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Celebration of the 80th anniversary of angolan writer Manuel Rui includes unpublished editions

Angolan writer Manuel Rui, who celebrates his 80th birthday on Thursday, is honored this week in Luanda with several initiatives, highlighting the launch of unpublished works, including two children's books, a round table and essays about his work.

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The program of commemorations, which takes place between Wednesday and Friday, is organized by Mayamba Editora, in partnership with the Angolan Writers Union, Faculty of Humanities of the Agostinho Neto University and Luanda Provincial Education Office.

Speaking to Lusa, the coordinator of the tribute, Arlindo Isabel, justified the initiative with the fact that Manuel Rui is one of the most important voices in Angolan literature and for his role in the struggle against colonialism, having assumed functions in the post-transition government.

"He had an active participation in forging the libertarian conscience of the Angolan people", he stressed, highlighting the humanist character of Manuel Rui's writing.

Novelist, essayist, chronicler, playwright and poet, Manuel Rui is also the author of the National Anthem of Angola, in partnership with Rui Mingas, and the poem "Meninos do Huambo", which became famous as a song in the voice of Portuguese singer Paulo de Carvalho.

"He never forgot the fundamental ideas of freedom, respect for freedom of expression, thought, the press, and all of this is visible in his literary work. Therefore, we think that this tribute to 80 years for which all of society was deserved is mobilized", underlined the same responsible.

The concern with the humble and children, above all, as well as with the true emancipation of the Angolan man in all its dimensions, are other distinguishing characteristics of Manuel Rui's writing, according to Arlindo Isabel.

To mark the occasion, new works will be released: on Wednesday, in addition to poetry recitals in schools, the children's books "A Boneca de Trapos" and the "Alegria da Girafa".

On Thursday, November 4th, Manuel Rui's birthday, the program includes a round table on his life and work, with the intervention of various Angolan, Portuguese and Angolan experts and academics.

In addition to the presentation of nine communications, including one by Manuel Rui himself, two essays by the Portuguese Luís Gaivão, a researcher in the area of ​​post-colonialism at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, will be released: "Manuel Rui – Obra, Escrito e Pensamento" and "The Decolonial South in the Work of Manuel Rui".

On Friday, in addition to the presentation of the documentary "O Içar da Bandeira – a tribute to Agostinho Neto", two more new works were released, the novel "O Benguelense Boxeur" and the short story book "Tio Jorge e Outros Quês", followed by an autograph session at the Angolan Writers Union.

Manuel Rui Alves Monteiro was born in the city of Huambo, on November 4, 1941, and completed his primary and secondary studies in Huambo, following to Portugal, where he studied Law at the University of Coimbra, finishing the course in 1969, indicates the biographical note available on the website of the União dos Escritores Angolanos.

As a student he was a cultural activist at the Casa dos Estudantes do Império (CEI), in Lisbon, and participated in literary and political events, having been imprisoned for two months in Portugal.

He practiced law in Coimbra and Viseu, was a member of the editorial staff of the magazine Vértice, was part of the board of Editora Centelha, and returned to Angola in 1974, where he was director-general of Information and Minister of Information, in the Transitional Government.

After independence he held several positions, including director of the Faculty of Arts in Lubango and the Higher Institute of Educational Sciences (ISCED). He was also a university professor and jurist.

Among its nearly 50 titles, covering all literary genres, the novel "Quem dera ser Onda" stands out, with several editions, translated into several languages, in which the main protagonists are two children and a pig, with the backdrop the city of Luanda after independence.

"O Kaputo Camionista e Eusébio", "Quem Me Dera Ser Onda" and "Do Rio ao Mar", published by Guerra e Paz, are among the most recent editions of Manuel Rui's works, in Portugal.

Among other titles published in the country, there are "Travessia por Imagem", by Teodolito, "Janela de Sónia", "Estórias de Conversa" and "A Casa do Rio", by Editorial Caminho, "O manequim and piano", "Regresso postponed", "Um dead & os vivos", "Rioseco" and "Crónica de um Mujimbo", by Cotovia, "Memória De Mar" and the poetry of "Cinco Vezes Onze - Poemas em Novembro", by Edições 70.