Celma Manjate da Costa

Celma Costa is a writer and a community engagement professional from Maputo, Mozambique. She creates uncomfortable spaces where people engage in difficult, but necessary conversations.

She is inspired by the quotidian of people around her, and seeks to map out and understand the complex relationships people have with the spaces they occupy. In early 2015 she started The Nomad Settler, a blog dedicated to mini-ethnographies and observations during her travels to more than 20 countries.

Her articles have been featured on Okayafrica, Between 10 and 5, News24, The Daily News (Zimbabwe) and Youth Time (EU). Celma has also given interviews to 702 FM (RSA) and ONDE (Brazil).

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in South Africa, and a Certificate in Civic Leadership in the USA, Celma hopes to continue interrogating the role of memory in the minds of Africans, by exploring the connections between where we live, where we are from, and the evolution of our personhood.

In 2017, Celma launched the Maputo Figure Drawing initiative, a series of events where artists sat around a nude model and engaged in conversations about body-based discriminations. Later she expanded on the experiment as a speaker at the annual TEDxMaputo 2017. In June 2017, Celma was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow, and spent 6 weeks in the USA sharing and learning best practices of community engagement.

Currently, she illustrates Rude Vagina, a crowd-sourced feminist zine seeking to demystify the vagina and educate audiences about the female sexual experience. Celma is also a TEDxMaputoSalon organizer, hosting periodic events with a focus on quality discussions and tangible outcomes on issues pertinent to the Maputo community.

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