(Repubilika ya Ngola, Republic of Angola, República de Angola)
- Location: Southwestern Africa
- Capital: Luanda
- Language: Portuguese (official), Umbundu and Kikongo
- Population: 18,500,010
- Total Area: 1,246,700 sq km
- Currency: Kwanza
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Although exotic alcohol brands from Europe are available, many citizens have their own improvised brews at home where they make the well-known cuca or the native beer.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 5.40 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Traditional beer (cuca)
Located in the southwestern corner of Africa, the nation of Angola has a rough square shape. It is one of the most important oil producers on the continent and is regarded as the most prosperous of the all the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. It gained independence in 1975 after a bloody struggle. The western coast lies adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean while important rivers such as the Cuanza and the Cunene flow in the interior of the country. The climate is tropical and there are two seasons –dry and rainy. Angola has a total of 18 provinces.
Angolans come from a number of ethnic groups. The largest is Ovimbundu followed by the Akwambundu (or the Mbundu). Others include the Bakongo, Herero, Chokwe, Lunda, Nganguela, Ovambo, Xindonga and many more. One feature shared by all these tribes and ethnic groups is that they are very receptive and hospitable. I can remember vividly the spectacular reception given to me by a group of Herero women. It was fabulous and I learnt that Angolans are generally very friendly and warm to visitors and tourists.
If there is anything that will make you come back to Angola, then it is the food. I was thoroughly dazed and dazzled with the delicious meals. Although you have to taste these preparations to really appreciate them, I will mention some of them. The biltong is an irresistible dish and is popular in the Southern Africa region. I took part in the preparation and we made use of firewood and clay pots. Biltong is made using beef, it is salted and dried but it is not as simple as it sounds. The melegueta pepper is commonly used to spice the dish. Another meal that I will always remember is the kakuso. This dish is very popular in the country and is made with the Angolan river fish served with beans.
In almost all the provinces I visited, a meal is not considered complete without a drink. In the rural areas, the commonest drink is the cuca, a kind of traditional beer. It is made from the nuts of the palm tree and is easily procured in many parts of the country. In the capital city of Luanda and other many affluent parts of the nation, carbonated drinks and exotic wines from South Africa are served but can be quite expensive.
More than any other form of sport, soccer is quite popular all over the country. It is considered the national sport and attracts fans and supporters from various parts of the country. In displaying this love and support for the round leather game, Angola recently hosted the African Cup of Nations. Many Angolan players are based in Portugal were the pay is far more attractive than sub-Saharan Africa.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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