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Neli Cekiera

Listen to Dona Neli VO Portuguese

Dona Neli moved to Monlevade as a young girl in the 1930s, because she had heard that Belgo Mineira would offer good work and housing facilities.

In Monlevade, she was living in very humble conditions and housing in a small shack by the river.

Dona Neli fell in love with Wladyslaw Cekiera, the son of a Polish engineer, a tall and white boy with blond hair.

They were crazy in love and, despite all the obstacles caused by the boy’s family due to her racial and social background, the couple eventually got married in 1945.

Wedding certificate of Wladyslaw Cekiera and Neli Batista Cardoso

Wedding certificate of Wladyslaw Cekiera and Neli Batista Cardoso

Dona Neli's father-in-law

Dona Neli's father-in-law

Dona Neli's mother-in-law

Dona Neli's mother-in-law

Dona Neli with her family-in-law

Dona Neli with her family-in-law

Wladyslaw, Dona Neli and her mother-in-law

Wladyslaw, Dona Neli and her mother-in-law

Dona Neli (left) and her family-in-law

Dona Neli (left) and her family-in-law

Dona Neli and her Luxembourgish friend Miss Hoffmann

Dona Neli and her Luxembourgish friend Miss Hoffmann

Today, Dona Neli is an old widow living in a tiny house on Rua Siderúrgica, built by Belgo Mineira in João Monlevade.

Today, Dona Neli is an old widow living in a tiny house on Rua Siderúrgica, built by Belgo Mineira in João Monlevade.