Mestre Pastinha - The griefs of an ex-capoeirista
Magazine Fatos e Fotos Gente
28th April 1980
Photo: Sitting on a little rustic bench, Pastinha recalls the old times
The greatest capoeirista of the country, Vicente Ferreira Pastinha - Mestre Pastinha, - is 92 [91 - velhosmestres.com] years old, blind and without his famous Capoeira Angola Sports Center, which he founded in 1941 and which disappeared with the restauration works of the old building, today occupied by a restaurant-school of Senac. Blind and weakened due to a stroke, Mestre Pastinha is living in a small unhealthy flat of another building on Alfredo Brito Street, in Pelourinho. His health condition is insecure. Solitary and displeased, he recalls with sadness the victories and fights he participated in when he was young with the old bahian capoeiristas. He carries with him the bitterness of a forced eviction, when he had to take out his pandeiros, berimbaus and the benches from his Capoeira de Angola Sports Center and pile them up in a flat little bigger than four square meters.
Not contributing to any social institution and without a job, Pastinha is going through a series of difficulties, which are increasing with his age which is limiting his physical strength. Blind, but still lucid, he cites the names of people responsible for his state of abandonment and demands at least a compensation from the bahian authorities for the work he had done elevating Bahia's name and contributing with black culture through capoeira. He only receives a pension from the town hall, insufficient to maintain his family and rent a small house in the outskirts of the city. Pastinha doesn't ask for much. The little he needs to continue living with dignity hasn't been provided. So, he continues muttering his sorrows sitting on a little rustic bench in the corridor of a colonial building in ruins.
«Many that study capoeira in Bahia don't know, but this small pension that [M Pastinha] received from the town hall of Salvador was gotten through my iniciative, since I searched for the town hall's communication secretary, journalist Oswaldo Gomes who joined the councillors who granted it.
Romélia, companion and the defender of his rights, appears on the photo above on Mestre Pastinha's side. She was the real guardian of this capoeira legend.»