Against all adds,trials and tribulations, Elizandro Joel Soares de Alfredo, a young Angolan author published his first novel,Realisades Camufladas on February, 14, 2019.But at Positive Youths Africa(PYA), we are inspired not only by his courage to dare but also by the remarkable style and dexterity with which he unravels the realities of the Angolan youths.A patriot, he believes that his country cannot only overcome its hurdles but also soar through the power of literature and he exhorts the Angolan government to invest in promoting literary talent.We caught up with him to hear more about his inspiring story. Read on…
Tell us more a bit more about you.
I am Elizandro Joel Soares de Alfredo, a young Angolan born in the province of Cuanza Sul, in the municipality of Porto Amboim in Angola. I live to write. I am the author of the book “Realities Camouflaged” and I pour my heart into literature which has helped me overcome all the traumas of my life. I use the Almighty God’s gift of literature to change lives and enlighten the world. I am a social activist, I fight for the emancipation of young Angolans, who insist on not waking up to the world.
How was it growing up in Angola?
As the last child of six siblings, I faced a very difficult educational life. My Mum worked for four years without pay and with the absence of my Dad, the situation only got worse. But as hectic and traumatizing as my basic and secondary education was, I held my head up high and scaled through even though I did not had the accompaniment that a teenager should have. Upon graduation from High School, I was admitted in to the Institute Superior Polytechnic of Porto Amboim which is the oldest higher institute of my area of origin . I am a law student and I want to do a specialty that allows me to work in an international organization so I can fight for the global rights of the African people. I bear in mind that school is just school, everything depends on my determination and few believe that I can do the unthinkable. But, I believe that someday, I will be one of the great drivers of the new generation of Africans.
Why did you choose to become a writer?
I always enjoyed reading and the more I read, the more I felt like writing. I am passionate about romance and have always believed in love. So I decided to write to materialize my ideals and fight for a better world, since books are the only means where we can create a world where good triumphs over evil.The Angolan youths live in a mental mire encompassed by unemployment, poverty, hunger, lack of parental guidance, academic problems, suicidal desire and depression from ills of all sorts. This is further fueled by ills like early or unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage, disappointment and lack of dreams.
I hope to use my God given talent to lend a voice to the voiceless and a helping hand to the needy.I hope that my novels will be remembered from generation to generation.
Is this your only book?
Camouflaged Realities is my first published novel but it is not the only one. I bet on this book because it is extremely relevant especially in this difficult time faced by the young people of my country. This book is the first of a trilogy made to represent Africa and the world. “War & Peace” will be my next book.In this story I write about love between a macho man and a feminist woman who lives in search of equal rights and respect for all women. Women in Africa are very much disrespected.
What particularly inspired you to write this book?
The sad realities of the Angolan youth and adolescents coupled with the story of Queen Nginga has greatly inspired me. She was the only woman who ruled my country when it was still a monarchy and since the Angolan woman needs to assert herself in the world, I created a character who is fragile at the beginning of the novel but who after experiencing mental turmoil evolves to show the strength of the African woman.
What value do you hope to add through this book?
I feel the world can learn a lot from my country but I also feel the need to show the world the realities of the Angolan youth world; their experiences, their traumas and the causes of our weak presence on the African continent. But this, I believe, will change. Young Angolans will eventually rise to fight for a better Africa. That is why I want to focus on inspiring young people.
The book is written in the portuguese language, when would the English version be out and why not the french version?
I want very much to invest in translating my books to other languages so that the world can know the camouflaged realities of the Angolan youths. My book will be a bridge between the young Angolans and the world. Unfortunately, financial support is hard to come by and I greatly need it. I launched my book alone and until yesterday nobody believed me. But today, thank God, I have been inspiring many young people. I want to translate my work into English, French, German and even the most unknown languages in the world. I hope all the young people in the world can read my book.
Whatkind of Angola do you dream of?
My country is very rich but still struggles with underdevelopment. The lack of diversification of the economy is something that has prevented my country from prospering. We must stop paying for the oil that seems cursed, because everyone who touches this money seems cursed and tends to harm the people. It is necessary that people be more honest so that the country can progress. It is necessary that the youths play active roles in the government of the country. The State must also invest in literature. Books that educate the minds of young people,especially Angolan youth are very urgent in this time. The country will only thrive when we invest in education, honesty and human capital.
Your message to the Angolan Youth.
Dear Angolan youth, I am Elizandro Joel, an Angolan citizen who wants to show the world that Angolan youth are not mediocre, drunk and lazy as many want to make it look, Angolan youth are bright, struggling, promising and I am sure that we will make our country a reference for Africa and the world. Our Angola depends on us, so let us be dreamers and fighters living in solidarity. May God bless all Angolans.