Andavamamba is one of the most less-favored areas in Antananarivo. It is situated between Ampefiloha and Anosipatrana. It is densely populated and a very lively area. The road is half paved and half tarred in the neighborhood. Famous for its “lambamena”, the Malagasy traditional shroud for enveloping dead people before burying them, it is an area of cultural interest. Many people will surely advise you to go there if one day you need to buy shroud. You can find there the “Alliance Française d’Antananarivo” too which is one of the most frequented French cultural centers in Antananarivo. But above all, it is an area of contrasts, of rich and poor, of elegant houses as well as slums.
Adversity leads people who live there to remarkable results. Their day-to-day life is a battle. With limited resources, they have to make every piece of money count. For instance, the groceries, the greengrocers and the secondhand shops all along the streets all day long show that in their mind they want to succeed. And so do the streets full of people who sell foodstuffs (grilled meat, soup, fried potatoes…) and the bars in the evening until nine o’clock.
But like any area, it has its disadvantages of course. After nine o’clock in the evening, no one dare go out because of dangerous bandits who are laying down their law. So the area is insecure at that time. As it is densely populated too, it is a very noisy area, and you can find tins, bottles and papers everywhere. Moreover, foodstuffs are very expensive.
Life in Andavamamba is simple. People have no leisure except watching television. They are used to get up earlier and to work hard. It seems that their life is a routine. Everyone in each family has his own tasks: searching water from a fountain, housekeeping, cooking, washing clothes… Children go to public schools but when class is over they stay at home to help their parents. If you visit Andavamamba, you will surely notice that lots of people there never went to school in their lives. It is a pity because they have no chance to develop their area or themselves. The only thing we can do is to hope that their children will have a better life.
It can be a great neighborhood. You just have to be there at the right time. People there are so friendly and you can easily change your point of view with them. It seems that they are waiting for something to happen to them. Lots of them are dreamers, mostly young people; they always seem to be a million miles away.
To sum up, it is no an attractive area like the more favored ones. One should bear in mind that the young people who live there can be regarded as a potential for the area’s development.