National Heroes' Day in Angola in 2024

National Heroes' Day in Angola in 2024
Agostinho Neto, the first president of Angola.
  How long until National Heroes' Day?
National Heroes' Day
  Dates of National Heroes' Day in Angola
2025 Angola Wed, Sep 17 National Holiday
2024 Angola Tue, Sep 17 National Holiday
2023 Angola Sun, Sep 17 National Holiday
2022 Angola Sat, Sep 17 National Holiday
2021 Angola Fri, Sep 17 National Holiday

Marks the birthday of the national hero Agostinho Netowho was born on this day in 1922.

  Local name
Dia do Herói Nacional

When is National Heroes' Day?

National Hero's Day is a public holiday in Angola on September 17th each year.

This holiday is observed on the birthday of the national hero Agostinho Neto who was born on this day in 1922.

History of National Heroes' Day

In the 1950s, while other European countries were starting to retreat from their colonies in Africa, Portugal under the leadership of the dictator António Salazar, was doubling down on its territories, planning industrialisation to extract as much wealth as possible.

This colonial approach enraged many young Africans, such as António Agostinho Neto, a doctor who had been involved in (and imprisoned for) political activities against the Salazar regime.

After two years of detention in Cape Verde and Portugal, Neto escaped to Morocco where he joined the Angolan liberation movement. In 1962 he became president of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA).

As president of the MPLA, he was a figurehead for the protracted and violent struggle to break free from Portuguese colonial rule.

When the People's Republic of Angola gained independence from Portugal in November 1975, he became the country's first president serving until his death on September 10th 1979.

His obituary in the Times of London called him "a man of outstanding intellectual abilities who took advantage of the opportunities offered by the colonial authorities to emerge as their principal opponent."

Did you know?

Neto was a gifted poet. His work was published in a number of Portuguese and Angolan reviews. Most of the poems were "despairing portraits of Africans under the colonial yoke," noted a New York Times report by Michael T. Kaufman. The only volume of his poetry that has been published in English is titled "Sacred Hope".

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