Obituary of Manuel Cabral
Manuel Socorro Pina Cabral, affectionally called KaKaKa, was born on February 2, 1931 in Fogo, Cabo Verde to Amorgacio Pina Cabral and Isaura DePina Cabral. He was the third oldest of seven brothers and sisters who grew up in a large house that was built by his father. His mother passed when he was about nine years old. He and his brothers and sisters continued to be raised by their father with help from their older sister Maria. While a young boy and around the time his mother died, he met and became friends with Lidia DePina whose family worked with his. He would later marry his childhood friend, Lidia who was the love of his life.
Kakaka was determined to have a better life for his family, so much so that he followed his oldest brother Chi Chi to America. He left behind seven children and his wife, who he would later send for when he was able to do so. He arrived in America in 1968 and lived with his brother, Chi Chi on Calendar Street. Soon after his arrival, he found work at the New Balance Factory, making rubber shoe soles. Determination is a strong quality of the Cabral’s, as demonstrated by Chi Chi who became the first to own real estate and who encouraged Kakaka to do the same. He saved his money while he adjusted to life in America; and after working for a couple of years, he was able to send for Lidia and his children.
Being a natural entrepreneur, Kakaka saved enough money to purchase his own property. His determination and hard work enabled him to purchase a seven-unit apartment building with an attached variety store and bar. Saving to make such an investment at that time was unheard of. His brother Chi Chi didn’t believe that he actually saved enough for the down payment and thought Kakaka was joking when he told him that he had the money for the down payment. Kakaka worked tirelessly and taught himself how to successfully run his businesses. He spoke very little English, couldn’t drive, rarely left Codman Square and worked over twelve hours a day dedicating his life to growing his business. Kakaka employed his children, and with that said he was probably the first business owner to break all the child labor laws!
KaKaKa’s immigration to America and his success was legendary! He was the epitome of the American dream! He was well known, loved and respected, from Fogo, Cabo Verde to Talbot Avenue. Manny, as some of his American friends called him, always referred to him as a GREAT man - and that he was! No matter where he went from Manny’s Place, Fundunzinho’s, Bar de Carlos, Dublin House to the porch on Richfield Street - everyone knew his name and would call out to him to say hello. He learned many life lessons through his experiences, and made sure to share his wealth of knowledge with others.
As he always said - “In this great country, if you can’t make something of yourself, you are nothing”
After achieving success Kakaka sold his businesses and returned to his native home of Cabo Verde to retire. During his retirement years he built a new home and was blessed to start a new family. He returned to America following the death of his oldest son, Antonio (Neni) Cabral, and to address health concerns. He moved back home with his daughter in law, Maria Cabral, who cared for him as if he was her own father. Recently Kakaka’s health became worse and he spent many days in and out of the hospital.