|Birth name||Dahab Faid Tinga|
June 10, 1964 |
Born Dahab Faid Tinga in 1964, Faytinga is also commonly known as Dehab Faytinga. She hails from the Kunama people, a Nilotic community inhabiting Eritrea. It is one of the nation's recognized ethnic groups, where women and men have equal rights.
in 1977, at the age of fourteen, Faytinga joined the liberation struggle and she became a combatant during the Eritrean War of Independence until the liberation in 1991. After being given military and political training at Bilekat, she was assigned to the public administration department. In 1987 she started to work with the Department of National Guidance to set up the Kunama radio programme. She then joined the cultural troupe as a Kunama language singer. In the late 80's, Faytinga was reassigned to the public administration department in Kassala, Sudan and later Tokombia, where she was elected as member of the assembly of the National Union of Eritrean Women’s of Tokombia district.
Faytinga's mother was from the Tigrinya people, while her father was a revered freedom fighter among the Kunama people. The state of anarchy that ensued in 1942 after the defeat of the Italian army, forced him to form a military band to defend the Kunama people against the raids they suffered. He was given the nickname of 'Fighting gun' (taken from his name 'Faid Tinga') by the British administration in the early 50's. Between 1952 and 1962, he was elected enthusiastically to represent the Kunama people. At the end of the Federal arrangement he was imprisoned several times by the Ethiopian Government for his pro-Eritrean work. He was a political prisoner when the Ethiopian military regime came to power and he was freed by the EPLF in 1974 when they stormed the prison in Asmara. Faid Tinga Longhi was a hero for the Kunama people.
In 1990, Faytinga toured the US and Europe as a member of The National Folkloric Troupe of Eritrea called the Sibrit Cultural Troupe. After releasing her first album “Sala Da Goda” on tape, she toured for the first time as a solo artist in 1995. Faytinga won the 2nd prize and 1st East African women singer at the 2000 Ma’ Africa in Benoni, South Africa. It took until 1999 and an appearance at the Africolor festival in France, before she could record her first album "Numey".
Faytinga composes her own songs and also interprets work from well-known poets and composers from Eritrea. When singing, she plays the krar, a small lyre.
The CD album "Numey" is Faytinga's first international release on the Paris-based Cobalt label. All of the songs on this album of hers are in her native Kunama language, which belongs to the Nilo-Saharan family.
Faytinga has been performing around the world representing Eritrea as a 'cultural ambassador' for her country. As Marco Cavallarin wrote in the Italian journal Africa e Mediterraneo, 'Faytinga interprets the profound culture of her country and its most ancient and more recent history, from the origins of the Kunama people to the war of liberation from the invading Ethiopia'. She participated in particular to Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan and to Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. She also attended the Earth Summit 2002 held in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition, she has been collaborated with other artists such as the group Ouï-Dire in an attempt to mix her voice, her music and culture with that of other continents.
Faytinga has always been interested in music and developed her style ‘in the field’ that represents her own blend of several traditional music forms. On 30 August 2004, in an interview with Joel Savage for The Voice Magazine she said that “I sing about peace, love, and togetherness, since war, conflict and other disturbances did not bring any positive change to Africa, but it only creates refugee crisis, pains, agony, discomfort and economic hardship. I bring a music of hope to the people.” With this spririt Faytinga played at the FLOG International music Festival in Florence (2004).
- Numey - Cobalt Records, 2 January 2000. Songs from this album
Numey; Milobe; Amajo; Lagàla Fàla Fesso; Kundura; Aleyda; Alemuye; Milomala; Asàmen Gàna; Salada Goda
Goda Anna; Hakuma Tia; Degsi; Leledia; Eritrea; Amajo; Laganga; Alemuye; Taham Bele; Sema 'Ett; Buba
- Megesha - Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 15-Dec-2012
- Ciao, Ciao - Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 17-Dec-2012
- Sebaki fkri - Digital distribution, independent, June 2014
- Wedi Asmara (Son Of Asmara) - Digital distribution, independent, December 2014
- Ala Ska - Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 20-Dec-2015
- Besela - Digital distribution, independent, July 2016 and Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 30-Dec-2016
- Kebkeba Kone - Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 16-Aug-2017
- Deglele - Music Video, YouTube Faytinga channel, published 11-Jan-2018
- World Divas (Wagram Records, 2006) - Song "Lagàla Fàla Fesso"
- Africolor, Musiques du Monde (Believe, Cobalt, 2008) - Song "Hakuma Tia"
- The Asmara All Stars : Eritrea's Got Soul (Out Here, 2010) - Songs "Amajo" and "Gwaila International"
Faytinga is one of the first artists from Eritrea engaged in support of people living with HIV and AIDS. She has participated in numerous World AIDS Day events including as guest-star singer on 1 December 2003 during the event held at the Hotel Intercontinental, and in June 2005, together with Kenyan singer Achieng Abura in an exceptional gala diner concert for the benefit of women and children affected by HIV and AIDS. She also performed on the occasion of the opening of the Namibia gender-based violence Art Exhibition on 10 December 2013 at UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva.
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