8 Reasons To Be A Proud Cape Verdean

We know that Cape Verdeans across the globe have a lot of pride in their culture and history, so we sought out to compile a list of “8 Reasons To Be A Proud Cape Verdean.”

1. Music

You can never listen to enough Cape Verdean music. It’s such a big part of our culture and one of our biggest contributions to the world. Some of our most notable musicians include: Cesaria Evora, Bana, Mika Mendes, Gil Semedo, and Mayra Andrade. We thank them for blessing us with the songs and stories that have consistently made us proud, and given us the chance  to share our pride with people who know nothing about the islands. Genres include morna, coladeira, zouk, funana, kizomba and batuque. Our music is filled with longing, love, history and soul and allow us to celebrate the unique people we are, every single day.

2. Passada

We all know the feeling of going to the club, or some family party and the excitement that comes with knowing that you’re going to be able to perfect your passada moves on the dance floor. We just can’t help it – the one-two step to the tune of your favorite Nelson Freitas song just takes over you. The dance floor is always LIT and sweating out your newly blow-dried hair is a guarantee. No doubt, you are always ready to teach your non-Cape Verdean friends how to move their hips the way you do, because we know there’s so much beauty in this form of art, and no other dance can ever compare.

3. Our Traditional Foods

Two of the most popular traditional Cape Verdean foods are catchupa and pastel. Cachupa is a stew that typically consists of hominy, beans, fish or meat and is considered Cape Verde’s national dish. Every household adds it owns flare of ingredients and spices. A personal favorite variation is catchupa refogado (or refried), especially with a fried egg on top, drizzled with olive oil straight from the motherland.  As for pastel, the flaky tuna-filled fried dough, you never know you were craving it until you see the aluminum filled “panela” from across the room, and 5 minutes later you realize you’ve eaten 17 of them and your diet is ruined. But it was worth it!

4. Our Sense of Community & Family

Whether you’re from Dorchester, Providence, New Bedford or southern California, the sense of community among Cape Verdeans is undeniable. Cape Verdeans are committed to each other, and it shows in big and small ways. Our school and church communities are some of the strongest and most involved. This is also evident through the fact that 20% of Cape Verde’s GDP is from remittances (a transfer of money by a foreigner to an individual in his or her home country). We’re accustomed to watching our mothers fill “bidons” to send back home to those who don’t have the means. This level of generosity is a result of and reinforced by our deep feeling of connectedness to each other, to the close-knit families near to us, and to those across oceans who never stop singing our praises.

5. Our Drive to Succeed

We truly belief that as a people, Cape Verdeans possess an undeniable drive to succeed. Some of our biggest inspirations are people we grew up with on the block, who have navigated the tough streets of our cities, graduated from some of the best institutions in the country and through hard work, are making a name for themselves in and outside of our community. Some have taken more nontraditional paths and have accomplished some impressive things, but one theme is clear – hard work is in our DNA and we’re always eager for the next opportunity to better ourselves. We expect to see an increasing number of role models continue to represent us over the next few years, and we can’t wait to give them a shout out.

6. Development of the Country

Since it gained independence in 1975, Cape Verde has been a relatively stable democracy, with development metrics such as the Human Development Index (life expectancy, education, infant mortality, income per capita), being among the highest in all of Africa. Due to its successes in combatting the country’s poverty levels and continuous growth in GDP year over year, in 2008 Cape Verde graduated from Least Developed Country to Middle Income Country (established by the World Trade Organization). Despite its lack of natural resources, Cape Verde is paving the way in areas such renewable energy, which can be attributed to wind farms that were built in 2011 that now supply 25% of the country’s electricity, with a target of 100% by 2020 (Learn more). We hope to see continued investment in sectors including, but not limited to education, technology, and tourism, but so far, we are proud of the model the Cape Verde serves for other developing nations in Africa and beyond. Read more about Cape Verde’s history and development here.

