What does Kilombo mean?

The word kilombo comes from the Kimbundu language in present day Angola. It  means a warrior village or settlement. Kilombos were the organisational core of Queen N’zinga Mbadi’s resistance to the Portuguese invaders in the seventeenth century. Not only were the kilombos fortified against the Portuguese, but within them contingents of warriors kindled and rekindled their strength, and bonded with each other before going into battle. In Brazil, Africans who had liberated themselves from slavery and continued to resist the slave owners, set up kilombos, some of them thousands of hectares in size, modelled on the settlements of their African motherland. A kilombo, in other words, represents the unity of fighters in battle and their determination to achieve freedom, and refers to the fighting spirit of Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Why a Kilombo magazine?

Kilombo was set up in the UK in 1997 by African anti-IMF (International Monetary Fund) activists forced into exile in the 1980s. However, when they arrived in the West they found that little or nothing was known about the fierce struggles waged by the African street in opposition to the IMF’s structural adjustment policies. This resistance, ruthlessly repressed in large parts of the continent, received little media coverage outside Africa. Kilombo was set up partly to address the lack of reporting of Africa’s home-grown struggles for social justice, and partly to provide an independent alternative to the myths and misinformation that pass as news about Africa.

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