Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu

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Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu

Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu.

was born on the 19th of April 1944, at Ħaż-Żabbar. He was the eighth child of Manwel and Salvina Abela. Abela worked first as a bus conductor where a friend of his noticed his well built figure and started calling him Bamboċċu, a nickname he is still mostly known for even nowadays. It wasn’t up till the age of fifteen that Abela started singing with his uncle, who was also a folk singer, Salvu Darmanin Ir-Ruġel.

Abela also worked for the navy and got to visit several places abroad. After that he worked as a builder and later on he also owned a restaurant where he used to cook; a hobby he was very fond of and good at. At 25 years of age he marred Annie. They had three children: twins, Frans and Silvio and Manwel.

His interest in Maltese and the Maltese culture was manifested through his mastery of Maltese traditional folk singing, known as għana. Il-Bamboċċu was known best for the improvised kind of għana known as spirtu pront and the comic sketch, known better as il-makjetta. For the latter, and other genres he was not only known in Malta but also abroad where he was invited several times by the immigrants namely in Australia.

Abela not only sang on his own but collaborated with a countless number of folk singers such as Ġorġ Azzopardi Il-Makk, Michael Fenech Ir-Ringu, his brother Renald Abela l-Bamboċċu ż-Żgħir and Joe Demicoli.

Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu on Charles' Coleiro's television programme.

With the former he produced the song he is known best for, Taxi Mary from which he sold ten thousand copies in Malta and twenty thousand in Australia. He also took part in the programme Wipeout which was produced and presented by Joe Demicoli. Other known folk songs of his, some with the participation of his brother Renald Abela l-Bamboċċu ż-Żgħir and Mikiel Bonnici n-Negli are World Cup, It-Tliet Għażżenin, Papa Bamboċċ, Is-Sakranazzi and Il-Pariri tal-Bamboċċu.

He was also a household name on the Rediffusion, during traditional village feasts and the most awaited Għanafest. A place he frequently sang at was the Boċċi Club in Pietà and in fact that was the last place he sang at. Abela died on the 9th of November 2003, aged 59.

Il-Bamboċċu on a mural painting in Fgura, by spray artist Justin Bonnici.

A memorial has been erected in his honour in his hometown Żabbar, but perhaps of more interest is his presence through mural paintings in an arterial road in Fgura by artist Justin Bonnici. As homage to Il-Bamboċċu, Ġorġ Mifsud Chircop wrote L-Għanja Tiegħi lil Bamboċċu, folk sung by Marisa Sammut during the Argotti Folk Music Festival 2004.

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See also

Category:Bamboċċu Photos