Brasiliance - Interviews

ROSA MARIA APARECIDA GONÇALVES (Rosa Gonçalves), born in Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Rosa arrived in London on the 8th of December 1978. She was only 19 years old and, coming from the countryside of Brazil, she knew very little about the English language. It took Rosa a while to adapt to her new life, as she went through very difficult moments along the way.

She first worked as a full-time nanny for a wealthy Brazilian family and soon made lots of friends, learned to speak English and decided to stay in London for good. She then got married and had two children. She now lives in Greenwich, where she is a community leader and founded a Social Enterprise Company formed as a community business called the Guerrilla Café. 


SILVIA BAZZARELLI, born in Guaratinguetá, São Paulo, Brazil.

Silvia was only twenty-one when she arrived in London all by herself, on 29th August 1986. Leaving Brazil was a big life-making decision for Silvia and to make capoeira her main profession even more so. She had fallen for capoeira at the age of fifteen in her home city of Santos, where she was training to be a dancer. Coming to London strengthened Silvia’s decision of becoming a Capoeira Master and a few years after her arrival she founded, with her partner, the first capoeira school in the UK; ‘The London School of Capoeira’ for which she now is the Artistic Director and Capoeira Master. She is also Choreographer for Passo Co Dance.


MÁRCIO AMARAL, born in  Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil.

Marcio Amaral arrived in the UK in 1987 initially to study English but continued with Leisure and Tourism Management  Studies at North London University. Since 1991, he has been studying Energy Anatomy, practicing the Bliss therapy helping people to master and manage their lives in a healthy manner. Now, he works as a therapist on stress management and he runs a successful clinic in Baker Street. He is the author of the book Creating Luck published by Hay House.


ANTONIO CELSO BARBIERI (Celso Barbieri), born in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

Antonio Celso Barbieri is 62 years old. In São Paulo he was a well known concert rock producer. The passion for Rock music led Celso to learn basic English by listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. For him, London was the centre of the world, everything happened first in London then everywhere else. Celso arrived at Victoria station in London with nothing but a rucksack in May 1987. A few years later he was bringing famous Brazilian Rock bands to London and even had the opportunity to record one of his own songs at Abbey Road Studios! Now he has his home music studio and released a few albums posted on his successful 1.3 Million visitors’ website  Barbieri - Memories of Brazilian Music (


AGUINALDO FRANCISCO TORRES (Francisco Torres), born in São Paulo, Brazil.

Francisco arrived in London in 1982, after spending some time working as a Kitchen Assistant in Portugal, Italy and the United States. On his arrival, Francisco noticed there weren’t many Brazilian restaurants in the city and came up with the idea of creating a service of food delivery called ‘the Quentinha project’. He soon became his own boss and opened his own catering business: Francisco’s Kitchen. Francisco decided to stay in London and became a British citizen.


ANA ELIZABETH FIÚZA, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ana studied Law in Brazil and arrived in London in 1968, at first living in South Kensington but recently moving to Chiswick.  In Brazil she volunteered as a writer for the Brazilian anti-dictactorship paper Pasquim in the 60s and 70s. She also worked as a translator, including on translations of Barbara Cartland’s books. Arriving in London she started a career at the BBC and soon after started working as a Cultural Assistant at the Embassy of Brazil where she has worked ever since.


CRISTINA CARNEIRO DE MENDONÇA EASTWOOD (Cristina Eastwood), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In her teens, Cristina played professional volleyball and worked for 20th Century Fox Films as an actor and PR. Cristina arrived in London in 1969 and studied Fine Arts and Latin American Arts History. She worked as an interpreter and language teacher. She married in 1972 and lived in Chiswick and Wiltshire. She currently works as a Stylist and Fashion Designer.


DÉDÉ SILVESTRE HAWKINGS (Dédé Paixão), born in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Dédé arrived in London in 1969 to study for nine months at an English School in Bournemouth. That’s where she met her husband  who was then studying medicine. They married in 1971.  Dédé works today as a Teaching Assistant but has also studied and worked as a Reiki Therapist and  for British Airways. She volunteers for various charitable projects.


MARIA DAS GRAÇAS FERNANDES CARDOSO FISH (Graça Fish), born in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil.

Graça worked in Brazil with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and then the Ministry of Agriculture. In Brazil, she met her English husband and December 1983 they moved to the UK, where they got married. She started working at the Brazil Economic Mission (Rebrazon) in 1984 and, shortly after, was offered a job as a receptionist at the Cultural Department of the Embassy of Brazil, for which she now acts as project manager.  From 1994, she also worked at BCA (Brazilian Contemporary Arts) organising cultural and live music events promoting Brazilian Culture & Music in London.


MARIA APARECIDA CUNHA AZAERJE (Maria Cunha), born in São José do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Maria arrived in the UK in 1986 and lives in Barnet,north London. She studied English and Portuguese Literature and holds a Psychology Diploma. She also spent some time in the Netherlands where she met her husband. Maria has worked as a Teacher, an English/Portuguese Interpreter and Translator. She is now a psychologist and a housewife.


RICARDO PEREIRA DOS SANTOS, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ricardo is a self-taught musician and sees himself as the agent-provocateur of music.  In Brazil he played with innovative drummer Edison Machado. Ricardo arrived in London in October 1984. He lives Vauxhall and has always worked as a bass player.