I first met Frans Baldacchino, il-Budaj, in person,
it was at Ir-Razzett tal-Markiz, in Mosta, when he
presented a cocktail of folkloristic songs and
recited Maltese poems he composed. Although I could
not understand the lyrics of his ghana nor poems, I
felt and loved the magic of his voice and
My Maltese husband, who was so engrossed with il-Budaj's
witty performance, had later translated for me his
ghana and explained to me the impromptu responses of
his duet. What a blessing, the very first ghana I
heard in my life was that by il-Budaj and I fell in
love with this folkloristic style right away. He was
so relaxed when he responded in wittiness during the
ghana and at times with some cheeky grins on his
We met il-Budaj on several occasions at Ir-Razzett
tal-Markiz and elsewhere and he would always offer
his outstretched hand forward and politely say: "How
are you? Nice to meet you again. Come have a drink".
The ever friendly, soft spoken and humble superstar
possessed a pleasant disposition, no wonder he was
and, no doubt, still is loved by many.
Il-Budaj was not only a folkloristic artiste and a
natural poet but also a natural artiste. I had the
opportunity to view his pencil drawings exhibited at
Ir-Razzett tal-Markiz. A man filled with dignity and
many talents, il-Budaj had certainly brought so much
joy to many.
I salute him for upholding his cultural and
traditional values and proudly presented Maltese
ghana in local and international festivals. Hence, I
would like to address him as a national treasure.
His departure is a great loss to us and his ghana,
poems and art will remain in our hearts, not
forgetting his good nature and the joy he brought us
will live forever.
My husband and I offer our heartfelt condolences to
May his soul rest in peace.