Naghma was born as Shaperai (Fairy) on January 1, 1964 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She belongs to the Pashtun ethnic group. As a young girl, she developed an interest in music. Her early songs were based on Kandahari songs, most of which were folkloric in nature but were essential in training the novice. After moving to Kabul, Naghma held various jobs, all the while pursuing her passion. Coming from a traditional family, she met with much resistance from relatives who saw singing as a demeaning career for an Afghan woman. However, Naghma was not discouraged by this. Naghma became a student of a musician-turned-singer.
Naghma married Mangal, a very well known singer from Laghman. The couple became one of the most popular music icons throughout Afghanistan. They have sung songs in Pashto and Dari and are equally popular among other ethnic groups.
The pivotal point of their career came with the hit single ‘Malek Janah.’ The song was immensely popular and, to this day, remains the couple’s most memorable. Soon after this song came ‘Mazdigar di ka na dai,’ another popular song that enlivened the radio stations of not only Afghanistan but Pakistan and some African countries as well. A number of moderately successful albums followed, after which they performed in a series of well-received concerts. Shaperia Naghma has around 5000 songs on her credit. In addition, she has performed in dozens of concerts around the globe.
With impending civil war, the couple left Afghanistan for Pakistan in 1992. There, they became very successful with an enthusiastic crowd of Afghan exiles who were nostalgic for their native music. Their financial situation by this time had improved significantly. In the late 90’s, they left Pakistan to immigrate to the United States.
After establishing contact with the Afghan community of northern California, the duo held a series of performances. However, Naghma and Mangal have since divorced, citing Mangal’s alleged continual alcohol abuse , and the couple has been sensitive about elaborating further on the issue. Their divorce has also cast a doubt as to whether this former pair can reconcile at least on the professional level. While Mangal performs solo in private events and television programs, Naghma is continuing her career as a professional artist.
In 2006, Naghma’s new single ‘Mohabbat’ was released. This was the first time she had sang a pop song. It is a favorite club remix and the accompanying video is also Kabul TV station’s and AfghanMTV’s most requested video. The song is one of the highest ranking Afghan songs in the world. Also in that year, Naghma returned to Afghanistan to give a round of concerts in various cities with Naim Popal, another popular Afghan singer. During her concert held in Kabul, the crowd showered the singer with rose petals.