legend in her own lifetime is how the citation for
the award of the ‘Medalja għall-qadi tar-Republika’
described 86-year old folk singer Angla Mifsud,
known as Iċ-Ċalija.
And yesterday she was the star at her modest house
in the old part of Żejtun when President Ugo Mifsud
Bonnici went personally to present her with the
The folk singer, who in her younger days was
renowned for her high-pitched singing and renditions
of La Bormliża, could not attend the official
investiture ceremony on Republic Day last December
for health reasons.
"Everyone has a role to play in life and in your
case you entertained through your folk singing. You
have done your duty not only to your family but also
to society through your talents," President Mifsud
Bonnici told Iċ-Ċalija as he presented her
with the medal in the presence of her family.
The talented singer of creative ‘song-duels’ (għana
spirtu-pront) thanked the President by putting
up an impromptu performance of folk singing.
"I am very happy to get the award and to meet the
President personally for the first time. I had only
seen him on television," she said.
Mrs. Mifsud led a simple life in her village,
bringing up 10 children but also finding time to
practice għana, although her late husband
often disapproved of her singing in public.
She is the grandmother of 23 and great-grandmother
of 20 and still sings when she gets the opportunity.
Before the investiture ceremony Żejtun mayor Joe
Attard said he was disappointed that the council was
not informed of the President’s visit to Mrs.
Mifsud. He said the intention was to organise a
However, the visit was meant simply to hand over the
medal as Mrs. Mifsud had missed the ceremony last
December, a spokesman for the President’s office