Joaquim Mariano D’Souza will be honoured by the Goa People’s Front (GPF) with the ‘Enterprising Goan of the Year’ award at the upcoming Festival de Goa. NT BUZZ speaks to the artiste who is also going to reopen his restaurant shortly
It’s been a long way along the path least trodden, for musician, actor, and restaurant owner Joaquim Mariano D’Souza who will be honoured by the Goa People’s Front (GPF) with the ‘Enterprising Goan of the Year’ award at Festival de Goa to be held in the second week of November. “I feel happy that the GPF have chosen me for this award. It’s definitely an honour and a privilege,” he says.
Festival de Goa, a three day festival, is an international platform to promote Goan food, music, art, culture, fabrics and the Goan way of life or ‘Goenkarponn’. At the festival, the GPF will be felicitating 40 enterprising Goans from different fields including art, culture, fashion, music, literature, food and hospitality, sports, politics, medicine, etc.
A musician, D’Souza wants to promote music among the youth and is currently working on a music album. He plans to release it at the Festival de Goa, where he will also be performing.
“The album is going have genuine Goan music with some really great arrangement,” says D’Souza. Also a great lover of Konkani plays he has acted in plays like ‘Utt Goenkara’. Besides this, he also played the main lead in the Konkani film ‘Dis Udello’.
The talented artiste was also seen in a weekend episode of Salman Khan’s popular reality show Bigg Boss in season 7. “I was invited to be part of a Bigg Boss wherein I was part of the group that interacts with the participants who are evicted from the show,” he says about his experience.
His journey over the years, he describes as tough and lonely at times, yet joyful and warm at other times.
“There have been good times and bad times and one has to learn to accept both the bouquets and brickbats at the same time,” says D’Souza.
Unassuming and down-to-earth, the Mapusa-based artiste is a philanthropist. His love for his beloved Goa too is paramount and talking about the problems that plague Goa today, he says that the biggest problem that Goa is facing today is garbage collection and disposal. “Garbage, lack of employment opportunities, infrastructure, there are many issues, but instead of cursing the darkness, I believe we must light a candle and spread some light. We all need to work collectively towards solving these problems,” adds D’Souza.
He further explains that mounds of stinking garbage strewn across coastal tourist-belt prime locales and roadsides and the overcrowding of main beaches in North Goa are the biggest dampeners for high-paying foreign tourists.
“High-paying foreign tourists are very health and hygiene conscious. A lot of British tourists who are my friends and who have been coming to Goa for the last two decades have now stopped coming for the last three to four years for these main two reasons. There is no privacy. Their women are ogled and literally forced to pose for photographs with rowdy, drunk low-budget Indian tourists who throng the beaches only to leer at foreign, white-skinned women,” he says.
Also a restaurateur, D’Souza runs two restaurants and is also into construction and property development. He wants to promote local Goan music, art, food and culture on an international platform. “I want to promote authentic traditional Goan food and music on a world platform or at least make it available to as many people who visit Goa. Goa is known for various curries, masalas and flavours which are not available anywhere else in the world,” he says.
Unfortunately, he says, a lot of chefs and foodies prefer to look to the west. He however is doing the opposite. He is going back to the villages and interior vaddos of Goa where the real culinary secrets dwell. “I am trying to bring out Goa’s exotic, yet well-kept and well-preserved secret gourmet styles to the rest of the world,” he says. His restaurant Joma’s will serve the most exotic and authentic Goan culinary delights when it reopens in the first week of September this year.
“I have collected at least 120 recipes, which are unknown even to the most present generation Goans, and the same will be part of the menu at Joma’s,” he says.