Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Shri Award to Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi in 2012
Born(1926-07-07)7 July 1926
Wangkhei Ningthempukhri Mapal, Manipur, India
Died24 January 2020(2020-01-24) (aged 93)
OccupationTraditional singer
SpouseNameirakpam Achou Singh
Parent(s)Khumanthem Chaoba Singh
Kshetrimayum ningol Keina Devi
AwardsPadma Shri
Joy Patra
Manipur State Kala Akademi Award
Government of Manipur Certificate of Honour
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Manipur Sahitya Parishad Award
WebsiteOfficial web site

Khumanthem Ningol Nameirakpam Ongbi Ibemni Devi (7 July 1926 – 24 January 2020) was an Indian singer of traditional music, known for her expertise in the Khongjom Praba[1] genre of Manipuri music.[2][3] The Government of India honoured Ibemni Devi in 2012, with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri.[4]


Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi was born in July 1926 at Wangkhei Ningthempukhri Mapal to Kshetrimayum ningol Keina Devi and Khumanthem Chaoba Singh, a noted exponent of Khongjom Parba.[5] She started learning traditional Manipuri music at the age of six under the tutelage of Guru Yumnam Natum Singh, a known singer of Nata Sangeet. Besides Nata Sangeet, she also learnt other genres of Manipuri music.[5]

Ibemni Devi, reported to be the first female to play Khol, Mridanga and Dolak in Manipuri folk theatre, is credited with the composition of over 150 ballads which have been aired by the All India Radio and Doordarshan and performed at many events.[5] She is the founder of Khongjom Praba School (1964), and has also established two choir groups, one in 1964 and the other in 1972.[5]

Ibemni Devi was a recipient of the Joy Patra of the Manipur Royal Palace in 1964, the Manipur State Kala Akademi Award in 1989 and a Certificate of Honour from the Government of Manipur in 1991.[5] Recognized in 1998, as one of the ten outstanding artistes by the All India Radio, Ibemni Devi was honoured by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2004, and by the Manipur Sahitya Parishad in 2005.[5] The Government of India, in 2011, honored Ibemni Devi with the civilian award of Padma Shri.

Devi was married to Nameirakpam Achou Singh and the couple had eight children; five sons and three daughters. Her husband predeceased her and she lived in Kwakeithel Soibam Leikai,[5] until her death on 24 January 2020, at the age of 93.[6]


  1. ^ Amaresh Datta (2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. p. 988. ISBN 9788126018031.
  2. ^ "TOI". TOI. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Web India". Web India. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "E Pao". E Pao. 17 December 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Shrimati Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi began performing Khongjom Parba at a very early age and became the first woman balladeer in Manipur. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2004". Sangeet Natak Akademi on Twitter. Retrieved 31 August 2022.

Further reading