7. Relative Freedom of Its People

Cape Verde’s “Freedom In the World” rating, which measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights is the highest possible (1/1), ranking higher than all of the other 53 African countries, sharing first place with 48 other countries globally. Cape Verde also ranks #1 in Africa for “Freedom of the Press.” This is HUGE considering the level of oppression and lack of civil liberties people still experience in too many parts of the world. Cape Verdeans living in the country have the right to exercise free speech, to vote in democratic elections, the right to equal treatment under the law, right to a fair trial, and freedom of religion (to name a few) – all things we shouldn’t take for granted and should definitely celebrate.

8. Beauty in Diversity

As a whole, there’s no denying that Cape Verdeans are some of the most beautiful people on this planet. A big part of that can be attributed to the diversity of its people – we can find every skin and eye color, every hair texture, a variety of accents and traditions on each and every island of the country, as well as in every city around the globe where we have a presence. The origins of our diversity go way back to the widespread miscegenation that occurred during colonial rule that has resulted in 57% of genes in today’s Cape Verdean population coming from Africa and 43% from Europe. This level of diversity not only has created an entire population of people with enviable physical beauty but also makes its cultural traditions that much more interesting and special.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the list, which is by no means exhaustive, of the “8 Reasons to Be A Proud Cape Verdean. We welcome your comments and don’t forget to share & subscribe!

4 of The Most Distinguished People From Cape Verde

Despite a population of only half a million, Cape Verde has produced more than a few distinguished people from its island shores over the years. From writers, poets, musicians, to athletes, there are too many to fit into one article, so we’ve narrowed it down to 4. Within their chosen fields, these illustrious Cape Verdeans have stood out from the rest. Their achievements fan out from the close-knit tether of the islands, reaching all parts of the globe. Below are 4 of the most distinguished people from Cape Verde, whom the world has plenty to thank for their contributions.

1. Eugénio Tavares – Poet & Composer

Eugenio Tavares on a 2000 escudos note from Cabo Verde

Eugenio Tavares on a 2000 escudos note from Cape Verde

The first on the list of 4 most distinguished people from Cape Verde is Eugénio Tavares, who was born on the island of Brava to Portuguese parents in 1867. One of the earliest composers to be published in Cape Verde, he is credited with developing the Cape Verdean form of song and dance, morna. This style of song has its lyrics written in the native Kriolu, a kind of creolized Portuguese with a bit of African stirred in. The music can be likened most to the Brazilian samba, which mixed with Portuguese and African rhythms. A typical morna band will contain foremost guitars, which are strummed in a manner known as mãozada. Morna bands vary and can also contain solo instruments, such as a violin, clarinet or trumpet. There is also usually a percussion section populated with shakers and bongos. The morna is the national music of Cape Verde, but today its rhythms are heard worldwide.

Si ka badu, ka ta biradu – if you don’t leave, you won’t return-Eugénio Tavares

Tavares brushed off traditional melancholy themes associated with the national morna. Instead, he infused his songs with more serious if not romantic ideas. He wrote about the overpowering grief of love, not only between people but for the homeland too. He once tried to get himself educated in the USA, but returned home disillusioned and yearning for his native country.

Tavares was also an acclaimed poet and drew from Cape Verdean folklore for much of his material. He would write poetry both in Kriolu as well as classical Portuguese. His works include Cancao ao Mar (Song of the Sea), Amor Que Salva (The Love That Saves) and Mornas: Cantigas Crioulas (Mornas: Creole Songs). The latter is probably his most famous work and was published after his death. Like his music, Tavares chose expressive, romantic themes for his poetry.

Eugénio Tavares died on the island he was born, Brava, on January 6th, 1932, aged 62. On May 11th, 2017, Cape Verde commemorated the 150th anniversary of his birth.

2. Marcelino Manuel da Graça – Celebrity Preacher

Also originating from Brava Island was one of the first showman preachers of the modern age. Marcelino Manuel da Graça was born on January 25, 1881, one of nine children. In his preaching days he also went by the name, Charles Manuel ‘Sweet Daddy’ Grace, often shortened to Daddy Grace.

