Testimonials About Mussa Calil Neto
Nephew of Os Independentes founder Nenê Daher, at the age of four Mussa already lived with the preparations of the Rodeo.
In 1975 he was admitted as a member of “Os Independentes” under the administration of Virgílio de Ávila Lima, taking over the direction of the Typical Parade which happened in town, always on the morning of the last Sunday of the event. The parade was made up of folklore groups, floats, cattle carts, big carriages, horse carts and cowboy entourages and headed for the Paulo de Lima Corrêa enclosure for the Queima do Alho, a typical cooking contest.
In 1983 he was elected President and surprised everyone by having it written on the chute gates that this would be the last rodeo inside the town, and that in a years’ time the 240 acres of land acquired by Os Independentes would become the Parque do Peão.
This same year he created and organized the 1st Founders Reunion, gathering companions spread across the country for a great reunion at the Comitiva´s Bar, with testimonials and debates on the roots of a story that now started to be written, documented and valued, and which provided the idea for the creation of the Cowboy Museum, during his mandate in 1984.
In 1985, overcoming disbelief of the whole town, Mussa commanded the first Rodeo in its own home, built in accordance with a project by renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer.
During his mandates, attractions of the Rodeo evolved and became steady fixtures, such as: the Little Cowboys Rodeo, which began under a rented circus tent and nowadays has been transformed into the Little Cowboy´s Park; the “Rose Abrão” 10 String Guitar Contest, which has launched names such as Rio Negro & Solimões, one of the greatest Brazilian country duos and today is part of the non-material heritage of Barretos.
Also during his periods of administration, a huge and valuable collection of illustrations and paintings of the Rodeo, signed by many renowned Brazilian artists such as: Aldemir Martins, Tomie Ohtake, Manabu Mahbe, Claudio Tozzi, Hans Donner, Oscar Niemeyer, Ziraldo, etc. started to be put together.
In 1989, repaying the companionship of João Paulo Nogueira in the implantation of the Park, he contributed decisively to the inauguration of the Multi-use Rodeo Arena, built in just 81 days.
For the past years, Mussa Calil Neto has been answering to summons by the administration to establish and foment the Clubs most important relationships within political and administrative circles.
"What They Say About Mussa Calil Neto"
“Mussa is the crazy person that comes out right. He´s a popular leadership. My companion in the Construction Committee of the Cancer Hospital. He has always helped me with everything that I do in favour of the poorer population and has never charged me even for the petrol in his car.”Henrique Prata, Director General of the Barretos Cancer Hospital
“Mussa is a long time companion who has proved to be gutsy at the right time, and is a good manager of the projects which, always with a richness of detail, he has brought to our attention, thereby gaining our endorsement to stimulate sustainable growth in the Barretos region, always with a priority on the social side, which has been the mark of our work for the whole of Brazil. Imitating Obama, I might say to the people of Barretos, that Mussa “is the guy…!”Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Ex- President of the Republic of Brazil
“When we implemented the Bandeirantes TV signal in Barretos in 1984, I had the privilege of meeting a native of Barretos, who is the most legitimate translation of dynamism, of vision of the future and of someone with a great heart, which are typical features of the best Arabian, blood mixed with the purity of the interior of Brazil, where foods and the best cultural traditions are cultivated, to indulge the soul of the multi-racial metropolis’. Barretos is to be congratulated for having such an authentic and productive son of the Earth as is my friend Mussa.”Johnny Saad, President Director of Bandeirantes Radio and Television System
“Mussa Calil is the public soul of the Rodeo and the Event. With a light carefulness, he reveals the mysteries of the world of the rodeo.”Arnaldo Jabor, Journalist, Folha de São Paulo/Estado de São Paulo newspapers and Jornal Nacional Globo Television Network programme
“Every now and then we have to have a crazy person in our midst. Mussinha, your daring, your desire has paid off. You will be part of the history not only of Os Independentes but also of Barretos.”Maria Abadia, Social columnist of the Diário de Barretos newspaper
“We can be sure that Mussa has shown in practice an effective work for the community. Besides being someone who believes in himself, he has Faith, is simple, practical, sees the future, is dynamic, brave, persistent, daring, creative patriotic and hard working. But his biggest virtue is being crazy about Barretos. You can all see for yourselves”Marcelo Murta, Writer, Composer and Publicist
“Because Mussinha, according to some, is crazy. To be crazy is to be someone who has lost reason; is alienated; mad; demented. To be crazy is to be out of your wits; contrary to reason or common sense; insensitive. To be crazy is to be dominated by intense passion. You can be crazy in love for someone, or crazy in love for a cause. When he announced that he would move the Barretos Rodeo, which used to take place at the Paulo de Lima Corrêa enclosure, to the Parque do Peão, in many people’s opinions Mussinha acted not very sensibly, in an inconvenient, weird, excentric manner. Real madness. There were those also who considered him imprudent, immoderate, reckless. The man was crazy. Mussinha one day dreamt of the Parque do Peão. In between the dream and the quest, came madness, determination out of the ordinary. The move worked, the improvements in the Parque do Peão have been happening gradually. The Parque do Peão was the great passion of his life until he met his wife Maria Aparecida and daughters Maria Clara and Maria Vitória.”João Monteiro de Barros, Writer, Journalist and Executive Director of the Rede Vida de Televisão television network.
