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Angola is one of Africa’s most conservative nations where homosexuality is illegal and LGBT people are afraid to show affection in public.

But that doesn’t stop Teca Miguel Garcia from rocking crowds in her native Angola as an out-and-proud transsexual techno-rap sensation.

For the past four years, the 24-year-old performer has been building her reputation as a uniquely skilled dancer and singer who fuses urban Hip-Hop flair with upbeat dance beats (better known as Kuduro) that attract wide and diverse audiences. She has even performed at Angola’s “Diva’s concert” where she was named a Diva. This month, Titica will begin her first international tour that will take her to the United Kingdom, Portugal and the United States.

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Titica told the BBC that she’s happy about her success, but the price she has paid to enjoy it has been significant:

I’ve been stoned, I’ve been beaten, and there is a lot of prejudice against me, a lot of people show that. There is a lot of taboo,” she told the BBC.

Still, it seems as if Teca’s influence as a budding star has helped her country become more accepting of gays and lesbians. If only a little bit.

Angolan creative Hugo Salvaterra, who has been involved in the filming of a documentary about Kuduro for Swedish television, said Titica is a musician first and transsexual second.

“Titica is talented, she is making good music and she has a fantastic live show, that is why people like her,” he said.

“Kuduro has definitely opened the door for Titica’s acceptance. Her music is good, she entertains us, and so we accept her.

“Throughout the whole history of music, that’s what art does, it transcends and it breaks taboos,” he added, comparing her to Chuck Berry who won over black and white audiences in segregated 1960s America.

As well as Titica’s full integration into the local music scene, which has seen her share the stage with internationally acclaimed Angolan artists such as Anselmo Ralph, she has been invited to perform for the Angolan consulate in Houston, Texas, as part of the celebrations of 10 years of peace.

For more on Titica and her challenges of being openly homosexual in Angola, go to BBC.



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