In the early 1900s, the da Graça family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Marcelina took on a few odd jobs, the last of which was railway cook. But cooking on trains wasn’t how he imagined his life to pan out. Perhaps God had spoken to him about his true calling because in 1919 he started referring to himself as Bishop Charles Manuel Grace. After saving $39, he used it to found the United House Of Prayer in Wareham, Massachusetts in 1921. Other branches followed over the years in Charlotte, North Carolina and Newark, New Jersey.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Bishop Grace trekked across America, preaching his brand of Christian evangelism. He even ventured into the segregated South.

One of his more controversial tenets was that God only spoke to one man at a time. He referenced the Bible, pointing to Noah, Moses, and Jesus as examples.

If you sin against God, Grace can save you, but if you sin against Grace, God cannot save you.-Marcelino Manuel da Graça

Wearing brash suits and jewelry, and his hair long, Bishop Grace cut a very theatrical figure. He even grew his fingernails two inches long and painted them red, white and blue. His act is believed to have influenced James Brown’s stage performance.

Grace didn’t refrain from calling himself a faith healer and was allegedly believed to have said that the only path to salvation was through him. He would baptize hundreds of frenzied followers at a time with a fire hose, charging a dollar each for the experience.

God was certainly kind to Bishop Grace financially. He became a very wealthy preacher not only through his church but by putting his name on products from toothpaste to face powders to cookies. His real estate portfolio included 42 mansions filled with works of art. He was not averse to being chauffeured around in Cadillacs either.

The United House of Prayer continued after Bishop Grace’s death in 1960, surviving the civil rights movements of that decade. Today, according to their official website, there are 145 United House of Prayer churches in the USA alone. During his heyday, Bishop Grace was able to muster 3 million followers; today there are estimated to be no more than 50,000.

3. Cesària Évora – Singer

Ceasaria Evora during a performance.

Ceasaria Evora during a performance.

Dubbed the ‘Barefoot Diva’ because of her penchant for performing without shoes, Cesària Évora was born in Mindelo, Sao Vicente in 1941. Her father was a violinist who died when Évora was seven. Her mother, a cook, unable to raise all six children, sent her daughter to the local orphanage. Here the young Évora got her first taste of singing in the orphanage choir. When she became a teenager she would sing in the local taverns for a couple of drinks, always while holding a cigarette. Évora’s chain-smoking would later lead to health problems.

In the 1960s she took to singing on Portuguese cruise ships which would stop at Mindelo. Her specialty was to sing the native morna ballads in its Kriolu vernacular. These songs would tell of love and loss, poverty and slavery, all of which are strong Cape Verdean themes. Her voice was husky and rich in contralto, which helped emphasize a typical Cape Verdean sense of longing, or sodade, in her mornas. It has often been likened to the voice of Billie Holliday, of whom Évora was a big fan.

Her reputation soon gained momentum and she was invited to sing for Cape Verdean radio. But unable to make a living out of singing, Évora abandoned her music career in the 1970s. She did return to record on an anthology of Cape Verdean singers in Lisbon in 1985. This led to a chance break in 1988 when Cape Verdean producer, José da Silva, listened to her contribution and asked her to record an album in Paris. ‘La Diva aux Pieds Nus’, which blended morna with pop, sparked her international success.

Cesària Évora recorded and toured extensively throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Her concerts sold out in Lisbon and Paris, and she would later expand her itinerary to the rest of Europe and the Americas.

After her first two albums, Évora would return to a more traditional morna sound. She also added Cuban and Brazilian songs to her repertory. Her 2003 album, ‘Voz d’Amor’ won a Grammy for best contemporary world music album.

Évora went on to become one of Africa’s most internationally successful artists. Part of her act was to get the band to play an instrumental while she drank a cognac and smoked a cigarette. But she was no prima donna, always remembering her poor upbringing, despite achieving great wealth. She sang barefoot because her mother could not afford to buy her shoes as a child.

May God always keep us this way in peace, love and affection.-Cesaria Evora

In 2009, she became the first Cape Verdean to be made a knight of the French Legion of Honour. Her native country also recognized her by putting her image on both a stamp and a 2000 Escudos banknote. An airport in Cape Verde is named after her and also displays her statue.

