‘Mama Toposa’ on friends and God

An upcoming female artist in Kapoeta town says she has dedicated a song to God for saving her life through a friend.

Martha Losugar, commonly known by her stage name Mama Toposa, says she battled with a long illness for more than six years before she met Machot Maruoth – a businessman in Losolia cattle camp in Kapoeta East County in early 2002.

Life was not easy for Martha after losing her husband in a cattle raid and falling sick just two months after the death of her husband.

“I thought I would not make it after a long illness. Others said ‘She will not reach tomorrow’, yet God on the other hand said ‘She will make it’,” Mama Toposa recalls.

In Toposa culture, a woman who had just lost her husband is supposed to be inherited by brother to the late husband.

In case there is none, any immediate relative can take the widow. However, any child that will be born belongs to the late husband.

Due to her health condition, Martha’s in-laws abandoned her, forcing the would-be musician’s brothers to take her back to their home.

Martha says her mother, who lived in Lolim at the time tried by all means possible to ensure that she recovered, including taking her to different witchdoctors,   in vain. Her health continued to deteriorate.

“I was ready to die; I thought I would die any time, and even my own relatives knew that I would not be able to survive,” Martha told Singaita FM’s Elizabeth Lochapio in Kapoeta town at the weekend.

The roughly 40-year-old singer had already borne two children by the time she was in her ‘deathbed’.

This, she says, made her lose hope in life until 2008 when Machot appeared – the friend whom she had earlier at a cattle kraal in Kabekenyang.

Machot, a Dinka man, then raised money and had Martha taken to Narus for treatment.

As an appreciation to good friendship and God’s work, Mama Toposa composed a song titled: “Abuwak iyong Nyakuj nyalakara,” – Toposa words meaning: “I am giving thanks to God” for having saved her life through friend.

Martha went on to appeal to the communities of greater Kapoeta to keep friends, saying they matter a lot.

“I had no hope, but when this person helped me and by the grace of God, I recovered. I still appreciate and give thanks to God,” she said.

“My promise is that, if I die before him, he will bury me, and vice versa.”

Martha, who had always wanted to be a musician since childhood, added that Machot is the one helping her record her songs.