The statue of Samora Machel is one of the most significant monuments in Maputo, and it depicts the start of the turn of Mozambique’s history. Machel, who was the first president of Mozambique from the year 1975 to 1986, died in an airplane crash in South Africa. The circumstances surrounding the crash were deemed suspicious, and it is believed that the accident was initiated by the apartheid government of South Africa.
As the leader of the nation’s independence, Machel was idolized as the hero of Mozambique after he led the local army to victory over the colonial Portuguese government in 1974 through guerrilla warfare. Because of this, a statue was erected in his honor on the site of the plane crash that ended his life on October 19, 1986. The Samora Machel memorial site was declared a national heritage site by South African President Mbeki, and it is touted as one of the monuments in Maputo that will be treasured forever. Built in the year 1999, the memorial site holds the statue of Machel which was made and donated by Norwegian artists who are anti-apartheid.