Rio de Janeiro
It’s almost becoming a pleasant routine now. Since 2011, Renee Silva has been accumulating awards and tributes from media outlets in Brazil and around the world for her work in the newspaper (and NGO) Voz das Comunidades. The recognition of the time comes from the American magazine “Time”, which this Tuesday (23) included him in the world list of “Next Generation Leaders” [Líderes da Nova Geração].
The list of honorees includes American influencer Drew Afualo, 27 -a brave combatant of misogyny who uses her Tik Tok account as a weapon, where she has 8 million followers-, environmental activist Sage Lenier, 24, Argentine DJ and music producer Bizarrap , among other young adults who make the wheel spin, in a total of ten names.
The report includes a video of just over three minutes in which Rene talks about dreams, achievements and aspirations and is named as “one of the most prominent black activists and journalists in Brazil”. According to “Time”, his power of influence would even affect the presidential elections. “He helped Lula to win”, highlights the text.
Rene, 29, knows why he’s in this group. “I think I became a leader because I ended up inspiring and motivating other people. And also by looking at it. My job is to let people outside the favela know that our reality goes far beyond drug trafficking, deaths, violence and of everything bad that is always shown”, says the F5.
He is also aware of the power of the work he has been developing, not only as a news source, but as an NGO. Of the importance of rescuing the self-esteem of residents of Complexo do Alemão -now even a little more glamorized by the CPX printed on the cap he gave to president Lula and the first lady Janja. Rene even did the honors when the candidate’s entourage went to the Complex, last year.
It was Rene that desperate people called, at the height of the pandemic, asking for help when, without a job, they saw the pantry empty. The journalist pulled his strings and managed, with partner companies, to distribute diapers, clothes, gas cylinders, sandals, bottles of alcohol gel and more than 130,000 meals in the most critical months of 2020.
The truth is that, when it comes to helping, he is unceremonious: he puts his hand on the phone and asks influential friends, such as Lucian huck It is fabio porchat. The two don’t get tired of praising this “good face” of the journalist and influencer. And they always collaborate in some way.
Rene’s admirable trajectory began in 2005, when he was 11 years old, and he created the newspaper Voz das Comunidades, a turning point in community journalism. In the beginning, he reported problems and proposed solutions for his neighborhood and for the school where he studied, in Morro do Adeus, one of the 13 communities that make up the Complexo.
The project gained international visibility five years later, when Rene, then 17 years old, covered in real time the cinematographic military intervention in Alemão, where he has lived since he was born. A hurricane, as they say in journalistic jargon.
Since then, he has participated in TV programs, lectures at TEDx, for executives of multinationals and technology giants, congresses in Brazil and abroad. She has not stopped accumulating awards, including Forbes and the British The Guardian. In 2018, he was included in the list of the most influential people of African descent in the world in a selection approved by the UN.
All of this is documented in a folder kept by Dona Nanci, 69, Rene’s grandmother. She already has two large handouts with the news published about her grandson around the world. “She files all the stories I’ve ever been on in my life, carefully cuts them out and keeps them with the utmost care”, she says. The grandfather, Luiz Claudio, 63, demonstrates his pride in a more expansive way, so to speak.
Self-employed refrigeration technician, he has a well-heeled clientele and, when they start talking about his family, he makes the biggest impression, in the best of senses. “I’m here working for you, my grandson lives in the favela but look how things are: he’s on the list of the most influential men in the world”, he doesn’t miss the opportunity to say. And who would do it differently?