DJ school provides a career path for Favela Rocinha youths

Video posted May 4, 2012 in News, Brazil by Kelley King


Music is the heartbeat of Rio de Janeiro, and can often be found in unlikely places.

Located in the favela of Rocinha, one of the poorest areas of Rio, is the Rocinha Media School, a small but growing DJ school dedicated to taking youths off the streets and teaching them a marketable skill.

The school is less than a year old. It is run by Renato da Silva, better known as DJ Zezinho, who  has already begun to change the lives of some Rocinha residents.

Zezinho makes a lot of sacrifices to have the school, including moving his bed into the kitchen so he can host classes in what used to be his bedroom.

He hopes that the school can continue to grow and eventually move into it’s own business space.

Zezinho finances the school mainly through donations and a favela tourism business, in which he guides tourists and visitors on a walking tour through Rocinha.  Zezinho's efforts to change people's perceptions of favelas don't stop there.  He is an active blogger. He uses the online platform to educate people on what living in a favela is really like, contrary to what they may hear through the local media.