Titina Ernestina Silá (1943 – 30 January 1973) was a Guinea-Bissauan member of the PAIGC. 30 January, the day of her death, is celebrated as National Women’s Day in Guinea Bissau
From her real name Ernestina Silá, (Titina Silá) was a combatant and militiaman who, although dying young, managed to make a difference and captivate all those who knew her.
Titina joined the African fighters very young at the age of 18 and became, through her intelligence and courage, the spearhead of the movement she had as one of the organisers Amilcar Cabral. More than once she left the country to prepare to help her people in the struggle for the pursuit of human dignity and freedom. Because of her organisational and leadership skills, she was the one running the People’s Militia Committee in the North, whose mission was to organise the passage of people and goods into the exchanges of the Cacheu River, of vital importance for the supply of resistance troops.
In 1973 PAIGC leader Amilcar Cabral was murdered in neighboring Guinea- Conakri. Titina Silá thus loses his mentor and friend, as do the people of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde who lose their leader, the man and brother who fought and died so that they could all live in freedom, a week after the tragic event on January 30 still shaken by the feeling of loss, Titina heads a small group of fighters in a canoe with the purpose of watching the funeral of his brother and fellow combatant Amilcar Cabral to Guiné-Conakri when he was caught in an ambush mounted by the Portuguese troops on the Farim River in northern Guinea and then drowned by them, the indescribable pain of those people certainly lives in the memory of the oldest still today, in a single month Guinea-Bissau experienced the pain of a mother who loses her children, two African figures examples of justice and equality among human beings, simple people Titina devoted her few years of life to the struggle for all these values and especially for the rights of people to decide their own destiny on the piece of land God gave them, hoping to one day see their people liberate themselves from the chains of exploitation of the Portuguese Empire.
Written by : Pucurutcha Stella