Cesària Évora worked hard, recording albums every couple of years, with lengthy tours between. In 2005 her health started to decline. She suffered a heart attack in 2010, but kept on performing – and smoking right up until three months before her death in 2011 as a result of respiratory failure. In recognition of her contribution to world music, the Cape Verdean government declared two days of national mourning after her death.

4. Henrique Teixeira de Sousa – Doctor & Writer

Henrique Teixeira de Sousa depicted on a 200 Cabo Verdean escudos note.

Henrique Teixeira de Sousa depicted on a 200 Cape Verdean escudos note.

Although he trained as a medical doctor, Henrique Teixeira de Sousa is remembered best as one of Cape Verde’s foremost literary authors. He wrote four novels, as well as several short stories and essays.

Henrique was born on September 6th, 1919 on the volcanic island of Fogo. His father plied the seas between Brava Island and Fogo, eventually settling on Fogo and marrying Henrique’s mother.

At 17, while still at school, Henrique published his first short story. Titled, ‘The Rain Is Our Governor’, and written in Crioulo, it’s regarded as a thinly veiled protest against the Portuguese colonial rule of the time.

Shortly after, Henrique went on to study medicine in Portugal, graduating with a medical degree in 1945. After an initial stint practicing in East Timor, Indonesia, he returned as a doctor to his native island of Fogo in 1950. Later he would practice medicine in Sao Vicente, where he also became mayor of Mindelo in the 1960s.

Henrique Teixeira de Sousa worked conscientiously as a doctor, but he was also a gifted writer and devoted himself to this passion too. He finished writing his first novel, ‘Isle of Contention’, on the eve of the overthrow of the colonial regime. By then Teixeira de Sousa was already an immigrant in Lisbon, where he would remain until his death in 2006. This debut novel dealt with the gradual decline of Cape Verde’s European landed gentry. His second novel, ‘Captain of Sea and Land’, published in 1984, addressed Cape Verdeans’ deep association with the sea.

Teixeira de Sousa reversed a traditional theme of escaping the archipelago’s economic adversities in his third novel. The Xaguate Hotel, published in 1988, dealt with emigrants returning home to Cape Verde. His last novel, Djunga, published a year later, is often regarded as the great Cape Verdean novel, set after independence from colonial rule.

To this day Henrique Teixeira de Sousa remains one of Cape Verdes’ greatest literary icons. He is read throughout the Portuguese-speaking world.

We hope you enjoyed reading of our chosen 4 of most distinguished people from Cape Verde. Don’t forget to comment, share & subscribe!

Planning a Vacation to Cape Verde?

Cape Verde is a very underrated holiday haven. For those of you that are not from Cape Verde, planning a vacation to Cape Verde is likely not on your list of potential destinations. The islands are typically not on the radar for many in spite of its excellent profile. For those who need to have an adventure in a serene environment, Cape Verde Islands could serve as your perfect choice. For starters, the island is a cultural mix as it has both African and Portuguese cultures existing in harmony. However, it is usually the demeanor of the Cape Verdean people that would interest any visitor to this magnificent destination. The high range of hospitality will begin right at the point where one arrives on the island. The Atlantic group of islands just silently to the west coast of Senegal.

Cape Verde, Hidden Jewel For Tourists

Known popularly by the Portuguese visitors as Cape Verde, the blend of mountain and beaches will be key attractions for any visitor who wishes to enjoy great scenery.For instance, the vast expanse of green consisting of large sugar cane plantations, flowers, and valleys will take your breath away if you are just visiting here for the first time. Also, you will not miss entertainment as the Cape Verde Islands are dotted with restaurants that play beautiful music, just to the tune of any visitor here is not left behind.

Full Range of Islands

Writing about Cape Verde islands without mentioning the different islands that comprise the expansive land at sea will be an understatement. Take the island of Sal, with its enchanting landscape, that is a constant reminder of why this island has the reputation as silent heaven for a holiday. The mix of modernity and tradition play out in the open with several restaurants that are committed to serving traditional cuisine.

Learn more about the history and the culture of the islands

Exotic Tourist Destinations

Boa Vista is in itself one of the beautiful islands in Cape Verde as offers its visitors the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Isle. The long stretch of coastline will leave you wanting no more as you will have all that you need along the coast.

