Moa do Katendê’s murder

09 October 2018

Mestre Moa do Katendê, Romualdo Rosário da Costa, 63 years old, was stabbed in the back, 12 times in total, after an argument with Paulo Sérgio Ferreira de Santana, 36, at a bar near his house, on the night of the Presidential (and local) elections in Brazil.

It is said that an argument started when Moa do Katendê said he voted for PT, while Paulo was a Bolsonaro supporter. After the argument, Paulo allegedly left and returned around 20 minutes later to ‘Bar do João’, in Dique Pequeno – Salvador, with a knife, stabbing not only Moa, but also his cousin, Germinio do Amor Divino Pereira, 51 – in his right arm. Germinio has survived the attack.

Paulo then ran away from the bar, but was caught by the police who followed a trail of his blood (he had cut his finger during the attack) to his house, where he was found hiding in the bathroom. According to the police he had packed a bag and intended on running away. Paulo said had been living in the area for two months and was having a discussion with the bar owner when Moa and his cousin became involved.

According to Moa’s brother, Reginaldo Rosário da Costa, 68, this is what Moa said to Paulo, during the conversation: source

Você é negro como eu, abra os olhos, estude história e veja que estamos correndo riscos de perder grandes conquistas. Você é novo, não sabe o quanto lutei para chegar até aqui

You are black like me, open your eyes, learn history and you’ll see we are running the risk of loosing many
things we fought hard for. You are young, you don’t know how much I had to fight to get to this point.

Moa was buried on the 8th of October 2018. Around 500 people attended his funeral. Friends and relatives said their goodbyes with music and capoeira.

Estávamos não discutindo, mas conversando sobre política, porque era um assunto que interessava meu irmão. Não a ponto de discutir, porque ele era um homem da cultura, não de briga e acabou morrendo como um guerreiro, lutando por nós

We weren’t arguing, but talking about politics, because it was a subject of interest to my brother. Not to the point of arguing because he was a man of culture, not of fighting, and he ended up dying as a warrior, fighting for us
Reginaldo Rosário da Costa, Moa’s brother


Moa era uma referência de nossa cultura. Fundou o Afoxé Badauê em 1978 e contribuiu muito com o Ilê e toda comunidade negra

Moa was a reference of our culture. He founded Afoxé Badauê in 1978 and contributed a lot with Ilê and to all the black community.
Antônio Carlos dos Santos, Vovô do Ilê, president and founder of Ilê Ayê

Friends and family said goodbye to Moa with with music and capoeira (Foto: Arisson Marinho/CORREIO)
Interview with the accused, Paulo Sérgio Ferreira de Santana. He says Moa called him ‘black and gay’… Let’s just for one second go with this (very unlikely though, given Moa’s level of consciousness and enlightenment) – even if that was true, how does it justify Paulo going home to get a knife and stab Moa to death???? Paulo denies the murder was politically motivated. It was certainly premeditated, it was certainly murder. He could have just gone home and stayed there.

Here are some of the articles published:
Moa do Katendê: Os minutos que antecederam o assassinato de mestre de capoeira esfaqueado após discussão política
Mestre Moa do Katendê: O triste e covarde fim de um capoeira
Mestre Moa do Kantendê é morto a facadas após discussão política em Salvador
Emoção marca enterro de Moa do Katendê: ‘morreu lutando por nós’
Caetano faz homenagem a capoeirista morto após discussão política em Salvador

This senseless murder has deeply shocked and shaken us all. There are countless tributes to Moa on Facebook & Twitter. A very troubling murder. No doubt a result of the politics of hate and fear that’s been taking hold of the world in recent years. What is even more troubling – this is also a symptom of ‘divide and conquer’ politics. A black man, unaware of his own culture, siding with the oppressor: in favour of more guns, harsh punishments and believing that being called ‘black and gay’ are mortal insults which justify murder (as per his interview)

Some very powerful speeches in honour of Moa

Moa made the world a better place, he will not be forgotten.

Last year Mestres Moa do Katendê and João Grande visited London together and I had the privilege to meet him. This video shows his visit to Mojuba Group:

Mestre Moraes e Mestre Moa do Katendê – 2000

Mestre Moa do Katendê singing, dancing and enchanting at the 7th Capoeiragem, 2018

Interview with Moa 22 November 2014

18 October 2018
Tributes/videos to Moa since his murder

26 October 2018
Mestre Moa do Katendê – A primeira vítima – Carlos Pronzato

05 November 2018
Biography on Velhos Mestres

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