For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Hawa Al-Tagtaga.

Hawa Al-Tagtaga

Hawa al-Tagtaga
Born1926 (1926)
Al-Rahad, Sudan
DiedDecember 10, 2012(2012-12-10) (aged 85–86)
Omdurman, Sudan
Occupation(s)Singer, poet, activist

Hawa al-Tagtaga (alternatively Hawa Jah Elrasool, Arabic: حواء جاه الرسول, 1926 – 12 December 2012) was a Sudanese singer, composer and activist, who campaigned against British colonial rule.

Biography

Al-Tagtaga was born in 1926 in El-Rahad, Abu-Dakna district in North Kordufan.[1] Her father was a Sufi mystic and her mother a poet.[2] From a young age, she wanted to be a singer, but her family were opposed to this and married her to a cousin, whom she later divorced so that she could follow a career in music.[3]

She moved to Khartoum when she was fourteen-years old and soon after her arrival her singing was in demand for wedding parties.[1] Her work developed into the wider role of the ghanaya - a woman who is responsible as a performer and singer for getting a bride ready for marriage, including teaching the bride to dance for the so-called henna party while also bathing and massaging them and passing on information about sexual relations.[3]

During World War II she sang to entertain Sudanese soldiers.[3] There are two rumours about why her name changed: One that she was given the nickname by British authorities, as she was demonstrating in every major town; the other that her voice was likened to a specific type of palm tree.[1]

Political life

Al-Tagtaga joined the popular struggle against British colonialism and was famous throughout Sudan for her political activism and singing.[1] She was a member of the Brothers Party, led by Ismail Al-Azari.[2] She was arrested by the British government on several occasions, as well as being shot at when Al-Azari raised the new Sudanese flag.[4] Along with Hasan Khalifa al-Atbarawi,[5] she was arrested on the eve of independence in 1956 for singing nationalist songs at the Labour Theatre in Atbara and jailed for three months.[6] Moreover, she had her front teeth knocked out by British troops whilst participating in a demonstration with the wife of Sudanese revolutionary Ali Abdel Latif.[5]

After Al-Azari's election, Al-Tagtaga wrote a new song praising his wisdom and education, but also teasing those who now regretted not having joined his movement:

"Those who denounced you, they regretted / You won the state election / God bless your ideas and thoughts / Which represent your knowledge and wisdom / You have skilfully won our independence/ from the greatest country [England]"[7]

Musical career

Being a well-known singer for weddings, she also sang for a variety of famous people, including Yasser Arafat, and performed at the wedding of King Farouk of Egypt and Narriman Sadek.[2] In later life, Al-Tagtaga was recorded singing on the television programme Names in our Lives.[8] She was an exponent of the important role television and radio could play in people's lives, particularly in bridging gaps between generations.[9]

Later life

Al-Tagtaga lived out her life in Omdurman, but she never married, choosing, as she said, a life as a singer.[3] As one of the last survivors of the revolution, she became a spokesperson for it, presenting television shows and receiving honours from Omar al-Bashir.[5] She died aged 86, on the 12 December 2012.[2]

Legacy

Flag of Sudan (1956–1970)

Al-Tagtaga was a well-known figure, and was easily recognisable, as she often wore a tobe (Sudanese women's garment, similar to a sari) in the colours green, yellow and blue, which were the colours of the first Sudan flag of independence.[9] The flag was used from 1956 to 1970, but had a recent surge in popularity on social media in the 2019 revolution, with popular feeling wanting a new and more representative flag for the country.[10]

Al-Tagtaga's mixture of political song and protest has inspired new generations of women in Sudan. During the 2019 revolution, the civil rights campaigner Alaa Salah recited poetry in the front of a crowd of protesters in Sudan.[11] This marks a new chapter in a long tradition of Sudanese women singing poems of praise and lament in order to boost morale, honour the dead or to defy rulers.[6] Today, many women in Sudan see Al-Tagtaga as a feminist icon in their country, and there are more female singers, considered as "Hawa's girls" , following her lead and performing political songs in public.[5][12]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "1st January Sudan National Day: Women Role In Independence Movement| Sudanow Magazine". sudanow-magazine.net. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  2. ^ a b c d Chapel, Ambrose (2012-12-19). "Who Sudan Lost in 2012". Ola Diab. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  3. ^ a b c d Malik, Saadia Izzeldin (2011). "Inside the lives of three Sudanese women performers: negotiating gender, the media and culture". Media, Culture & Society. 33 (2): 275–288. doi:10.1177/0163443710393385. ISSN 0163-4437.
  4. ^ Yaqub, Nadia; Quawas, Rula (2017-09-27). Bad Girls of the Arab World. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-1-4773-1336-7.
  5. ^ a b c d "Sudan's Hawa: the banat come of age - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  6. ^ a b "Dehai News -- Aljazeera.com: The many mothers of Sudan's revolution". dehai.org. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  7. ^ Muhammad, Baqie Badawi (1996). "The Role of Oral Poetry in Reshaping and Constructing Sudanese History" (PDF). Folklore Forum. 27: 63.
  8. ^ اسماء في حياتنا - حواء جاه الرسول ( حواء الطقطاقة ), retrieved 2019-12-16
  9. ^ a b "Hawa al-Tagtaga remembered". www.arabstodayen (in Arabic). Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  10. ^ "Au Soudan, les manifestantes crient " cette révolution est une révolution de femmes ! "". BEFORE CLASS (in French). 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  11. ^ "The Many Mothers of Sudan's revolution". leadership.ng. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  12. ^ "The Sudanese woman and the protest song". International Media Support. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Hawa Al-Tagtaga
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install
{{::$root.activation.text}}

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!


Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.

X

Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?