“Who am I to question Charlie Chaplin, the one who attributed the great metamorphosis’ of humanity to the mad people? Moving the Event from town to a piece of land on which an INCRA tax needed to be paid was madness in the vein of Juscelino Kubistchek (who moved the Capital city of Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia). Proposing a mausoleum for the bull Bandido was madness that became a mockery. In 1985, when the event moved from a 15 acre site to a Park with almost 240 acres, Mussa said that soon it still wouldn´t be big enough and people laughed at him. In 2010, the Park already has 480 acres, and every one now says he was right. But there was more madness to come: Mussa guarantees that the Park has to grow to 3.600 acres to become a “Country” Disney World. Mussa really is as mad as you can get…madly in love with Barretos. Thank God.”Elias Couto, Journalist, writer and founding member of the Barretos Culture Academy
“I´m still jetlagged from Barretos! Those confusing hours of the Rodeo! Couldn´t Mussa Calil have built the arena closer? In Araraquara for instance? And what about the Marginal Tietê in São Paulo? And it’s not that Barretos is far, it’s me who is urban. I call the “berrante” (bull horn) a trombone and when an owl shrieks, I think it´s the night guard! And what about the orgies at the Barretos Rodeo, is it all true? Yup, I´ve never mounted so much. On benches! To take pictures sitting on a bull! Hahaha! I thought Barretos was so far I almost stopped to sleep at the best town in the interior of São Paulo: Return! What a lovely town! I loved everything! But did they need to put me to sleep in a convent! If my female readers find out about this my reputation is ruined! I bite but I don´t neigh!”José Simão, Social Column Writer of the Folha de São Paulo newspaper
“Mussinha, godson, good friend and companion at all times, good and bad, should have a bronze bust at the Praça Nove de Julho, to remind future generations of the hygienic move of the Barretos Rodeo to the Cowboy Park, at the time still a great tract of open pasture; today, a grandiose and imposing home of the biggest rodeo in Brazil, the Parque ‘Mussa Calil Neto, God be willing’. Mussa, a big arab with the heart of a boy, is a man with no hatred in his heart.”Dr. Matinas Suzuki, Doctor, writer and President of the Barretos Culture Academy
“Mussa Calil took on all difficulties. He broke boundaries with intelligence and courage. He faced the skeptics. He sent on their way the foreboding, who foresaw the end of the Rodeo once it moved to the new Park. Mussa ate dust, tore down fences, plunged his ideals into the waters of faith and took the Rodeo to the almost inhospitable 240 acres of land. In the midst of all the grandness of the Barretos Rodeo it is fair, today, to revere Mussa Calil Neto´s efforts, the President who had the courage to move the Rodeo from where it used to be. Today it is definitely fair to call Mussa, Mussa the Brave, a person who has made history in the Barretos Rodeo.”Luiz Carlos Fabrini, Writer, presenter and journalist of the Rede Vida de Televisão television network.
“During your time as President of Os Independentes in 1985, a very difficult time, you moved the Rodeo to the Parque do Peão. If it weren´t for your toughness, perhaps this commitment may have been compromised. Your fighting spirit made you grab the bull by the horns and get the job done. You were called mad many times, but today you are part of the history of Barretos. Mussinha, I have learnt to see in you an example of fearlessness to face the most arduous tasks.”Omar Thomé, Ex-City Councilman of the Barretos Municipal Chamber
“A mad man? A man of vision? A man who is predestined? A man of courage? I don´t know. Mussinha, President of Os Independentes is a bit of all of that, exactly because he managed to move the Barretos Rodeo from the cramped Paulo de Lima Corrêa enclosure to the Fazenda Independente, with 240 acres, where the new Parque do Peão was built. There is no doubt that this was a courageous act. There is no turning back now. The order is to hold your head up high, look ahead and walk in search of the future.”Paulo Flosi, Poet and Journalist
Mussa, your daring in challenging the impossible was the lever that changed the axis of the Club´s history. The rest: determination, war and fighting were the sum that resulted in the greatest of your achievements: The transferring of the Rodeo to the Park. I have always admired the black sheep, the one which when discontent with the stagnation of the sheepcote jumps the barriers of conventional conformity and goes in search of new horizons; goes down valleys; climbs mountains; faces hard rocks; scalding deserts and cold woods: Always in search of the dreamed-of Greater Horizon. In your eyes Mussinha, the light that makes you different from others (those who will always be content with the sameness of mere survival), will always shine: They have never dared to dream, they just slept. You, during the course of the magic of life, have revealed that everything you did was not motivated by the fleeting flame of vanity, but by the true love for the Os Independentes Club.”Paulo César Froner (PC), Landscape designer for the Parque do Peão