Mozambique: Another PROCULTURA scholar concludes their Master’s in Music


Meet Orlando Fernão, 32 years old, who has completed his Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology and Studies in Popular Music, at the University of Aveiro.

Before going to study for Portugal, he worked at Eduardo Mondlane University, in the Human Resources Department, and as a teacher and volunteer pedagogical director at the “Levi – Escola de Construção de Capacidade Musical”, of which he was co-founder. The school, which began with the goal of founding the orchestra and local church bands, grew and is now open to the public and functions as a free community school.

In 2011, he enrolled in the music degree course, and in 2019 applied for the Master’s degree. “I wanted to expand my options for developing the community work in musical training started at Levi.”

Orlando hopes that the training will help legitimise him with public and private institutions, especially the Government of Matola and the Province of Maputo, in order to bring music education to children without resources. “Levi welcomes and provides musical instruments like violins, saxophones and others to children who could not even think of the possibility of studying music, let alone the Western classical styla. With the training, I intend to pitch this project to these governments”, he added.

His thesis was entitled “Memories of Mozambique in Berlin: A Study for the Repatriation of Sound Records”. He learned of the recording of songs and music in Mozambique, carried out by German anthropologists in 1931 and, aware of the possibility of repatriation, dedicated himself to starting the process. For Orlando, this repatriation can be useful for the recovery of practices forgotten over time, as well as for the improvement of the current practices.

Orlando wants to continue his research in the area of archives and to do a doctorate, as a way of continuing his study.

“Studying in Portugal was a unique opportunity. Without this support (from PROCULTURA) this degree would not have been possible”, he stressed.

He advises his peers (other scholars) to be focused: “Know what you want and where you want to get to.” Tell them to find out about the difficulties and to devote themselves to eliminating them. “Everything that is good and pleasant and even perfect takes time; it comes at its own pace. You need to be focused and persistent and not get distracted”, he concluded.

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