Rare Woman Composer Hits Top Note in Kosovo

She may have reached the grand age of 74, but musical virtuoso Pranvera Badivuku - only the second Kosovo Albanian woman to become a composer in Kosovo - is still full of ideas.

Having become a composer in Kosovo at a time when women were still somewhat oppressed and having to fit the roles society had designed for them, today she is a role model for other women in Kosovo aspiring to a musical career.

Many of the most famous melodies in Kosovo, such as "Eja eja e bardha verë" ["Come Come, You White Summer"] or "E kujtoj atë takim" ["I Remember Our Meeting"], are her own work.

A music professor in several schools, both in Kosovo and Macedonia, over a long career she composed more than 150 songs. Some are still waiting to see the light of day - and Badivuku has not given up.

She won a record five "Okarina të Arta" [Golden Ocarinas] - the top award at the now defunct the Akordet e Kosoves, a once popular music festival that has not been held for almost two decades now.

Staged in different cities of Kosovo over the years. Badivuku won her awards with far less technology than musicians use today, relying more on her spirit.

Tough childhood in an 'enemy' family:

Photo: Courtesy of Pranvera Badivuku.

Born in the city of Peja, her family were considered "an enemy" family under the Yugoslav communist regime. After her father was arrested in Albania, suspicion fell on his family in Kosovo. Her uncle's family raised her and she only met her father when she was about to get engaged.

"I was raised without a father figure. Because of my father was jailed in Albania, we were considered 'a risky family' in the 1960s and 1970s. My uncle graduated in engineering, but couldn't find a job in Kosovo, so Skopje...

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