By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Saturday night, June 22nd, was special for Epifânia Maria de Jesus Mendes, who was born in Bahia but has lived in Brasília since the 1960s. At the age of 102, Vó Pifa, as she is affectionately known, took to the stage of the Festa Junina Arraiá do Parque, to release her first musical album, Catrevagem.
During the performance, Vó Pifa was not alone. The veteran singer was joined by her grandson, the harmonica player Engels Espíritos. In her repertoire are songs written during her adolescence, in the 1920s, and simple yet meaningful verses.
“I give my songs, my barbarities. Anyone who wants to speak of me, speak well, let fame run. Stop loving. I won’t. Whoever doesn’t have their passions may die,” says Vó Pifa.
A professional storyteller, it is difficult to know when Vó Pifa is serious or teasing the listener. In addition to her easy-going style, what is most striking about Vó Pifa is her impressive vitality and lucidity.
In 2018, Vó Pifa was on the program Hora do Faro, on RecordTV where she won the Brazil Records Award as the oldest woman to have had tattoos. Now, once again, Vó Pifa is trying to top another ranking. She is competing for the Guinness World Records World Cup as possibly the world’s oldest songwriter and singer to record and release her songs.
When asked if she is nervous or anxious about the occasion, Vó Pifa seems confident that her debut will be a success.