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Photo of Ondina Coelho Jethro Civil Diplomat

Ondina Coelho at the headquarters of Jethro Civil Diplomat and gives us an exclusive interview about the book Negrita


Ondina Coelho Author and Chaplain Jethro Release a Book About the First Ambassador of Africa.

Ondina Coelho is responsible for the Library and Cultural Space of the Embassy of Angola in Rome Italy and in this book, she tells us the history of the Prince Dom António Manuel Ne-vunda.

Prince Dom António Manuel Ne-Vunda was 30 years old when King Dom Álvaro II, Mpanzu-A-Nimi, King of Congo and Angola, entrusted him with his first mission as Ambassador.

Negrita” was the name given to Ne-Vunda during the First African Ambassador on a mission to Europe.

For “Negrita” the importance and responsibility of the mission he was entrusted with was very clear: he had to chart the course and the foundations for future diplomatic relations between Europe and Africa.


The release of Negrita will be this August 10th – Thursday – at 4 pm at Livraria dos Coruchéus in Lisbon


The protagonist is a man who puts his own life before the good of humanity, a man of great religious and social morals.

He was the first African Ambassador to appear before a Pope – Pope Paolo V.

The statue in honor of Negrita is found in Rome in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.


Ondina Coelho Author and Chaplain Jethro Tells about the Challenge


When seeking to know the story of Negrita, the author found an old encyclopedia in which there were reports of the ambassador’s trip to Italy, a story never told before.

Recalling this fact, Ondina confesses that she felt an impulse to dedicate herself to writing this story and making it public.

The research process took 12 long years of dedication in which the author faced many political barriers on the part of her country.

“Negrita”, was a man who put his own life at the service of humanity and Africa, that Africa where colonialism was advancing and with it the submission of more and more territories on the African continent.


Ondina Coelho Author and Chaplain Jethro – A Bit of Life History


Ondina was born in Luanda, the capital of Angola, in the period between the end of colonialism and the beginning of the country’s independence process.

Daughter of Maria Odete José de Almeida and João Augusto da Silva Coelho, Ondina is the sister of the eight children of the couple.

From the author’s point of view, her mother is a heroine, a source of inspiration. A great woman, very cultured, intelligent.

After Angola’s independence period, nearly thirty years of civil guerrilla warfare followed, in which terrorism, “the terror of the soul” and insecurity prevailed.

Therefore, it was during this difficult period that Ondina’s mother struggled not to let her children run out of food.

For this, she was forced to put aside high shoes, and thin clothes, and wake up everyday at 5 a.m.

She would tie a cloth around her waist and climb onto the trucks to go to a farm to fetch food: cassava, sweet potatoes, and chickens.

Ondina says that once her mother brought a very young female goat that was adopted by the family.

She was very sweet and her name was Faria. She really acted like a dog protecting the house.

From a young age, Ondina always had an aptitude for the arts. At the age of 12, she painted 20 pictures for an exhibition and wrote poems.

But she never had the support of her family, who thought she should study and graduate.

At the age of 22, she decided to go live in Italy and work, it was there that she also got married.


Ondina Coelho Author and Chaplain Jethro About the Inspiration to Write


After the divorce, Ondina was the victim of malignant cancer which resulted in an intense struggle for almost ten years to overcome it.

Ondina was extremely weakened by the chemotherapy treatment. She lost a lot of weight and felt a lot of pain and weakness.

Doctors had immense difficulty finding her veins to apply the medicines and she was often carried, as she was unable to walk.

It was during the period of chemotherapy that a doctor suggested that Ondina write.

So, he said that a way to beat cancer was for Ondina’s soul, and spirit to be at peace.

It was necessary to have faith that the drugs would do her good, they would cure her. So he said to him: – Write!

To which she replied: – But what am I going to write?

And the doctor said to him: – Write anything, write a book.

It was then that the author remembered that before chemotherapy she was going to Africa to participate in voluntary services together with a group of Italians.

One of the volunteer jobs was carried out in an area called Lixeira Sambizanga in Luanda. It was the site of one of the largest dumps in Africa and perhaps the world.

Volunteer work was directed towards caring for children, orphans, and war victims.

Ondina remembers a child among the orphans. It was to that child, a boy, that she said: “Look, to be President of a Republic, you don’t need to be born in a Prince’s house. You too can one day be a President of the Republic”. And this boy was delighted.

That’s where Ondina Coelho’s first book came from, entitled: Os Sapatos de Ouro de Ngueve, which tells the journey of this hero boy.

According to Ondina: “When our brain is well with God and with Peace, the cancer regresses.”

After beating cancer, came O Deserto  and Negrita – Uma Vida Inteira por Amor de África.

Ondina has a professional training in Marketing and Communication, and she is also president of the Angolital Cultural Association and author of Call me Africa | Chama-me África, a project that she promotes on her YouTube channel, entitled Ondina Coelho.Cultura.

Communication Civil Diplomat Jethro
Jethro International’s Communications Department curates the most relevant information about the actions of humanitarian civilian diplomats around the world. Stay up to date, follow and share your actions with us! Please contact us at
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