Manuel Rui

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Manuel Rui (born 4 November 1941)[1] is an Angolan writer of poetry, novels, theater plays, and short stories. He has been described as "the chronicler par excellence of postindependence Angola" through fiction that offers "subtle, complex, pointed, and oftentimes humorous portrayals of Angola since the early years of the MPLA euphoria, in which he played a political role."[2]


Manuel Rui Alves Monteiro was born in 1941 in Huambo (then Nova Lisboa), capital of Angola. He studied at the University of Coimbra, in Portugal, and received a law degree there in 1969. He practiced law in Coimbra during the nationalist struggle for independence in Angola. He was on the editorial board of Vértice, the journal of the Center of Literary Studies in Coimbra, where he published his first prose fiction works in the early 1970s.

In the aftermath of the Portuguese military coup on April 25, 1974, Rui returned to Angola to serve as the MPLA Minister of Information in the transitional government established by the Alvor Agreement.[3] He then served as Angola's first representative to the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations. He also directed the MPLA's Department of Revolutionary Orientation and Department of Foreign Affairs. He wrote the lyrics of Angola's first national anthem, "Angola Avante!", the Angolan version of "The Internationale".[4][2]

Rui's 1982 book Quem Me Dera Ser Onda has been described as "a classic of Angolan (and Lusophone African) literature".[5]

Selected works[edit]

Theater plays[edit]

  • O Espantalho (The Scarecrow, 1973)
  • Meninos de Huambo (Children of Huambo, 1985)


  • A Onda (The Wave, 1973)
  • Cinco Vezes Cinco (Five Times Five, 1986)


  • Regresso Adiado (Delayed Return; short stories, 1973)
  • Sim, Camarada! (Yes, Comrade!; short stories, 1977)
  • Quem Me Dera Ser Onda (I Wish I Were a Wave; novella, 1982)
  • A Crónica de um Mujimbo (The Chronicle of a Rumor; novel, 1989)
  • O Manequim e o Piano (The Mannequin and the Piano; novel, 2005)
  • Quitandeiras & aviões (short stories, 2013)[6]


  1. ^ "Manuel Rui", Plural Editores.
  2. ^ a b Fernando Arenas, "Angolan Literature", Lusophone Africa: Beyond Independence, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, p. 173.
  3. ^ Phillis Reisman Butler, "Manuel Rui's Sim Camarada!: Interpolation and the Transformation of Narrative Discourse", Callaloo 14:2 (Spring 1991), p. 307.
  4. ^ "Manuel Rui Monteiro (Angola)", Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  5. ^ Arenas (2011), p. 175.
  6. ^ "Angola: Writer Manuel Rui Monteiro Releases Latest Book", AllAfrica, 18 April 2013.