Filipe Samuel Magaia – Short Biography

Filipe Samuel Magaia, son of Samuel Guenguene Magaia and Albinic Ana Perreira Magaia, was born on 7 March 1937 in Mocuba, Zambezia province. He was a politician and guerrilla fighter of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo), where he commanded the first guerrilla fronts for the independence of Mozambique, which began in 1964, in the then Administrative Post of Chai, Mueda district, Cabo Delgado province. 

[Text Box] Mozambique went through three phases of state building: the colonial period, the one-party/popular democracy period and the multi-party/liberal democracy period. Filipe Samuel Magaia was involved in the first phase, the national liberation struggle. After joining the first group of Mozambican Frelimo guerrillas, formed in 1963 in Algeria, Magaia commanded the guerrilla fronts, which were still in their infancy. The official narrative counted around 250 guerrillas on FRELIMO’s side, against around 35,000 Portuguese soldiers. And according to official figures, he was killed by Lourenço Matola, a Frelimo soldier in the service of the Portuguese, on an imprecise date between 10 and 11 October 1966, when he returned to Tanzania after inspecting combatants on the front line. 

His political career took place in a context in which Mozambique was under the yoke of Portuguese colonial domination, in which Filipe Samuel Magaia aligned himself with other resistance fighters and joined the group of revolutionaries from Frelimo, created in 1962 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Frelimo, he served as first secretary of the Defence Department, a relevant position in the context of the national liberation struggle, where he developed the strategy of Frelimo’s Defence and Security Department. In 1963, he directed the opening of the Bagamoyo training camp in Tanzania. And right at the start of the armed struggle in 1964, he supervised the structuring, training and training of the first guerrillas in the Bagamoyo and Kongwa military camps, and their deployment to the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Zambézia and Tete. 

Before joining Frelimo, Filipe Samuel Magaia’s political life had always involved revolutionary ideas. It was in this context that he joined up with other young people and founded the Núcleo dos Estudantes Secundários Africanos de Moçambique (NESAM), a youth organisation of native students in Mozambique, which at the time was already debating problems linked to the Portuguese colonial administration system, such as equality, justice and freedom.  

Filipe Samuel Magaia was conscripted into colonial military service in 1958 and sent to Nampula for 18 months. He was later summoned to Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), where he applied for a job in the city of Beira, from where he left to join Frelimo.