Tenzin Jamtsho is a mangmi of Jarey gewog

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

When the local government (LG) election results for Jarey gewog in Lhuentse were declared, many people wondered if the mangmi-elect, Tenzin Jamtsho, wooed the voters by singing Pangtse kira, a popular rigsar song.

Tenzin Jamtsho, 50, returned home after staying in Thimphu for more than 25 years as a singer, musician, actor, and civil servant.

Although he is best known for composing and singing Pangtse kira, he claimed to have contributed immensely to the creative industry by composing more than 100 songs, singing more than 300 songs and producing movies.

As the youngest of four siblings, Tenzin Jamtsho was never sent to school, although he is a local aristocrat of the Jarey Zhelngo family.

“We had a tradition where the youngest is kept at home, but I studied under my grandfather, the late lam Zhenphen Droduel Dorji Tenzin, the son of former Buli Trulku, who is popularly known as Aja Lama, and the then-last lineage holder of the Dorling tradition,” he said.

He married a cousin, but divorced and went to the capital to look for a job, and managed to get a job as a storekeeper.

“I sang my first song, Ema khorwai semchen nam, on BBS radio in 1992,” he said. “I would go to Tashi Nyencha traditional music and fusion band, the only music studio then for a part-time job, as well as practice every evening after work.”

He can play the dramnyen, piano, yangchen, and guitar.

Later, Tenzin and a group of unemployed youth who shared a similar passion founded Nazhoen Phuntshok Drayang in 1996 and produced the first film called ‘Miyi Dugyel’ with financial support from the Dzongkha Development Commission.

He composed many songs and made movies after that.

Tenzin Jamtsho married again and had two daughters, but he got divorced after he met with an accident in Ura. He survived after he was airlifted.

He then founded the ‘Pangtse kira drayang’’ which he later sold. It has been renamed ‘Kalapingka drayang’.

Tenzin Jamtsho said he returned home after his parents died. “My siblings wanted me to return home to take care of the ancestral house and supported me to return home. So I decided to come back in 2019.”

He said he contested in the LG elections because his relatives asked him to. “I thank people for entrusting me with these opportunities and I am glad to have the opportunity to serve them at my best, with whatever small ability and exposure I have in my life.”

He said he can create a harmonious society with inclusive participation in the planning process and serve them fairly.

Today, Tenzin lives with his wife from Khoma and his three-year-old in his hometown at Ladrong.

Asked if he sang the Pangtse kira song over his victory, he said he would do that in a simple dhar offering celebration.

He said he composed Pangtse kira in 1998 and made a music video in 2002. “I composed that song because it is the karmic debt.”