Uploaded on Oct 11, 2010
Dermeval Lopes de Lacerda
Mestre Leopoldina (Dec 2nd 1933-Oct 17th 2007) passed away at the age of 74 in Sao Paulo Brazil.
Leopoldina's live story starts less prosperous in Rio de Janeiro though. He didn't grow up with his own mother and therefore he was often beaten and neglected. At a certain age he decided to leave his home. He slept in train wagons and made living selling sweets at public places. He started to make up rhymes to enhance his selling and also started to sell in the trains. People say he was nicknamed after one of Rio's train stations, but he states that his nickname was after a locomotive he used to imitate. Having lived like this for a while Leopoldina heard of a place were street children were sheltered and fed. This made the struggle a bit easier.
Somewhere in 1952 or '53 at the age of nineteen was the first time Leopoldina encountered Capoeira. He saw a guy named 'Quinzinho' leaping from left to right, standing on his feet and next on his hands. Leopoldina thought:' Wow, I want to learn that stuff'. In order to do so he had to get nearer to his only example (Capoeira had been prohibited till that time and was therefore nearly absent in public live). This guy Quinzinho was a 'malandro' (as in criminal). Just a month before him being released from five years of imprisonment, Leopoldina started to go to the bars frequented by Quinzinho and offered him beers.
In 1998, after participating in Mestre Barraos Event in Vancouver, I became a very close friend of Mestre Leopoldina and invited him to come to my Capoeira event on Easter of 1999.
In 1999 also as International guests present at Filhos da Bahia Event in Melbourne and Sydney was Mestre Barrao, Mestre Burgues, Dona Cleuza my mother and Sir Arnaldo my father. We had one of the best ever Capoeira Capoeira event in Australia. From there until since Mestre Leopoldina passed away, me and Mestre Leopoldina were very good and close friends. Mestre Leopoldina now is being rest in a very special place we all know because he were a very special kid, man, malandro, friend, son, father, brother and Mestre.
Onde quer que o Senhor esteja Mestre Leopoldina, a Capoeira e nós seus verdadeiros e nobres amigos sempre estaremos juntos
Mestre Val Boa Morte
Filhos da Bahia Melbourne Organizes a Roda in October every year to Comemorates Mestre Leopoldina's Death anniversay.
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