Meet Nanjiyamma, A Folk Singer Who Won The National Film Award For Best Female Singer

1. Nanjiyamma, born on 1 January 1960, hails from an Irula community in Nakkupathi, a tribal village in Attappadi in Palakkad district, Kerala, India.

2. Nanjiyamma is a folk singer of the Azad Kalasangham Attakalam, a musical group of tribal artists, founded by Pazhani Swami a tribal artist in Attappadi. The singer was married off at the age of 15. Her husband Nanjiyappan always encouraged her to make use of her talents.

3. She finds a livelihood by farming and feeding cattle. She sings mostly folk songs that have passed through generations. She first sung for a documentary for Mathrumozhi titled Aggedu Nayaga directed by Sindhu Sajan. In 2016, she sang five songs in Razi Muhammad’s Velutha Rathrikal.

4. She garnered public attention after singing in the Malayalam film Ayyappanum Koshiyum in 2020. In addition to singing, she wrote the song “Kalakkatha” by herself in Irula language. And she created three songs specifically for the film.

5. Nanjiyamma had received a special jury award in the Kerala State Awards 2020 and now she was awarded the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer in the 68th National Film Awards of India for the song “Kalakkatha” song from the movie Ayyappanum Koshiyum

6. She has also played the role of mother-in-law to the protagonist Biju Menon in the film Ayyappanum Koshiyum.

7. Nanjiyamma sung the promotional song for Government of Kerala’s housing programme Life Mission and it was the first time Irula language was used for a public relations program in Kerala.

8. Nanjiyamma about her National Award

“I did not know about this award or anything. My son told me about the national award declaration. We all watched the award announcement on TV. I am so happy. In our country, let all the people achieve success in life.”

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