Deolinda Rodríguez de Almeida

IntroAngolan nationalist, heroine, militant, writer, and translator
A.K.A.Deolinda Rodrigues Francisco de Almeida, Langidila
Was

Writer

From

Angola

Type

Literature

Genderfemale
Birth 10 February 1939, Catete, Luanda Province, Angola
Death 1 March 1967
(aged 28 years)

Star sign Aquarius

Deolinda Rodríguez de Almeida (also, Deolinda Rodrigues Francisco de Almeida; pseudonym, Langidila; nickname, “Mother of the Revolution”; 10 February 1939 – 1968) was an Angolan nationalist, heroine, militant, writer, and translator, who also taught, wrote poetry, and worked as a radio host. Born into a Methodist family, she received a scholarship to study in Brazil, from where she corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. Fearing extradition, she continued her education in the US before returning to Angola. Rodríguez was a member of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and co-founded its women’s division, the Organização da Mulher de Angola (Organization of Angolan Women; OMA). She was captured, tortured, and executed for her support of the growing Angolan Independence movement. A documentary of her life was released in 2014.

Biography

Rodríguez de Almeida was born in Catete on 10 February 1939. Her Methodist parents were schoolteachers, and she was a middle child, with four other siblings. She moved to Luanda and lived with her cousin, the poet Agostinho Neto, who went on to become the first president of Angola. Though educated in the Methodist Missionary schools and taught writing and translating while a young girl, by the late 1950s she had begun to question the paternal attitude of both the government and the church. In 1956, Rodríguez joined the MPLA as a translator. While a sociology student on scholarship at Methodist University of São Paulo in 1959, she exchanged correspondence with Martin Luther King, Jr. Fearing she would be extradited from Brazil because of the Portuguese Imperial relationship between its colonies and her support of the growing Angolan Independence movement, Rodríguez de Almeida came to the US in the following year and studied at Drew University. Because she wanted to be an active participant in Angola’s independence, Rodríguez did not finish school and decided to leave the U.S. In February 1961, she was recruited to participate in the MPLA attack on “Fortalesa”, later gaining the honorary title of “Mother of the Revolution”.

Rodríguez traveled to Guinea-Bissau and Congo Kinshasa, where she co-founded the Organização da Mulher de Angola (Organization of Angolan Women; OMA), the women’s division of the MPLA. She received guerrilla training in Kabinda, and joined the Esquadrão Kamy. She returned to Angola in 1962. As a revolutionary movement leader and activist, she campaigned for human rights in Angola, and was associated with the Corpo Voluntário Angolano de Assistência aos Refugiados (CVAAR). In 1963, the government expelled the MPLA leadership, forcing them to flee to Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. Her writings from the time show an increasing move towards Marxism–Leninism and a painful awareness that her womanhood made her invisible even though she was part of the leadership. She expressed her frustration at the discrimination she faced for her lack of domesticity saying that she was treated as if being single was “shameful or of the devil”.

Pushed out of Brazaville, the MPLA moved to the border with Cabinda in 1966, where fighting intensified over the next two years. A martyr of the struggle for freedom, Rodríguez de Almeida and four other OMA members (Engracia dos Santos, Irene Cohen, Lucrecia Paim, and Teresa Afonso) were captured by the União dos Povos de Angola (UPA) guerrilla group (later, National Liberation Front of Angola) on 2 March 1968. They were tortured and dismembered alive. Taken to Kinkuzu, she was executed in prison.

Posthumously, her diary was published in 2003 under the title Diário de um exilio sem regresso and her letters and correspondence were published in 2004 as Cartas de Langidila e outros documentos. In 2010, a documentary of her life was begun. Filmed in Angola, Brazil and Mozambique, the film interviews associates and incorporates text from Rodrígues’s diaries. It took four years for the documentary to reach completion. Langidila—diário de um exílio sem regresso (Langidila—Diary of an exile without return) was released in 2014 and gives the story of the independence of Angola from the perspective of Rodríguez and her companions. In 2011, Marcia Hinds Gleckler, who had served in the Methodist Missionary Movement in the 1950s, wrote an on-line memoir and book entitled Dear Deolinda of their time together, her recollections and reflections of the era.

Selected works

  • Rodríguez, Deolinda (2003). de Almeida, Roberto, ed. Diário de um exilio sem regresso (in Portuguese) (1a ed.). Luanda, Angola: Editorial Nzila. ISBN 978-972-8-82314-6. 
  • Rodríguez, Deolinda (2004). de Almeida, Roberto, ed. Cartas de Langidila e outros documentos (in Portuguese and Kimbundu) (1a ed.). Luanda, Angola: Editorial Nzila. ISBN 978-972-8-82378-8. 

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Read latest news in Nigeria, daily news around the world, football news and other sports news. Get latest and updated jobs, recruitment and postcodes in Nigeria. You can play mobile friendly The Cube and Tetris games online free.

Get the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date SWIFT codes for all the banks around the world. Find mobile phone specification of all the latest and older smartphones, phablets, tablets, smart watches and PDAs. You can also read the latest news, breaking stories and top headlines for local, Nigeria and world events.