Cell phone companies rule advertising space in Mozambique. Entire buildings or walls are painted bright yellow with the MCel happy faces or bright blue for Vodacom. Multi-story advertisements are unfurled along the sides of apartment blocks. (How much does it cost to print one of those? Actually, how do you print something that huge?) Even though I was an MCel user, I did always like how Vodacom incorporated dialect slang into their advertising. I’m not sure what “bazza, bazza” means; I don’t think it means anything. But maningue is a dialect word that means “very” or “a lot”. My colleagues would always say, “Maningue nice” (very nice) just as we might say, “Cool”. So this advertisement says, “A lot of advantages for you.”
Right underneath it, beneath the trees on the median of the road, are vendors selling shoes and products from Zimbabwe, mainly two liter bottles of Mazoe squash.
If there wasn’t a cell phone advertisement in this space, it was an equally giant beer ad. It’s hard to miss a nine-story bottle of beer.
I googled “bazza, bazza” and found this ridiculous commercial from Mozambican TV: