Dimi Mint Abba

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Dimi Mint Abba
Native name Arabic: ديمي منت آبا‎‎
Birth name Loula Bint Siddaty Ould Abba
Also known as "la diva du désert"
Born (1958-12-25)December 25, 1958
Died June 4, 2011(2011-06-04) (aged 52)
Casablanca Morocco
Genres griot
Years active 1976-2011

Dimi Mint Abba (Arabic: ديمي منت آبا‎‎‎; 25 December 1958 – 4 June 2011)[1] was one of Mauritania's most famous musicians.[2][3] She was born Loula Bint Siddaty Ould Abba in 1958 into a low-caste ("iggawin") family specializing in the griot tradition.

Life and career[edit]

Dimi's parents were both musicians (her father had been asked to compose the Mauritanian national anthem), and she began playing at an early age. Her professional career began in 1976, when she sang on the radio and then competed, the following year, in the Umm Kulthum Contest in Tunis. Her winning song "Sawt Elfan" ("Art's Plume") has the refrain "Art's Plume is a balsam, a weapon and a guide enlightening the spirit of men", which can be interpreted to mean that artists play a more important role than warriors in society.

Her first international release was on the World Circuit record label, following a recommendation from Ali Farka Touré. On this album, she was accompanied by her husband Khalifa Ould Eide and her two daughters.

Later she composed famous and popular Mauritanian songs like "Hailala" and "Koumba bay bay". She died in June, 2011, in Casablanca, Morocco following a stage accident in Aioun ten days earlier when she was singing for Sahrawi public.

She died of a cerebral hemorrhage.[3][4] Her death was described as "a national loss" by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the President of Mauritania.[5]


  • Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba, Moorish Music from Mauritania. World Circuit WCD 019, 1990.
  • Dimi Mint Abba, Music and Songs of Mauritania, Auvidis Ethnic 1992.
Contributing artist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mauritanian traditional singer Dimi Mint Abba dies in Morocco hospital at 52". Associated Press. 4 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Dimi Mint Abba: Musician known as 'la diva du désert' and hailed by Ali Farka Touré as Africa's greatest singer". The Independent. 17 June 2011. Dimi Mint Abba, one of the pre-eminent vocalists to emerge from present-day Mauritania, became the de facto international face of modern Mauritanian music. 
  3. ^ a b "Lost legends" (PDF). Sauti za Busara Zanzibar - Festival Programme 2012. Busara Promotions. 2012. p. 49. 
  4. ^ Robin Denselow (9 June 2011). "Dimi Mint Abba obituary". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Dimi Mint Abba: Musician known as 'la diva du désert' and hailed by Ali Farka Touré as Africa's greatest singer". The Independent. 17 June 2011. 

External links[edit]