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If you would like to join this exclusive community and have your own WarBlog where you can post your personal stories about your experiences in the War In Angola, also known as the Border War, please go to the host site (www.warinangola.com) and register as a user.

Only Registered Users of War In Angola that have subscribed to the PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP will have access to their own WarBlogs. For more information on the Premium Membership, click here...





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Author: Dino Estevao Created: 2013/05/05 01:11 AM RssIcon
My experience of the War in Angola or the border war goes to the very beginning of my childhood. what i am going to share with is a chains of events that were observed or rather lived from a unique position. over the years i have come across stories and anacdals that may have sounded absurds at the time. but today more than ever we are looking for answers, answers that you may find here or that you may have and would like to share with me and other readers. to that i thank you and hope that you find this space informative.
By Dino Estevao on 2018/04/30 07:11 PM

Suddenly the stretch between Namacunde and Chiede became very dangerous to travel, let alone for those who lived there. The twenty-four kilometers roads became known as the road of death and only few dared to venture there in the years from 1978.


My last trip through that road was in 1978 with my mother and her sister my favourite aunt, Helena or maybe I was her favourite nephew. 


I was very sick and they had to take me to Namacunde hospital. Life in Southern Angola was becoming extremely difficult and the only vehicles reaching place like Chiede were the military trucks that brought supplies of the basic commodities. The vehicle was often escorted by FAPLA. 


We had to climb in those truck and travel for what seemed an eternity. The road was bad, part of it washed away by the rain and part of it was perceived to be a minefield.  We huddled together as my mother prayed for our safety throughout the dreadful journey. I was shivering due to the high fever...
By Dino Estevao on 2017/05/31 09:50 PM
 The doctors have done a great job. Three times that I had to undergo surgery and was feeling legs moving again. Three times I had to fly to Grootfontein and back as Grootfontein offered better conditions to reconstruct my limps. The doctors had to remove part of skin and patch up the bullet wounds. At least I could now move my legs but the disfigurement was ugly and the scars were permanent. 


That beautiful athletic figure was permanently disfigured, but at least I was alive.


As I started recuperating I also started becoming more and more aware of my surroundings, my new environment and the people. One day as I woke up I heard two men speaking in Portuguese, "Capunda is dead... pisou na mina." The man with the bandages who arrived a day before was telling the other men who were equally in bandage and in great pain. They were exchanging news of the war front


Hearing of the death of Capunda send my body into a cold shiver, I almost dug deeper into the bed. Capunda,...
By Dino Estevao on 2016/05/13 08:57 PM
The road to Botswana look at the critical phase where members of the 32 Battalions, those who started the war in 1961 could no longer perform the fighting task, they were either dead, injured or too old to fight(COSSA RABO) but the institution needed men to fight so the school, Pica-pau had young blood. but when this failed the second option was to recruit in the surrounding area, across the river. And that is when Hotel company was created
By Dino Estevao on 2015/08/28 10:13 PM
while doing a research for the "in search for home" I could not ignore this institution and how the managed to infiltrate this unit. Although their stay a Buffalo was short(After few hours they were expelled), they managed to make contact and link many families back in Angola
By Dino Estevao on 2015/08/28 10:02 PM
This part of the extract from the search for home
By Dino Estevao on 2015/08/13 08:26 PM
Many parents look at the sunset and hope that the quiet nights will bring news of their children. Over the years I have had people coming to ask if I had met so and so and with a heavy heart I will say no but deep down I hope so and so will come back to his village or at least the family will find I closure. The children of the war is dedicated to those children who have crossed my path while searching for a home.
By Dino Estevao on 2015/08/11 10:23 PM
December 1995. I arrived at O’shikango, the border of Angola and Namibia. To my disappointment I was not allowed to cross the border, to go beyond Santa clara. I wanted to go to chiede, I have traveled all the way from South Africa, just to be told, “that’s it, son. You cannot go further north.” My father said with a voice of authority and the rest of the men that were part of the first meeting agreed with him. Although I was happy to have met these men and to share some form of kinship, the years spend apart have robbed us of some vital connectivity. The sense of belonging “here” was so overwhelming but lacked the essentials, I was happy but also sad. The war has robbed me of my family, of my childhood and stolen the beauty and innocence in me. Now I was trying to regain some of it, going beyond Santa clara was my way of regaining what I have lost, what was snatched from me that fateful morning in 1980. For fifteen years I cherished, nourished the memories of the small town, the soccer field next to the school were we played before the war intensified. I also remember the trenches that were dug around the town giving it more of a warzone appearance. I remembered as people moved out of the countryside to build houses around the town, clustering and fend off intruders. ...
By Dino Estevao on 2015/08/11 10:17 PM
The first few month in early 1976, the withdrawal of the South African Defence Force(SADF) which left UNITA running for the proverbial hills. Chiede became a very quiet town, almost abandoned except for the herdsmen who brought their cattle for water at the water pump. Then slowly the system started functioning steadily, the communal administration, the school and the hospital followed by other infrastructures. MPLA knew how to mobilise and its propaganda mechanism was second to none. From an elderly man to a small child everyone fitted in the puzzle. There was ODEPE for the elderly and fragile man, OMA, JMPLA and pioneiro, the later was to be scratched of the operational plan as it violated the right of the child. Chiede became a hub of activity and many people especially from the north east started moving, clustering on the south eastern side, between the water pump and the trenches dug around the old town parameters. The new centralization soon became a disaster, a death trap. From the north eastern side...
By Dino Estevao on 2013/12/05 10:19 PM