Cape Verde is a destination you would need to experience in person. Definitely different and immersive!– WORLD TRAVELER

Because of its overall natural design, Boa Vista is a great place to visit with your soul mate or stay for a honeymoon within its wide range of tourist attractions. If you are all out to enjoy the temperate climates, you will have the real feel here at Boa Vista. For instance, you can opt to stay at the Hotel Riu Touareg which offers its visitors the perfect view of the sea at dinner. At the Touareg hotel, you will also enjoy well-tended lawns that give an aura of romance, a befitting setting for the love season. For those people who love a touch of class, the Royal Decameron Boa Vista hotel will serve as the perfect host in Cape Verde islands.e.

We also recommend the club hotel Riu Karamboa with its desert oasis feel and setting. As one of the ancient designs, the hotel has a spa feel with a royal touch which many consider as a stark reminder of the Sultanate.

Mountainous Area to Watch in Cape Verde

You can move away from the sea and take a look at the Pico Do Fogo which is the island’s highest peak. Due to the fact that it is an active volcano which erupted not too long ago, it calls for a thorough tour with guides. Moreover, you can decide to take a sojourn into the unknown by visiting the Sao Vicente island.

A perfect Caribbean like destination with much to offer.– US VISITOR

At the Sao Vicente, you will enjoy not only the view but also the raucous festivities that the island is known for. The Baia das Gatas will also be a perfect place if you love sports adventure as you will enjoy windsurfing stunts as well. At Sao Pedro which is located at a stone’s throw away from the airport, you can be sure to enjoy fresh cut fish meat as the fishermen take them out into the local restaurant kitchens for your enjoyment. At your free time, take a day off and visit the Museu Do Mar with its fascinating artifacts of yore.

Many Choices With Endless Opportunities

With many island choices each offering varying terrain, atmosphere, and breathtaking experiences, Cape Verde is definitely a spot worthy of visiting for a vacation. This small West African country offers a mix of the modern and the traditional African culture. However, it is the historical aspects and the scenery that will make the island a great choice for vacationing with friends or your soul mate. Let us know when you are planning your next vacation to Cape Verde!

14 Interesting Things About Cape Verde You Probably Didn’t Know

Most people with a basic knowledge of Africa know that Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago located 350 miles off the west coast. Many others appreciate it as a beautiful tourist spot with white sand beaches and azure waters. But Cape Verde is far more than a vacation destination with. It has a marvelous history and unique geology. It’s Creole Portuguese-African culture might actually amaze you. Beyond the basic facts most of us know about the country, below are the 14 interesting things about Cape Verde you probably didn’t know.

1. Cape Verde has pledged to run on 100% renewable energy by 2020

Cape Verde has pledged to supply the nation’s entire power needs through renewable energy by 2020. Currently, the nation’s half a million populace have to import all their fossil fuels. Cape Verde has no mineral deposits and very little arable farmland, but it does get a lot of wind and sun. The government wants to capitalize on these natural resources. It hopes that the country will eventually no longer have to be dependent on imports for power. To this end, it has set up Project Cabeolica to deliver wind power across all populated islands.

Currently, 30 wind turbines located on four islands supply about 25% of the electricity needed. This figure can peak at 35% of demand supplied. The aim is to stop using fossil fuels altogether by 2020, which will cut carbon emissions, as well as create jobs. Twenty percent of Cape Verde nationals live in poverty, so the drive towards total renewable energy will help the national economy too.

2. Santiago is home to a 500-year-old church

Cape Verde has the oldest colonial church in the tropics. Situated in Cidade Velha on Santiago Island, the 500-year-old ruins contain over 1,000 bodies, most of them slaves buried underneath it. Cidade Velha was the hub of the African slave trade for almost 300 years. Through this dubious trade, it became the second richest city in the Portuguese Empire.

