portrait of Marcelo Ensema Nsang

Marcelo Ensema Nsang

Marcelo Ensema Nsang was born in 1947 in Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking country in Afria. 

Marcelo left Guinea in 1961 to study at the seminary in Granada (Spain) and was ordained a priest in 1973. During his stay in Granada, Marcelo began writing poetry when he became involved with a literary movement called Redondela. He returned to Equatorial Guinea in 1974 where he was arrested, tortured and twice imprisoned by the goverment as a result of his perceived political actions through his role as a priest involved with the Claretians. The Claretians are a Roman Catholic sect who are deeply concerned with the rights of the poor and disenfranchised.

Equatorial Guinea is one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Despite having enormous wealth as a result of possessing the third-largest oil reserves in Africa, this tiny country has a truly baleful human rights record, and is towards the bottom of all indices of health and welfare. Following independence from Spain (it's only African colony) in 1968, the elected leader Francisco MacĂ­as Nguema instigated a reign of terror in which one third of the population died. He was ousted in a coup in 1979 by Teodoro Obiang who has remained in power ever since. Equatorial Guinea's enormous riches mean that Obiang's corrupt regime receives strong support from western governments and the UN. According to Human Rights Watch, the 'dictatorship under President Obiang has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country's people'.

Poems by Marcelo Ensema Nsang