Omauni was my first stop from Oshakati military hospital. The Buffel, a military vehicle rolled out of the hospital yard, stopping briefly at the gate for a routine check by the guards, then opening the gate and the vehicle drove away. Leaving the comfort and safe haven that the hospital offer me during my stay. The drive was slow and each passenger kept to himself, praying and hoping that the vehicle did not drive over a landmine or came under attack.(that was the state of being then)

    Our arrival at Omauni brought a sigh of relief and breathing to normal. The buffel came to stop and everyone reached for their military gear and climbed off to parade or a quick gathering and administration. Being the only none military personnel I took my bag and stood aside, waiting for Tito Appolinario. He knew his way around the place, after the gathering we marched to a far end part to a tent where he was received in a warm comradely reception. Here I was issued with a sleeping bag and couple of boxes of...
By Dino Estevao on 2013/11/14 10:29 AM
The pain of not knowing if my family survived the massacre at Chiede was hard to bear, when I left chiede, under the tree near the water pump(seen in the photo) I took off my shoes that were shoaked in my blood… but what I did not know and was only to find out fifteen years later was few meters where I fell bleeding, my brother Leo, my hero let out his final breath. In the proof life, which is central to my writing, “In search for a home.” I tried to pen down the struggle to reach my parents and theirs to track me through Namibian towns, maybe not physically but through letters to tell them that I was alive.My first letter that i wrote in 1982 reached them and gave them hope that i was alive.But where was I? I was fortunate that in December 1995 I stood tall at Oshikango, and anxiously waited for my father to take me home. I was looking forward to be home for Christmas.
By Dino Estevao on 2013/10/02 10:43 PM
To understand the story of the Angolan border war or the “Bush war” as is widely referred in the some military circle. I want to take you back, about fifty year prior to the outbreak of that war in 1966, the date that is widely accepted as the beginning of the border war. In 1911 King Nande, the aging king of the kingdom of Uukwanyama died and his successor, the new king was his 17 years old nephew, Mandume ya Ndemufayo. Born in 1894, Mandume ya Ndemufayo was groomed by his maternal parent and academically schooled by a German missionary, pastor Adolf Wulfhorst. At the age of 17, he became the succession to the throne of the Kingdom of Uukwanyama. Although Mandume was not the direct heir to the throne, his ascension brought relief and stability in the kingdom. He was young, strong and demanded respect and discipline, than his uncle Nande who was old, weak and was loosing control within his ranks and delegated...
By Dino Estevao on 2013/06/06 03:58 PM
I arrived in the west Caprivi in the late windy August afternoon of 1980, the place that was to become my home for the next nine years was built in three geographical areas with natural boundaries. At one side was the crocodile infested water of the Kavango river and the other side was the dense forest with some of the most dangerous animals. Because we came from Katima mulilo instead of the usually route from sector 20 in Rundu... all the arrivals and departures to Buffalo have to go through sector 20 at Rundu where a thorough inspection and administration have to be completed but for unknown reasons to me we could not secure seats in the military plane from Grootfontein to Rundu, so we boarded the next best flight. Grootfontein to Katima mulilo and then by road to Buffalo, west Caprivi. As I mentioned earlier that lance corporal Tito Apolinario was responsible for my safe arrival to my adopted parents, must also mentioned here that one lieutenant whom I failed to record due to the language or age or both, he...
By Dino Estevao on 2013/05/24 12:38 PM
as I stood next to my father looking at the biggest military build up rolling past us into the beautiful town of Chiede, i did not know the extend and the damage but I felt the earth shaking beneath my feet. Was I scared? Hell, no!
By Dino Estevao on 2013/05/10 02:53 PM

