When he began his life in capoeira, Francisco Abreu Souto (today known in Ireland as instructor Mamaozinho) never imagined the success of his international projection years later. At the age of twelve, the circus came to his hometown, Boa Viagem (in the Brazilian state of CE).

One of the activities on show was capoeira, a sport that was already practiced by Francisco at the time. He got a job in the circus as a popcorn seller, and within six months he had seized the opportunity to practice capoeira in the ring. The circus long gone, his interest in the martial art continues.

MamaoFrancisco began to teach the children of the city and adopted the name Mamaozinho. His move to Ireland came later. The Cultural Center of Capoeira (CECAB being its Brazilian acronym) is the apex of his success in spreading the culture of Brazil and capoeira. Seven European countries host activities.

In Ireland, more than thirty children and adolescents have the chance to learn more about Brazilian culture through the Centre’s work.

“The greatest importance I attach to my capoeira is representing Brazil, our Brazilian popular culture,” Mamao emphasises. He claims the sport has present on five continents for more than four decades. “With all the Brazilians in the world Capoeira is also present because it is in our intangible cultural heritage,” he explains.

Currently there are more than ten million practitioners in Brazil and Europe.

A festival takes place this year from 15 April in Dublin, over three days. Those interested in further details and in participating can register or make inquiries by calling 0871166043 or via email cecab.ireland@gmail.com. Details can be found in the main image.