Listen to selections from his CD, 'Renascence.'
'Água do Bengo (The Water of Bengo)'
In 1982, during a visit to Portugal, Waldemar Bastos defected from his native Angola, where a brutal civil war was under way. Bastos says he felt smothered beneath the weight of the Marxist regime. The musician returned to perform in the southwest African country in 2003, a year after the civil war ended.
Waldemar Bastos defected in 1982 from his native Angola, during a visit to Portugal.
"It was a very important moment in my life, going back to my country in peace and giving a concert..." he tells Melissa Block. "I knew it would come one day. I'm a person of great hope and I knew that it can't be war forever, and it had to end one day."
With Angola now at peace, he's optimistic about its future. In "Paz Pão e Amor (Peace, Bread and Love)," from his new CD called Renascence, he sings: "How long till we had peace / let's now join hands / leave behind what made us suffer / let's lift up our beautiful Angola."