Veteran Nigerien Songstress Hamsou Garba Dies at 64
Hams Galba, one of Niger’s most famous singers, has died in hospital in the capital Niamey after a prolonged illness.
The 64-year-old Galba, who had been ill for some time, was born in Maladi, Galba and has had a musical career of over 30 years.
She led female and male bands and sang mainly in Hausa, occasionally mixed with French. Her songs focused not only on political activism and nationalism, but also on faith, religion and cultural issues.
Due to her talent and ability to improvise and sing, her admirers call her “Music Box”. The National Musician’s Guild has called her death a “national loss”, but performer Amadou Yakova said someone like her is “rare” in the industry.
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She was briefly jailed in 2016 for criticizing the government during a performance and calling then-detained opposition leader Hama Amadou the “Mandela of Niger”.
Garba has also spoken about social issues as an occasional talk show host on her FM radio station Turaki.
Garba’s first completed album, Galgadireleased in 2008, chronicled the themes that made her famous and celebrated.
The album soon followed Is possible, released in 2009. Two years later she began working on Les hommes de l’histoire and Aouran dolle.
Her death comes just two weeks after her husband’s death and a month after her eldest daughter.
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