At 67, Olga Bongiovanni talks about a moment of reinvention: ”I don’t feel the age”

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During the covid-19 pandemic, the presenter returned to the screens and opened her own house to the public

With a 47-year career, Olga Bongiovanni brings with it a lot of experience, dedication and simplicity. And a legion of fans considered friends, whose ties have strengthened even more with the pandemic. That’s when she opened the doors of her house to show that she is people like us.

Back at CBN and in front of ‘Divina Receita’, shown on TV Evangelizar and on YouTube, recorded at her residence, she reinvented herself in a time of difficulties for everyone. She started by posting videos of her performing tasks common to any of us.

“I was closed and the public complained that I was no longer on open television. Followers saw me plant, harvest and make recipes. The TV also saw it and invited me to the show. I had no idea how much good it would do for me and the public,” she said.

Owner of a strong personality, the presenter does not hesitate at any time. The good old adage ‘If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade’ applies to her.

The presenter spoke with the Ana Maria: “I’m tired of filters and makeup happiness. I am not part of this world that does not exist.” There is no doubt that the identification that thousands of followers had when seeing her with her hands in the work is the soul of the success of her latest endeavor.

How did the idea for Divina Recipe come about?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was asked a lot by my followers to make practical and economical recipes. Many people had never cooked. So, I started doing a live a week with my hands in the dough. TV saw it, liked it and hired me.

Has cooking always been a passion for you?
I’ve always had one foot in the kitchen since I was 6 years old. I learned early! In fact, women of my generation had to learn everything about taking care of a house, clothes, kitchen, garden, vegetable garden. I was brought up that way… to get married and have children. It was inconceivable for a young woman not to know how to take care of a house. I learned everything they taught me, also to embroider, paint, crochet and sew, but I never abandoned the dream of being a radio broadcaster. Times are different and everything I learned is of great value to this day, at any time. Teachings that I share today with my granddaughter Alice, 7 years old, who loves a kitchen too.

Cooking and affection go hand in hand?
Always, for sure. Through the aromas of herbs and food, those who cook know that love and affection are passed on. And by looking around the table, we can measure how that seasoning, those flavors reached the heart of those who taste it. When I present a recipe and the person on the other end says: “I felt hugged by your food” or “it sent me to my mother’s kitchen”, that is priceless. I get emotional!

What is it like to reinvent yourself at 67, starting to produce entertainment and journalism?
I don’t feel the age and I look for new things every day. Other than that, when you have a backyard, renovation is constant. I believe that, for those who don’t plant, it’s even difficult to understand, but, looking at the beds and dealing with the earth, I bring inspiration, renewal and care to my life to be with the health of the body and soul up to date. There are studies that prove the good it does to move the earth…

And how did the idea of ​​opening your house to the public come about?
Even when I was in São Paulo, I thought about this possibility. I even built a house there, but then I sold it, took a break and built it here, in Cascavel, Paraná. When the internet started to grow, I knew this would be possible. Everything we’re living shows me that I wasn’t wrong. I’ve been recording at home for at least eight years, but with today’s structure, it’s just over three. Working from home is not the future, it’s the present.

During the pandemic, you dedicated yourself, in addition to home care, to taking care of plants. Did you use the activity as therapy?
I did a lot, recorded a lot of video and I know that, with that, I kept myself alive, healthy and helped a lot of people. My followers saw me plant, tend, harvest and make the recipe. We were together all the time. I can motivate people to plant too. People who had never planted
nothing, they didn’t know anything about planting, land, fertilizer, etc. That’s the best part.

Encouraging daily is a big goal of mine. I hear reports from viewers who suffered from depression and today they are doing great. Others report that, after planting, they no longer take sleeping pills and feel better… This really moves me. I also remember the many breads we made together. I say we did it because people actually get back to me to tell the result of the recipe. In one of these returns, I got very emotional. The girl said: “my 82-year-old father made his bread and
it was wonderful. He had never set foot in the kitchen.” This bread she refers to was one of those that had more than 1.5 million views. I don’t think so much bread has ever been made in my life. [risos]. Planting and cooking is pure therapy.

Does advancing time scare you?
Not at all, I want to stay in front of a camera as long as God allows, and I joke with my colleagues when they ask if one day I intend to retire: I answer that I will still enter Radio CBN from Bengal [risos]. If we are aging it is because we are alive, and passing the truth on to people is healthy. Real life has no filter. With social networks, it seems obligatory to show that there are no wrinkles, scruffy hair, or battered skin. I’m tired of so many filters and makeup happiness. Public people have their problems just like anyone else. A pattern has been established that is enslaving. I’m not part of this world that doesn’t exist!

Regarding the criticism you’ve recently received on social media about your appearance, how have you dealt with it?
I had no problems reading and responding. I think my message was well understood. Housewives do not wear high heels or produce all to cook and wash clothes. She doesn’t put on makeup or lipstick to clean the window and take out the trash, nor does she have impeccable hands when dealing with the garden or the vegetable garden. I am a real woman, like thousands who perform daily household chores. The women who spoke out agreed that we have a lot of makeup out there and it’s not because I’m a public person that I need to be dressed up all the time, that would be false. It was great to read things like: “Olga, you are just like me, you represent me”.

What makes Olga an inspiration to her audience in such difficult times?
Here, where I live, it’s impossible to wake up in a bad mood, because the birds call me for another day and, when I open the balcony door, I am immersed in the green, the colorful flowers, the aroma of plants and herbs. This all inspires me to have good words and right words for those who ask me for help. I can show that it is possible to get out of bed, open the window, breathe, have a glass of water and give thanks for life. For me, life is like a ladder. Sometimes I crashed when I reached the next to last step. I fell, broke, healed the wounds, and went back to the first step again. And I’m still going strong.

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