The church, called Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, is one of about two dozen churches and chapels in Cidade Velha. Before the Portuguese colonized it in the late 15th Century, Cape Verde comprised of simply 10 barren islands of volcanic rock. It was the colonists who brought civilization to Cape Verde. The same colonists built the church on the bend of a river. Perhaps not surprisingly, in time, it was destroyed by flooding.

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge started excavating the ruins in 2014. They uncovered stone foundations from a Gothic chapel dating back to 1470. This is the oldest colonial construction in Cape Verde. Within the church’s footprint, there is a further, larger construction, which dates around 1500. To have been buried under the floor of the church, the slaves would have likely been converted to Christianity before they died.

Today the entire footprint of Nossa Senhora da Conciedo is on display to the public, including the vestry, side-chapel, and porch. The church offers a remarkable insight into the history and culture of Cape Verde.

3. A cosmic music scene developed in Cape Verde thanks to a marooned ship

Electronic music underpins Cape Verde’s musical culture today, and all because of an abandoned cargo ship. On 20th March 1968, a ship carrying a cargo of the latest synthesizers and keyboards left Baltimore. It was en route to Rio de Janeiro, and the cargo was intended to be displayed at a large exhibition to showcase the latest brands.

Mysteriously, the ship disappeared the very same day it departed. A few months later it was found abandoned on the island of Sao Nicolau. The crew was gone, but the cargo of brand new boxed keyboards and synthesizers, all from leading names, remained on board.

Cape Verde at that time was still under Portuguese colonial rule. Amilcar Cabral, the leader of the nationalist movement, had plenty of influence though. He arranged for the electronic equipment to be distributed among the islands’ schools.

The result was an explosion of electronic sounds in the 1970s and 1980s. Synthesizers were used to modernize the native rhythms of Morna, Coladeira and Funana folk dances. Before independence in 1975, this music was banned in Cape Verde. Liberation and electronic synthesizers really shook up the music scene, contributing to a new cosmic sound.

4. More Cape Verdeans live abroad than on the islands themselves

According to 2015 estimates from the CIA, the population of Cape Verde is approximately 525,000. Due to emigration, more Cape Verdeans live abroad than at home. In the USA alone, there are more than 350,000 immigrants living predominantly on the East Coast. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have the highest concentration of Cape Verdean immigrants in all of America. Cape Verdeans have also immigrated to other countries such as Italy, Netherlands, Senegal, Portugal, Brazil, Luxembourg, Argentina and several other countries in Africa. In the UK, Cape Verdeans can be found in London, Liverpool, Hull, Cardiff, and Newcastle.

To date, the number of Cape Verdean immigrants living abroad is unknown but is substantially greater than the estimated population living at home. For this reason, one of CV Hustle’s main objective is to not only unite the people of Cape Verde through digital collaboration and interactive content but to develop a way to more accurately provide visibility with regards to where and how we’ve expanded our reach outside of Cape Verde. 

5. A Spanish cargo ship, which was shipwrecked in 1968, can be found in Cabo Santa Maria

If you’re prepared to hike across difficult terrain, you’ll find the rotting steel structure of a ship on one of the northern beaches of Boa Vista Island. A Spanish cargo ship, the Cabo Santa Maria ran aground there on September 1st, 1968. She was en route to Brazil and Argentina, laden with machinery, food, clothing, and medicines: gifts from Franco to his supporters.

The crew fled the island, and it took nearly a year for the cargo to be unloaded. Many of Boa Vista’s islanders used mules and donkeys to haul the grounded cargo to Sal Rei, Boa Vista’s capital.

Today the Cabo Santa Maria is a gutted, rusting hulk abandoned to the wind and waves. She has become a popular tourist attraction and is often painted by local artists.

6. The Pedra de Lume Salt Mines in Sal

On the eastern coast of the island of Sal, near the village of Pedra de Lume, lie the island’s salt mines. Set in a beautiful landscape, the volcanic crater which supplies the salt mines is filled with water 26 times saltier than seawater. For a small fee, tourists are allowed to float on its surface.

The salt mines in Pedra de Lume originated in the 18th century. Salt was exported to countries that included Brazil and France, but production was stopped in 1999.

