Esma Redzepova Teodosievska was born on 8th August 1943 in Skopje, F.Y.R. Macedonia as the fifth child from six her parents, Ibraim and Canija, had. As a child she was interested in art, so the biggest joy for her was going to the cinema and theatre. She started her education in a primary school "Goce Delchev", where she recognised for the first time that she was different from the others. Children ignored her because she was Gypsy and nobody liked to sit at the same desk with her.
But with the teacher's help, this barrier was broken down. In school Esma for the first time saw that there was a Red Cross organisation, an institution that supported poor people. From the Red Cross she took a scarf, gloves and a pair of socks as a present. That made a little girl very happy, and she promised herself that one day if she would have something more than she needs she'll help people who need help.
Esma started her career when she was a schoolgirl. First she performed in all school events, and one day she was nominated by the Principal of the school to represent the school on one very popular radio show called "The microphone is yours", organised by Radio Skopje. That was in 1957 and Esma took the first prize in the competition and she received a large sum of money, but in that time of happiness she was also upset because she didn't tell her parents where she was going, and was ashamed to tell them, and was afraid that her mother would find the prize money. In the end, Esma told the truth to her family. In that competition she was seen by Stevo Teodosievski, very famous musician and composer, who worked in Radio Skopje. He was fascinated by her voice, and came to her house asking her parents to allow her to be his student and a member of Ensemble Teodosievski.
Her career expanded rapidly and she became very famous all over the world. In 1960 she performed in Paris Olympia. In 1958 she recorded her first record, with the legendary song Zoshto Si Me Majko Rodila, and after that her greatest hit Chaje Shukarije. In 1976 in India, in a city of Chandigarh, on the First Gypsy World Festival, she was crowned as the Queen of Gypsy. That certificate was given by Indira Gandi. Esma has been awarded with many, many awards and certificates.
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