Brazil: who is Janja, the wife of Lula, future first lady with character and ambitions?

Responsabilities

Janja was born on August 27, 1966 – she is twenty years younger than Lula – in União da Vitória, in the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil. A graduate in social sciences, she also specialized in history and management, as well as in sustainable development. In 2005, she joined Itaipu Binacional, the entity that manages the huge hydroelectric complex built in 1973 on the Paraná River, on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.


Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva kisses his wife Rosangela “Janja” da Silva, after his presidential success last October: “As soon as Lula’s candidacy was official, Janja played an important role. »

NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP

For twenty years, she held the position of assistant to the general manager and developed a major sustainable development project. Between 2012 and 2016, she also held the position of communications and institutional relations advisor at the national company Eletrobras, which manages Brazilian electrical energy. He also happens to teach sociology and management at the faculty. A busy schedule for a woman who has been active in the Workers’ Party since very early on.

17 year old activist

Because from the age of 17, in 1983, Janja took his Party card. Quickly, she made a strong impression. “Immediately, we perceived that she was a likeable, pleasant young woman, open to dialogue, but also with strong and assumed convictions”, recalls Florisvaldo Fier, one of the founders of the PT and president of the party for the state of Parana. Among its battle themes are already violence against women, the fight against hunger and for food sovereignty and the fight against racism. “These are the themes that I want to continue to defend with all my energy during my husband’s term of office,” she also recently underlined during a television interview on November 13 on the Globo channel. An interview during which she recalled that she did not intend to spend her days waiting at home for her husband to return from work. “It’s not my character, she assured. I will stay by my husband’s side and contribute as I can to rebuilding a more peaceful Brazil and tolerant. »

An important role

In view of his involvement in Lula’s electoral campaign, his remarks did not really come as a surprise. “As soon as Lula’s candidacy was official, Janja played an important role,” recalls political scientist Vladimir Feijo. Present at all the meetings, she also took charge of part of the campaign communication. “It was she who had the idea of ​​bringing Lula’s 1989 campaign jingle up to date. She was also responsible for soliciting artists, old and more recent, for a realization that was very successful “recalls rapper Mano Brown, who participated in the adventure. Janja is also active on social networks by organizing meetings with artists and influencers to attract votes.

“I will contribute as I can to the reconstruction of a more peaceful and tolerant Brazil”

The sociologist has also proven to be a political figure in her own right. The proof ? During the official presentation of Geraldo Alckmin, the elected vice-president, only three people spoke on stage: the two candidates and… her. The episode has also cringed, especially among Lula’s fellow travelers, who fear the excessive influence she could have on her husband. Janja is aware of this and kicks in touch.

A sociologist, Rosangela da Silva has also proven to be a political figure in her own right.


A sociologist, Rosangela da Silva has also proven to be a political figure in her own right.

NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Also during the television interview, she recalled: “The only opinion that matters is that of my husband. And I gave myself this role to really take care of him, to preserve him and to advise him if he wishes. The main interested party seems to be delighted. And even if he refutes the idea, for a time peddled by rumour, of entrusting him with a ministry, he appreciates his view and his reflections on Brazilian society. “She has her own mind. She has a well-made head. She will be free to think about what she wants to do to help me,” she explained.

Lula’s traveling companions fear the excessive influence she could have on her husband

First lady

One thing is certain, Janja intends to revolutionize the function of first lady. “I want to give new meaning to this task. I intend to support agendas related to women’s rights and the family, no doubt by facilitating the articulation between politics and civil society. »

Janja intends to revolutionize the function of first lady and to promote the articulation between politics and civil society.


Janja intends to revolutionize the function of first lady and to promote the articulation between politics and civil society.

Douglas Magno/AFP

Brazil: who is Janja, the wife of Lula, future first lady with character and ambitions?