Saturday, January 1, 2022

Pupetta Maresca is dead.

Pupetta Maresca - artwork by Tarek Chemaly

I start this year by quoting what someone once described as "huge amount of non-monetizable information" I have in my head. Which brings us to Pupetta Maresca? Who? A woman. An Italian woman. An Italian woman who was a Mafia boss. An Italian woman who was a Mafia boss and gunned down the murderer of her husband. An Italian woman who was a Mafia boss and gunned down the murderer of her husband while being six months pregnant.

I first came to know her story from a Dar Assayad magazine called "Samar". The magazine was aimed at women and our next door neighbor who was a very famous translator used to work there and would bring my mother issues of the magazine weekly. The problem? The problem is that I read her story in that magazine but in Arabic she was being called "babita marisca" (the head of the Mafia operations - that was the subtitle!). So for years I tried to track down on google "babita marisca mafia" to no avail. Until today, turns out her original name spelled differently.

So Pupetta Maresca is dead. And if I am mentioning this it is because that woman understood personal branding. Not being one of those mafia dons who would hide behind ugly palaces, Maresca - who at one point apparently was an aspiring actress (in addition to being a beauty queen) and had the looks that came with the territory - never did any hiding, which, when you are a notorious member of the Comorra (which is the Naples division of the Mafia) is no mean feat. 

Apparently, Maresca invented a whole new form of female branding within the Comorra so much that an article in The Guardian today also tells the story of three sisters Anna, Maria and Rita Aieta who "married three bosses and brought the families together. [...] The sisters also have a keen eye for branding. They drive identical yellow Smart cars, so people know they’re coming."

Wow, three yellow Smart cars! How about that for personal branding.

On all accounts, here we are Pupetta Maresca died. Welcome to more "non-monetizable information" from my head throughout 2022.