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Zarsanga

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Biography

Zarsanga is a famous singer widely known as The Queen Of Pashtun Folklore. She is known for her folk songs, desert arias, and mountainous gharhi (a type of Pashtu tapi) and has many popular songs to her credit. Being an illiterate shepherd from a gypsy family in Tank, Pakistan, she can not sing ghazals and thus concentrates on gharhi and folk songs which are popular among Pakhtoons.

Zarsanga was born in 1946 at Zafar Mamakhel, a small village of Lakki Marwat in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of . She belongs to a nomadic tribe that used to settle in Afghanistan in summer and stay in Lakki during the winter. In 1965, she married Mula Jan, a resident of Sarai Naurang (Bannu) who was also a nomad. Mula Jan used to play tabla with Zarsanga s father Tekidar. But many say that Mula Jan had eloped her, also loved by her singing partner Khan Tehsil.

She has been honoring her childhood nickname, “Golden Branch”, ever since, and yet remains extremely simple. Zarsanga saw her life transformed at a wedding ceremony in Lakki Marwat when her singing fascinated a master named Mustafa, who introduced her to Rashid Ali Dehqan, producer at Radio Pakistan Peshawar. At that time Radio Station was located near Peshawar Central Jail and when she was giving audition, her reverberating voice even agitated the inmates of the nearby prison who demanded for more, an aged radio employee confirmed her claim.

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