Samora Machel Biography
(1st President of Mozambique (1975 - 1986))
Birthday: September 29, 1933 (Libra)
Born In: Gaza Province, Mozambique
Samora Machel was a Mozambican revolutionary leader and military commander who led the Mozambican people in their struggle for independence from Portugal, eventually becoming the country’s first president. Born to poor parents, under the Portuguese rule, he grew up experiencing discrimination and ill-treatment in his own country. The Portuguese forced the poor farmers to grow cotton instead of food crops and curbed the natives’ right to access higher education. Living under the Portuguese’s repressive rule made him a revolutionary who realized that it was his life’s true calling to fight for the independence of his country. In order to prepare for his future activities, he left Mozambique and traveled to other African countries from where he received military training. He returned to his motherland and led the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO)’s first guerilla attack against the Portuguese. He became the commander and chief of the FRELIMO army and led his men by example in combats. After years of struggle, the Portuguese were forced to leave Mozambique, and Machel’s new revolutionary government took over. He became independent Mozambique’s first president and was greatly loved and respected by his fellow countrymen. He was later killed in a controversial plane crash on his way back from an international meeting in Zambia in 1986.