My journey through the border war: In Search for a home


One day as I limped around the hospital, I stopped at the door of the tent that was also a ward. I heard somebody calling me, when I went in I saw a group of men sitting around on the beds. They were also patient like me, the silence and the expression on their faces made me think that something was amiss.  They offered me a seat, “Dino, you must not go back to Namacunde.” One of the man said, “you were lucky to have survived… next time you might not be so lucky.”  This were men that I did not know from a bar of soap but the way they addressed their concern, even my ten years old could not disagree. Beside I did not know if my parent survived the massacre at Chiede. After a long debate between these men, different scenarios and possibilities were put before me, but there was of small details could not be overlooked. I was a ten years old with physical disability in a country unknown and no family or clue how to survive. The...
Recent Blog Entries
Posted on: Monday, April 30, 2018
Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The Road to Botswana
Posted on: Friday, May 13, 2016
The red cross
Posted on: Friday, August 28, 2015
Fighting for the heart and soul of Chiede
Posted on: Friday, August 28, 2015
The Children of the war
Posted on: Thursday, August 13, 2015
Fighting for the heart and soul of Chiede
Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015
In Search for a Home: Omauni
Posted on: Thursday, December 05, 2013
In search for a home: proof of life
Posted on: Thursday, November 14, 2013



Recent Blog Comments
Re: The outbreak for the border war
This is a great information about the history you put in here. thank you go to website
By Chris on: Sunday, December 16, 2018
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Sorry to reply very late Lukas, but the story of the statue is a sad one. In short the money to make the statue was either stolen... There is lots of infighting in the provincial government.
By Dino Estevao on: Monday, April 30, 2018
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
I must say i'm so happy to see my great grandfathers name being mentioned in the books of history. i grew up hearing of his names in stories (folk tails), know i have discovered myself his name and his contribution to the world history and the shaping of the Namibian and Angolan borders of today
By Thomas Mweneni Thomas on: Sunday, April 29, 2018
Re: In search for a home: proof of life
Gud day my name is dionisia dos Santos. The daughter of the late Fernando dos Santos. My father was a medic soldier of FNLA in angola n later went to Buffalo 32 battalion. Then koevoet zulu delta were they ended up in south africa. My father n mother died wen we we're very young. Now we are old and want infomation abt my father so dat we can trace his roots. We want to know his family. Coz we don't have any family here in south Africa family so dat we reunite with them again. Plz if there is any info do not hesitate to contact me. My number is 0027765877705, we are based in south africa.
By dionisia dos santos on: Friday, September 29, 2017
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Hi Dino, Are you now in a position to tell us more about the proposed erection of a statue for Mandume at Ondjiva, please
By Lukas de Waal on: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Hi Paul, I will be getting more clarity on the matter. I think the statue you referring in the one to be erected at the four stop at ondjiva. Will tell you more after the 3rd of February.
By Dino Estevao on: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Hi Dino, do you know if the planned new statue for Mandume is erected already. Apparently he will be sitting on his white horse.
By Paul J Els on: Saturday, December 19, 2015
Re: The Children of the war
Thanks for loading this incredible new perspective on the war, Dino. So many sad but inspiring stories of the war are still to be told!
By Johan Schoeman on: Sunday, August 16, 2015
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Kornelius Shilungu was the successor...
By Dino Estevao on: Friday, October 11, 2013
Re: The Battle of Mongua: From Ondjiva to Preira d’eça
Thank you for this very insightful story, Dino! It is so important that we all learn about the history and events that predated our own Border War. When you read this you realize how these historical events eventually led to the situation we experienced with the SWA/Angola border cutting the Owambo nation in half. Also very interesting that Mandume died while fighting both the UDF (in SWA) and the Portuguese forces (in Angola)! I must confess that, other than knowing that the Owambo people were on both sides of the border, most of us in the SADF were unaware of the history behind it... Who was Mandume'a successor after independence?
By Johan Schoeman on: Thursday, October 03, 2013
Re: My journey through the border war: In Search for a home
What i have posted is a condensed part of the chapter. In search for a home is divided into chapters and phases. The massecre at Chiede happened in April or May 1980. This was merely on civilians, i will post this chapter soon. The exact date is unknown to me, but i am trying to get the records from the Angolan government. According to the Angolan news agency the number of people killed was 79. I was shot in both legs and have to undergo about four operations to Grootfontein to reconstruct. I wish i could get the SADF records.
By Dino Estevao on: Friday, May 10, 2013
Re: My journey through the border war: In Search for a home
Amazing story, Dino. Can you tell us about why and how you came to be at Oshakati hospital. You mentioned being wounded as a ten-year old during an SADF attack on Chiede... what year was that?
By Johan Schoeman on: Friday, May 10, 2013