Mario Dimech Il-Qiequ

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Mario Dimech Il-Qiequ

Mario Dimech Il-Qiequ.

is an improvised verse folksinger. He was born on the 18th May 1970 and hails from Birkirkara. He carries his father's nickname, although they are also know as Tal-Ġiżwa, derived from the name Joshua.

He recalls that when he was a child his father used to listen to folk music on Rediffusion, a lasting influence on the young Mario. He reveres Ninu Galea l-Kalora for his lyrical prowess and his favourite folk session is known as Tal-Qamel (The Lice) which had Galea paired with Żaru Mifsud l-Għaxqi.

                    Jien rasi bix-xagħar mimlija
                      Il-qamel fiha kemm jirgħu
                      Int f'rasek m'għandek l-ebda xagħra
                      U l-qamel tgħallmu jiskejzjaw.

Dimech began going out with Pinu Spiteri tal-Ġebel to Joe's Bar in Paola and in 1999 I folk sang for the first time with Żeppi Falzon Ix-Xakkaj from Qormi.

He has a folk ballad, written by Żeppi Spagnol Il-Kelba, which he sung with Janice Spagnol tal-Kelba, about the FIFA World Cup. Dimech's favourite folk ballad is Tal-Margun, also penned by Spagnol, about the drowning of two brothers from the Tas-Seba' Irġiel family, who had been kite-flying in Xgħajra.

For Dimech, għana is a means to forget life's woes and think about what is being folk sung by the adversaries. In 2006 he played a traditional terzin guitar for the funeral of Tereża Dimech, and folk sung six stanzas written by Toni Spiteri tal-Ġebel. The guitar is 127 years old and he exclaims that he would rather sell the clothes he was wearing than it, since it is family heirloom.

From the age of seven, he became keen on horseracing and currently a jockey on the old Marsa racecourse and also active in horse street-racing. In 2013 Dimech participated in Għanafest.

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