Maria José (Zézé) Motta – Brazil

familiarly known as Zézé Motta

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Maria José (Zézé) Motta de Oliveira, conhecida como Zezé Motta (Campos dos Goitacases, 27 de junho de 1944) é uma atriz e cantora brasileira … (full text).

Zezé Motta (1944) had always been involved with art: since her childhood, in a private school, until becoming a professional in a theatre course, in which she was discovered for the production of a musical. Her mother is a dressmaker and her father a musician. Actress, singer and director of a non-governmental organization that supports young Afro-Brazilian in the tough task of becoming actors, Zezé has helped to value the Afro-Brazilian woman through memorable characters. In her teenage years, when she used to help her mother with her sewing, Zezé Motta spent the days listening to the radio. It was her father who noticed that on the third time that she heard a song she was able to sing it perfectly. “He discovered my vocation to be a singer”, she says. Zezé started her acting career in a musical. She was chosen after a closing ceremony of a theatre course, which she paid for with the salary she earned working as an employee of a Pharmaceutical laboratory. She says: “Peace is human rights being taken seriously. It is being able to decrease inequalities in all senses. Inequality creates a revolted atmosphere” … (full text 1/2 on 1000peacewomen).

Zézé Motta on


Maria José Mota – Brazil

Hear her song on this video: Zezé Motta canta “Fim de Caso” (Dolores Duran), 3.15 min, February 14, 2008.

She works for the Centro Brasileiro de Informação e Documentação do Artista Negro (Center of Information and Documentation of the Afro-Brazilian Artist) – named in Enciclopédia brasileira da diáspora africana, By Nei Lopes.

Find in portugese:

Zézé Motta Lyrics.

Find her and her publications (mostly as Zezé Motta) on Fandango /Filmography; on; on adoro cinéma; on e-bay /movies DVD; on IMDb /Filmography; on Google Video-search; on Google Images-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Zezé concluded Elementary School in an experimental school founded by progressist sectors of the Catholic Church inside a poor community in Rio. She started to make contact with the theatre. And with the racism, that was also manifested very early. From a neighbor she heard: “Do you have to study theatre to play the role of a maid?” The question, which seemed inappropriate to someone who had great career plans, reappeared in her life when Zezé started to receive invitations to work on TV. The only role available was as maid. Protagonist of the slave Chica da Silva in a movie named after this character, Zezé divides life between before and after this character that projected her allover Brazil and overseas. The question of where Afro-Brazilians belonged in Brazilian society led Zezé to the Afro-Brazilian movement and to the foundation of a NGO: Cidan – Centre of Information and Documentation of the Afro-Brazilian Artist. In the militancy for more space for the Afro-Brazilians in the movies, theatre and television, she noticed that there was a lack of opportunities, which was a consequence of the lack of qualification of young actors. “I noticed that it was necessary to stop complaining about prejudice and start doing something about it”, she says. Zezé Motta played important Afro-Brazilian characters such as the slaves Chica da Silva and Dandara (of the movie “Quilombo”). In her work of qualifying actors, she has provided around 400 young and poor Afro-Brazilians with an artistic and cultural qualification. (full text 2/2 on 1000peacewomen).

(She is an) Actress and Singer. She began her career as an actress in 1967, in the play Roda Viva, by Chico Buarque, under the direction of José Celso Martinez Corrêa. Her singing career began in 1971, when she began working as a night club crooner. In 1975, the album Gerson Conrad e Zezé Motta was released … (full text).

… and many out of Google-search, as Maria José Zézé Motta, or Zézé Motta, but pratically all in portugese/brazil.


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