Orronzo Afonso Clemente
Name: Orronzo Afonso Clemente
Age: 26 years old
Location: Milange, Zambezia, Mozambique
Languages: Portuguese and Txuabo
Orronzo and I did not have one of those friendships that burst out of a great story; we slowly got to know each other because we were neighbors. It slowly turned into us hanging out everyday, sharing cultural differences, joking around, and then discussing topics that are not even easy to talk about in English: absolute truth, effective development strategies, and how to deal with cultural norms that may be detrimental to a community.
Orronzo would be someone that would come over to my place for no apparent reason, but we always found ourselves talking until dusk descended upon us. These long conversations have been some of the most meaningful that I have had in Mozambique thus far and one’s that I have cherished.
Unfortunately for me and fortunately for him, he has adventured onward to Maputo (the capital) to continue his studies. Although he is far away we still keep in touch and continue to remain good friends. These questions were answered on the eve of his departure and show that he has a true goal and path in mind on how he wants to live his life.
If you have any questions for him feel free to leave them in the comment box, and I will make sure to let you know what he says. Enjoy.
“Why do you want to be a priest?”
I want to be a priest to help people in the spiritual aspects and moral aspects of life.
“What is the most difficult part of studying to be a priest?”
First thing is that it takes a long time to become a priest. Secondly, many candidates want to be a priest. There is a special path and a particular lifestyle that one must fall into; however, many seem to adventure down this road. It is difficult for the Catholic Church to select who should be a priest and who should not.
The other difficulty is the difficulty of finances. The necessities are supposed to be given by the congregation that you are going to serve. However, it is difficult because many times the congregation does not have the means to finance a priest, and most often that congregation cannot do it on time.
Also just for clarification, there is a difference between priests and missionaries; I want to be a priest. The priests have more of an impact in the community because they are in touch with the local people, but the missionaries more than likely follow just the laws. Missionaries come in with their background; they have not lived, grown up, and spent most of their life in the community. They do not understand how to properly foster relationships with the people here because they are too busy thinking in a mindset of wherever they are from. Also, each local congregation has individual needs that are not always met.
“What is your favorite part about studying to be a priest?”
“Who are your favorite philosophers?”
Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Thomas Hobbes.
“What is your favorite book?”
Right and Reason by Rev. Fr. Austin Fagothey
“What is your favorite part of Mozambique?”
Quelimane and Inhassunge. Inhassunge because I was born there. I have a lot of friends that still live there. I spent a little bit of my childhood in Quelimane with my grandparents, so it is special to me.
“If you could visit any country in the world, which would it be?”
The US in the world; in Africa, I would like to visit Angola and South Africa. Angola would be easier because they speak Portuguese as well, and South Africa is the United States of Africa. However, it is more realistic that I visit the provinces in Mozambique. It is expensive to travel, and I will not have the resources. However in Mozambique, I would like to visit Nampula. But more than anything, I would like to visit the United States; it is a dream of mine to get there one day.
“If you were given a million dollars, what would you do?”
I would start off by forming myself and getting a good degree. Education is the first thing to helping people in need. Many people need help, especially in Mozambique, and I will not be able to help without knowing how to execute things properly. Things are not always done properly here, so it is more important to do something right and take time doing it than just doing something quickly because there is a need. That is where corruption comes into play.
My dream would be to open up a place for handicap people and displaced people to live and live productive lives. Many people have lost their parents in the war, and they have lost many possibilities because of this misfortune. They are on the road begging for money, and their lifestyle is morbid each day. Furthermore, these people are discriminated against because they have no one to go to; Mozambique is a very familial country, and one usually follows in their parents footsteps. Most people here accept to this as a part of life, you do what your parents did, because there is nothing else for them to do. The unknown if often too intimidating.
With this home for these people, I would like to teach people the way to get out of poverty. I truly believe that all people have the chance to get out of whatever their current situation is. Too many people just get stuck in what they are doing or what is expected of them; they have lost hope and don’t see a future. I want to give people hope in anything that I can do.
First Time with Selfie Stick
Orronzo is certainly an idealist. However with all of the apathy in Mozambique, the people need someone that has ideas for a brighter tomorrow. He is determined to get something done; when he was talking about helping people out he was getting so excited that he was lifting out of his chair to make sure everything was written down. As he continued to speak, you could see his face lighting up at the potential of something doing something in the future. He can see a brighter future and wants to get there. I certainly know that he is smart enough to get things done; the only question is if everything will be able to come together.