The base of the crater is the lowest point in Cape Verde, lower than sea level. Water infiltrates the basin, and over three months slowly evaporates leaving the salt deposits. Today these salt pans provide salt only for the local economy.

7. At one point in history, Cape Verde was home to the largest port in all of the Atlantic

Porto Grande: At one point, Cape Verde had the biggest harbor port in all of the Atlantic, which is named Porto Grande. Due to Cape Verde’s geographical position and close proximity to the motherland, it provided a much-needed advantage as it was positioned to facilitate trade routes between Europe, Brazil, North America and the west coast of Africa. Its position as the main trading port in the Atlantic Ocean helped to increase the population of Sao Vicente and Cape Verde as a whole. The British and the Portuguese played a major role in the expansion of the port. Porto Grande is still active and currently owned by two companies, Armas from the Canary Islands and ENAPOR which is based in Cape Verde.

8. A history of producing the best harpooners, steersmen, and whalemen

Cape Verdeans were considered to be the best whalemen in the world at one point in history. The crewmen, known collectively as “Bravas,” usually far surpassed all others of whatever racial or national origin.” The “Bravas” was a reference to Cape Verdean men that were recruited to work on New England whaling ships. In the early nineteenth century, a significant number of the crew of the Nantucket whaling ships were Cape Verdeans.

The contributions of Cape Verdeans on many of these whaling vessels often exceeded roles beyond lead boat headers and skilled whalemen. Some Cape Verdeans excelled to the point where they became officers on board famous vessels such as the bark Charles W. Morgan, the brig Daisy, the bark Wanderer and the bark Sunbeam. Some legendary harpooners include Jose Gomes, Joao da Lomba, and Bras Lopes.  To learn more about the impact Cape Verdeans had on the whaling and industry, we recommend a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum located in New Bedford, Massachusetts where there is an exhibit dedicated exclusively to commemorate Cape Verdeans significant maritime contribution. The exhibit is called the “Cape Verdean Maritime Exhibit” and has been open since July 5th, 2011.

9. An ancient mega-tsunami occurred on the islands 73,000 years ago

A mega-tsunami occurred about 73,000 years ago in Cape Verde, caused by an eastern flank collapse on the volcanic island of Fogo. As reported in the journal, Science Advances, it was one of the largest in the geological record.

Volcanic flank collapses occur about once every 10,000 years. Often they’re not as sudden and catastrophic as the Fogo island collapse. Scientists measured the size of the wave by calculating the energy needed to hurl the huge boulders which were discovered on Santiago Island, 34 miles from Fogo. These boulders – the size of trucks – landed as far as 600 yards inland and 200 yards above sea level. After an investigation, the scientists reached a conclusion: the boulders must have come from Fogo because they contained limestones and basalts found only on the edge of the island’s plateaus. The terrain on Santiago Island is younger volcanically and doesn’t contain the same type of marine rock. These boulders arrived on Santiago Island by wave action.

Fogo is an oceanic volcano 9000 feet high, which erupts about once every 20 years. It forms the highest peak in Cape Verde. The mega-tsunami 73,000 years ago would have engulfed Santiago Island with waves around 550 feet high, perhaps reaching as high as 750 feet. To create this much wave energy, it’s estimated that 40 cubic miles of rock must have just dropped into the sea, causing a massive water displacement.

Scientists were even able to date the mega-tsunami to the nearest 1,000 years by measuring helium-3 (He3) isotopes on the surface of the boulders. The extent to which these helium isotopes change depends on how long the boulder has been exposed in the open to cosmic rays. This gives an accurate estimate of when the boulders were washed ashore.

10. The real first president of Cape Verde

Many Cape Verdeans look up to Amilcar Cabral as the first president of Cape Verde. Amilcar Cabral was no doubt one the most profound heroes of the country. Cabral was not an actual citizen of Cape Verde has been in Guinea-Bissau, but he was born to Cape Verdean parents. Amilcar Cabral lived a significant portion of his life in Cape Verde and attended preliminary school in Mindelo, Sao Vicente prior to departing to Portugal to study agronomy. His love for Cape Verde and neighboring colonies prompted him to initiate movements against Portuguese colonization.

