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Posted On: 7 July 2020 02:52 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:07 pm

Qommunity Voices: Meet the man behind BigBMeetUp and Bigbfotografi - Bosco Menezes

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Bosco Menezes, the man behind #bigbmeetup and Bigbfotografi, is a long time resident of Qatar. He started off as a marketing and sales executive with the first lifestyle magazine of Qatar, Abode magazine, then ventured into Public Relations for a PR agency on the Doha Asian Games account. Today, he wears many hats and has metamorphosized into an activist/community event organizer/artist/curator/professional photographer and a social media influencer.

If you haven't heard of BigBMeetUp, it's a community initiative founded by Bosco Menezes with the aim to inspire, inform, educate, and spread the news of the good deeds individuals and groups of people perform in their everyday lives for the betterment of humankind. The meetup brings locals and expats together as one to celebrate the gift of life, championing camaraderie among all with the intention to exchange and impart knowledge.

Bosco also launched The Ability Awards at Al Aziziyah Boutique Hotel in April 2019 and the first recipients were: Qatari artist Mariam Al Mulla, Qatari life coach Mohamed Haider, Indurance Athlete Ahmed Al Shahrani, Indian Super Volunteer Ismail bin Yusuf, and Qatari icon Mohamed Saadoon Al Kuwari.

ILQ got in touch with Bosco Menezes and get an insight into how he started his journey and what inspires him to continue his bigbmeetups.

ILQ: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how long have you been in Qatar?

Bosco: I'm a long term resident of Qatar. My father came to Doha in 1977 and my mother, me, and my brother soon followed. My sister was born in Qatar. I have been living in Qatar for over 40 years. We, like journeys, hit roadblocks, bumpy weather, smooth sailing, and an empty petrol tank. All part of the journey called life. I embrace every part of this sojourn.

Image credit: Junaid EK

ILQ: Tell us about your journey with your BigB initiatives.

Bosco: BigB was a nickname a friend called me and I am kinda big broad. Moreover, I have big ideas, big plans, and I hope to realize them. The birth of bigbfotografi and rebranding from bigb's photography had everything to do with the blockade. For me, the blockade gave me a new meaning, new roads, and a new vision. I was always an artist but after 5.6.2017, I started to believe in myself. Thus, from being a PR guru and communications and marketing and sales guy, I added professional photography to my repertoire.

I dedicated the initiative I founded to my late mother, Auroliana Josephine Menezes, who lived and worked in Qatar from 1979 to 1992 for what was then Cable and Wireless and what is now Ooredoo. I have four pillars under #bigbmeetup namely Sports and Wellness, This Ability- championing people who are differently-abled, Estedama (Sustainability), and Celebrating Artists of Qatar.

ILQ: How did you get into these social and community initiatives? How did you start?

Bosco: I am an ideas person. In my job as a marketing and sales manager and later as editor-at-large, I used to be invited to many events and I thought to myself what If I organize an event sans the over indulgences, and try and get people to showcase their achievements. Also, CSR has been instilled into my DNA by my paternal grandmother Genevieve when I was a young boy. Again, the resilience of the people of Qatar both local and expatriate, and how they rallied behind Qatar got me started to think about having a regular meetup bringing locals and expats together to narrate their stories and bond us even closer. Thus, it all started in April 2018 perched poolside on The Torch Doha Hotel with Qatari icon Mohammed Sadoon Al Kuwari as my first speaker.

The first-ever #bigbmeetup at Aspire Zone in the iconic Doha Torch Hotel (image credit: Junaid EK)

ILQ: When did you know you wanted to take up this kind of responsibility?

Bosco: It is not a responsibility. It came naturally to me. I revel in this. I'm a people person by nature even with all my inhibitions of the nervous twitching I still love being around people. I feel it is my duty as a long-serving member of the expat community that I should organize these meetups.

ILQ: What most often inspires your journey as the founder of BigBMeetUp, Bigbfotografi, etc? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Bosco: My father is my numero uno inspiration. I also draw inspiration from tough situations and laypeople with their daily struggles who still chug along. I'm also inspired by my friend Ahmed Al Shahrani so I christened him my de facto life coach.

with the Argentinian and Austrian Ambassadors among other dignitaries during #bigbmeetup 4.0 Sustainability (image credit: Junaid EK)

ILQ: Why do you love what you do?

Bosco: I like to see a big smile on people. I like to bring communities together, make a difference in a person's life, and I want to make the world a better place for everyone.

ILQ: Was it easy to set up BigB MeetUp? What is the biggest difficulty you have faced?

Bosco: I must thank the Almighty for the blessings I have received. I didn't expect #Bigbmeetup to be such a big success. I have a long way to go, though. It wasn't easy but over the years I have had great support from my good friends John Davi, Ahmed Al Shahrani, Junaid EK, my sister Geraldine and wife Giselle.

the Sports & Wellness edition - Celebrating Arab Adventurers themed #bigbmeetup 6.0 (image credit: Junaid EK)

ILQ: What is your biggest achievement so far in terms of your initiatives?

Bosco: Bringing the diverse communities of Qatar together, from royalty to commoners. We all come together under the Qatari Community outreach initiative #bigbmeetup.

ILQ: How do you balance home and work?

Bosco: I do not balance it. I have neglected home, but the thing is I do not consider bigbfotografi/#bigbmeetup work. It is a part of me. Although I am now bearing the brunt of neglecting home. Thus, I am making an effort to bridge the gap.

The very first #bigbmeetup speaker Mohd Saadoon Al Kuwari - Bein Sports anchor, Qatar 2022 Ambassador (image credit: Junaid EK)

ILQ: What's next for you?

Bosco: I wish to take #bigbmeetup to the international scene. From Qatar to the world, hopefully with some sponsors on board. I also have 3 photo expos in mind - one was scheduled for France, one in Goa, India, and another in Qatar.

ILQ: Do you have any message for the people of Qatar?

Bosco: Live, Love, Respect, and help each other. Please be kind to animals and recycle your plastic and reduce your waste and your waist 🙂 Live healthy!

For more information about #bigbmeetup and #bigbfotografi, check out the following details: