…my way of being present for you all. Lets share, lets be here for one another…

Here we go…