Amilcar Cabral was the founder and leader of PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) which led movements against Portuguese colonization and paved the way for independence for both Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. Unfortunately, however, Cabral was assassinated in 1973 before he could see his dream come true but his efforts towards the liberation of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau has been recognized as “one of the most successful wars of independence in modern African history” (Wikipedia).  His efforts eventually resulted in Cape Verde’s independence from Portugal on July 5th, 1975. Amilcar Cabral’s legacy continued long after his death as his ruling political party continued to govern the newly independent country of Cape Verde. Aristides Pereira was a member of this party and officially became the first and non-elected president of the country.

11. The actual story behind the discovery of Cape Verde

Who were the original discoverers of Cape Verde? The discovery of Cape Verde has been a subject of much debate. Before we proceed to provide some clarifications, let us first emphasize the point that may be the culprit for much of the confusion and debate. Just in case you didn’t know, there are two places on earth that use Cape Verde in its name. There is the country of Cape Verde (otherwise known as the Republic of Cabo Verde) which is an island nation consisting of ten islands, located off the west coast of Africa, and there’s the Cape Verde Peninsula, which is a peninsula in Senegal which marks the westernmost point of the African continent. The Cape Verde Peninsula is also referred to as Cap-Vert or in some cases, also as Cape Verde, which as you can imagine leads to a lot of confusion. In fact, it wasn’t until 2013 that Cape Verde made a request to the United Nations to be recognized officially and internationally as the Republic of Cabo Verde, to clear up some of this confusion.

Based on the above fact, it is possible that the context of exploration and discovery between the islands and the peninsula could have been erroneously intertwined. So did a Portuguese explorer by the name of Dinis Dias discover Cape Verde in 1445? Perhaps, but based on most references, the Cape Verde that was discovered by Dias is actually the Senegal peninsula while the actual Republic of Cabo Verde was discovered by other Portuguese and Italian explorers around 1456. Italian explorer Antonio de Noli is officially credited as the discoverer of Cape Verde and was accompanied by Portuguese explorer Diogo Gomes (also known as Diogo Dias). Another Italian explorer by the name of Alvise Cadamosto has also claimed to have discovered the archipelago. Although Diogo Gomes and Antonio de Noli are officially credited with being the discoverers of Cape Verde, no historians have been able to discredit Cadamosto’s claim and the issue continues to be debated to date.

12. Cape Verde is the origin of many (and some of the most catastrophic) tropical storms

What do the names Ivan, Matthew, Katia, Gloria, and Emily have to do with Cape Verde? While these may be the names of some fellow Cape Verdeans, these are actual names of notable hurricanes that were originally formed in Cape Verde and occurred between 1985 and 2016. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most of the major hurricanes that have impacted the United States have had their origins near the Cape Verde Islands. Due to this natural phenomenon, Cape Verde is closely monitored via satellites and is a focus of attention for meteorologists and scientific organizations such as NASA. To learn more about how hurricanes are formed and evolve around Cape Verde, read.

13. Cape Verde becomes codename for powerful computer hardware

What is the connection between computer hardware and Cape Verde? Cape Verde does not have any facilities for manufacturing hardware equipment for computers. However, did you know that a large multinational semiconductor company based in California named Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) manufactured a powerful graphics card and code-named it Cape Verde? The Radeon HD 7700 series graphics card was initially released in February 2012 and has since then been upgraded with ongoing updates.

14. Cape Verde has one official language and nine different dialects of Kriolu

Despite Cape Verde being a small island nation with a population of approximately half a million people, the country is divided into nine inhabited islands with each speaking a unique and different dialect of Kriolu, which is a mix of Portuguese and words from various other countries such as Africa, Europe, and even the US. Although the official language in Cape Verde is Portuguese which was inherited from Portugal as a result of colonization, Kriolu remains the language most frequently spoken throughout the islands.

Interestingly, some individuals from different islands often find it difficult to understand each other. This is especially common among individuals from the different group of islands which are grouped into the Barlavento and the Sotavento Islands.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post and learned some interesting things about Cape Verde that you didn’t know before. Comment, share & subscribe!