Dimi Mint Abba, arguably Mauritania's most famous musician, died on Saturday from injuries suffered during a stage accident in Aioun, Morocco. She was 52 years old.
Born Loula Bint Siddaty Ould Abba, Abba was born to low-caste parents who also played music in the griot tradition. She began performing from a very young age, and after years, received her big break when she competed in the Umm Kulthum Contest in Tunis, a regional talent competition. After a strong recommendation from legendary African bluesman, Abba was signed to the World Circuit record label, and recorded a string of hits, including "Koumba Bay Bay," "Hailala," and her signature song, "Sawt Elfan." Abba's death marks a severe embarrassment for the Mauritanian government, who failed to publicly show its sympathy for Abba and her family.