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This article is about the Afghan singer. For the Indian actress, see Nagma.
Pashto: نغمه‎
Naghma 2010-3.jpg
Naghma singing during the 2010 Nowruz celebration at Fairplex in Pomona, California
Background information
Birth name Shaperai (Fairy)
Born (1954-04-23) April 23, 1954 (age 60)
Origin Qandahar, Afghanistan
Genres Folklore, Pop
Years active 1970–present
Labels Afghan Vision Records, Ariana Records

Naghma (Pashto: نغمه, born April 23, 1954[citation needed]) is a prominent Afghan singer who started in the early 1970s. She and her ex-husband, Mangal, were a popular musical duo who dominated Afghan music scene during the 1970s and early 1990s. Naghma sings in Pashto and Dari (Persian). Her music is popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Early years[edit]

Naghma was born as Shaperai (Pashto: ښاپېرۍ meaning Fairy) on April 23, 1954, in Qandahar, Afghanistan.[1] She belongs to the Pashtun ethnic group. As a young girl, she developed an interest in music. Her early songs were based on Kandahari songs, most of which were folkloric in nature but were essential in training the novice. After moving Kandahar, Naghma held various jobs, all the while pursuing her passion. Coming from a traditional family, she met with much resistance from relatives who saw singing as a demeaning career for an Afghan woman. Naghma has often stated in interviews that till today her mother is still not happy with her career choice. However, Naghma was not discouraged by this. Naghma joined a musician-turned-singer Mangal, a fellow artist from Laghman Province of Afghanistan, and eventually married him. Like many other Afghan families, Naghhma left Afghanistan for a better future for herself and her children. She first moved to Pakistan before she finally settled in California, America. Naghma has since divorced from Mangal and resides now in Islamabad, Pakistan

Private life[edit]

With impending civil war, the couple left Afghanistan for Pakistan in 1992. There, they became very successful with an enthusiastic crowd of Afghan exiles who were nostalgic for their native music. Their financial situation by this time had improved significantly. In the late 1990s, they left Pakistan and immigrated to the United States.

After establishing contact with the Afghan community of northern California, the duo held a series of performances. However, Naghma and Mangal have since divorced, citing Mangal's alleged continual alcohol abuse, and the couple have been sensitive about elaborating further on the issue. Their divorce has also cast a doubt as to whether this former pair can reconcile at least on the professional level. While Mangal performs solo in private events and television programs, Naghma is continuing her career as a professional artist. She is known to be very patriotic of Afghan culture and has dedicated many songs to Afghanistan.

Until 2012 Naghma was living in Union City, CA.

Recent developments[edit]

For a very long time Naghma was known for her folklore music, However in 2006, Naghma’s new single ‘Mohabbat’ was released. This was the first time she made a pop song. The song became a huge success and in the same year Naghma returned to Afghanistan to give a round of concerts in various cities with Naim Popal, another popular Afghan singer. During her concert held in Kabul, the crowd showered the singer with rose petals. Since then the Afghan Music Industry has grown at a rapid pace and Naghma is often seen giving concerts for television networks such as Tolo TV and 1TV.


Naghma's public divorce from her former husband Mangal came as a shock to many in the Afghan community, where divorce is considered taboo. Her life was constantly under scope with people bombarding both Naghma and Mangal about the reason behind their divorce. Although many speculations regarding Mangal's alcoholic misbehaviour have been reported, both Naghma and Mangal have remained and dignified silence and have refrained from commenting on the issue further more.

Recently pictures of Naghma and a man were circulating the social networking site Facebook. The pictures looked like Naghma's wedding or engagement. Naghma had stated in her interviews that she was remarried, but didn't want to disclose who she got married to because her Husband wanted to remain away from the Showbiz industry. After the pictures got leaked, Naghma was asked about the issue on Afghanistan's popular comedy show, Shabkhand on 1TV. She was asked who the man was and why she had put the pictures online. Naghma confessed that the man in the pictures was indeed her husband, but that she is not on Social Networking sites and someone else has made the profile.[2]


This list is incomplete. Naghma has sung many more songs in the past and in collaboration with Mangal

Album: Bachi Hamsaya

  • Bachi Hamsaya
  • Aros
  • O Bacha
  • Maida Maida
  • Nazi Jan
  • Ba Yin Sazi Mahali
  • Ghataghani
  • Shekesta Chelamey
  • Imroz
  • Tu Ra Meparastam
  • O Dilbar Janim
  • O Bacha
  • Jama Narinje

Album: Best Of Naghma

  • Charsi Halika Stargi
  • Janana ke Pashton
  • Halka Daroghjan Mee
  • Raghlay Yama Damor
  • Za Ba Gidi Rawdim
  • Chita Che Zi Mat
  • Raza Da Zandgi Sra
  • Yara Rana Wrak Nashi
  • Janana Rasha Da Shamali
  • Hagha Sra Oshan
  • Allah Wi Zamazda

Album: Kabul Nazaneen

  • Salam Afghanistan
  • Delbar Jan
  • Ghataghani
  • Yaram Nest
  • Darbigeri
  • O Dilbar Janam
  • Nazi Jan
  • O Bachi Afghan
  • Maida Maida Baran
  • Em Roz Che Roz Ast

Album: O Khoda Jan

  • Az America Wa Alman
  • O Khuda Jan
  • Sharshara Baran
  • Shab Amadam
  • Bebe Roko Jan
  • Kashki Ma
  • Man Dokhtari Sherazam
  • Mara Az Ashiqi Bas
  • Mohabat
  • Pesta Forosh

Popular Singles:

  • Mazdigar De Ka Nade
  • O Bacha Jane Bacha
  • Lalaya Hawa Baza
  • Kandahar Halika
  • Adam Khana Charsi
  • Mohabbat
  • Mohabbat (Slow Version)
  • Lalo Lalo
  • Mala Chal Ne Razi
  • Akh Janan Me Laro
  • Zma Afghanistana
  • Loya Khudaya
  • Orbal Chapa Kra Bya Rasta
  • Akhshe na ni na (Attan De Gada Da)
  • Mubarak Di Sha Akhtar
  • Lalai de
  • Dilbar Zalim Zalim
  • Wa Grana
  • Nor e Newranawo
  • Ay Da Watan Da Abay Roka Zoya
  • Afghani Mashoma
Contributing artist


  • Afghanistan Online. Muted Musicians See Hope in Young Performers. Retrieved on August 27, 2005.
  • Boston Globe. The Tale of the Pashtun Poetess. Retrieved on August 27, 2005.
  • Delusions of Adequacy Reviews. Review of Anthology of World Music: The Music of Afghanistan. Retrieved on January 28, 2006.
  • Doubleday, Veronica. Red Light at the Crossroads. 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 3–8. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
  • Mikalina. Afghan Music Before the War. Retrieved on August 27, 2005.[dead link]
  • Baily, John(1988). Music of Afghanistan: Professional Musicians in the City of Herat. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-25000-5

External links[edit]