Titina Silla

Titina Silla

Titina Ernestina Silá (var. Silla), (1943-30 January 1973) was a Guinea Bissau freedom fighter. 30 January, the day of her death, is celebrated as National Women's Day in Guinea Bissau.

Guerrilla war

Famed in Guinea Bissau as a martyr of the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence against Portugal, led by PAIGC. Very young, Titina Silla joined the guerrilla war led by the charismatic Amilcar Cabral. She displayed remarkable organisational and leadership skills and became one of its most popular figures. Titina Silá was already famous within the movement in the early 1970s as an 18 year old guerrilla leader on the North Front.


She was killed in an ambush by the Portuguese while crossing the Farim River on her way to the funeral of Amilcar Cabral who was assassinated a week earlier in Conakry (23 January 1973). In her honor a monument has been erected near the river Farim where she died and the date is marked as National Women's Day ("Dia Nacional da Mulher guineense") in Guinea Bissau. Numerous places and institutions are named for Silá, including Plaza Titina Sila in Bissau (home to government ministries and foreign missions). Along with Cabral and Domingos Ramos, she is remembered as the most famous martyrs of the independence struggle.


  • Judy Kimble. The Struggle within the Struggle. Feminist Review, No. 8 (Summer, 1981), pp. 107-111
  • Stephanie Urdang. Fighting Two Colonialisms: The Women's Struggle in Guinea-Bissau. African Studies Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, Women in Africa (Dec., 1975), pp. 29-34.

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