In this exclusive interview, Florbela Malaquias, leader of the Humanist Party of Angola (PHA), refers to the importance of a “humanized” world. The politician, lawyer and activist is also the only woman leader of an Angolan political party.
What led you to form the Humanist Party of Angola (PHA) and stand as a candidate for parliament?
What led me to form the Humanist Party of Angola is a question that has been with me for a long time. I created the party so that there would be another way of doing politics, another voice in the Angolan political mosaic. The traditional parties have a way of doing politics that is practically a permanent conflict, it has been an armed conflict for many years, but even when peace is achieved, the verbal conflict continues. We thought that it was necessary to have a way of doing politics that looked at the objective that is the reconstruction of the dignity of the human being, because the situation that Angola lived for long and suffered for years completely deteriorated our way of life, deteriorated the dignity of the person, and led to people living without any dignity and this issue was relegated to a level of non-priority. We realized that the Humanist Party of Angola could be an essential element for the reconstruction of humanism in our society.
What are the central themes that form your parliamentary management?
It’s all about humanism, because if we look at life in society there are several aspects that require us to be human, both in access to education, to land, and administrative de-
bureaucratization, which prevents people from having access to their rights and from these being fulfilled. Our fundamental issues are those linked to human rights, and we look very closely at the human rights of women, which have barely been taken into account. These are the issues that are our banner to try to humanise our society.
Have you associated with any social organisations, mainly to push your legislative projects with popular support?
Not with associations, but rather with social bases. Our members, the citizens in general, because here in Angola associations do not have much of a tradition of supporting political parties.
What do you think of the idea of the African Humanist forum, which is gaining a lot of strength in collaboration with Pressenza in countries like Zambia and Kenya?
I think it’s quite an interesting and likely initiative because our societies, all of them, are very much in need of the touch of humanism. Solidarity has disappeared between people, so we need to return to models of society with more solidarity and from there with more humanism, because there can be no solidarity without humanism. The human being also only got where we are today through solidarity between human beings, otherwise we would not have resisted the interventions even of nature itself. But when solidarity collapses there is a gap that even threatens humanity as a whole. The aim of the Humanist Party of Angola, like all humanists, is to create a network to rescue solidarity.
Is this a project that the Humanist Party of Angola would like to join?
Of course, it is, because we integrate ourselves into this network of international humanism, starting from Angola. I say that humanity is a whole, and if we all unite and are connected to develop, propagate and strengthen humanist principles, humanity will win.
What kind of support from the African forum, in formation, would you like to receive?
As we are a recent party, we would like to have support in the area of our training, the dissemination of our activities, in the area of exchange from a political point of view and other areas that are relevant to the forum.
And what kind of support, from other humanists, would you like to receive, or do you currently receive?
Currently we have a lot of support. We have a lot of membership and reinforcement of our problems and activities because, like everything, we are in the beginning. It was a fertile beginning because at the very first attempt we had two members of parliament, this alone denotes that the Humanist message is very well received. The work we are doing leads us to believe that in the course of time, in this process of growth and mobilisation, we can reach quite high levels.
How is your relationship with the media? Do you manage to disseminate your proposals and ideas or are there any stalemates?
There is no deadlock, but there is a difference: during the election campaign period, the way the media deals with political parties is different. Now, outside election campaign time, there are openings. We can get our press releases and ideas across, but not as widely. As other technological means are now also available, we can easily pass on our messages via the internet.
Yes, of course the internet also has its positive side. What message would you like to send to other African humanists around the world?
The message I would send to all humanists is for us all to unite because the humanisation of society depends on us. We cannot expect anything from those who dehumanise us. To wait for them to change or improve for human beings to live with the humanity they are given is to deceive ourselves. So, it is up to us to embrace this humanist philosophy and politics and unite to spread this message. We started as an act of courage, so we need to walk and count on absolutely everyone, because only together can we carry out this mission that is to humanise. I say “let’s humanise Angola”, but I would also say “let’s humanise the world”, because the world is completely dehumanised.
Full interview here: