The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
View E-Paper

Tribute to Katya: ‘Her shows were very flamboyant, accurate and on point’

Giulia Magri Wednesday, 30 January 2019, 14:42 Last update: about 6 years ago

Katya, better known as Kaka by her friends, was a pioneering cabaret artist, model and icon for the local LGBTQ+ movement.

Dead at the age 63 on Monday, she has been remembered as a well-known performer in clubs around Malta and London in the 1970s, and modelled for the likes of Vogue magazine and Yves Saint Laurent.

Local members of the LGBTQ+ community, fashion designers, and prominent personalities took to social media the past few days to pay tribute to her, sharing memories and pictures of Katya. Gay Malta are inviting friends and loved ones who knew Katya to send memories of her to dedicate a page in her honour to keep her alive as one of Malta’s historic LGBTQ icons. Katya has been described as a trailblazer and “she dared cross very dangerous waters in a time where the Island was still very conservative.”


Yvan Chircop Bruno: Close friend of Katia

I have many memories of Katia, she gave me the courage to come out to my family, and she was there for me and I was there for her; we became family. She was very special to me and I always would try to visit her whenever I would visit Malta after I moved to Sydney 16 years ago, she would always tell me “I should move to Sydney with you.” My fondest memories of her would be whenever she would come up with a crazy and flamboyant outfit for a night out, one time she made an outfit with white ostrich feathers and ribbons and a sailor’s hat. She looked amazing and beautiful, like some kind of Bond girl from the 1970’s.

Apart from her beauty and style, Katia had a very witty and funny character. One time she had asked me to hang some paintings for her, so I took some of my father’s tools, and after a day’s work of hanging frames and fixing things here and there I somehow managed to lose my father’s hammer. I panicked but she calmed me down with a smile and told me “don’t worry darling it will come out on day.” Several months later on my birthday she gave me this huge box with an equally huge box and a card saying “to my dearest Ivan Happy Birthday from your auntie Katia. PS here is a present that you have been wanting!” I opened the box and behold my father’s hammer… bless her.


I wish I would be there to say the last goodbye but unfortunately I’m in Sydney. I hope and wish that they will put up a well-deserved funeral for her.


Peter Carbonaro: TV producer and presenter

I’ve known Katya for many years, from clubs, fashion shows and events. Having her around was always an event in itself. Fashion wise, she was always very forward and ready to wear statement pieces. Although not everyone understood her, she was never shy to push the boundaries and she always spoke her mind. I remember her always being kind and funny. One time I was hosting a club event and had to stay outside in the cold for some time; when she came and lent me her coat for the duration of my shift. Her shows were always very flamboyant, accurate and on point. There will never be another Kaka.


Charles van Maarschalkerweerd Borg: Designer, one half of Charles & Ron

Katya was very special and unique an icon to the LGBTQ community. She had the courage to be herself way back when it was still very difficult and dangerous to do so. Her sense of style and elegance was unparalleled and she was our muse for several years and always of great inspiration until today and always will be. As a friend we had enormous amounts of fun as her wit and sense of humour were also one of kind. She was one of the first to believe in us in our early days and we will dedicate our next collection that we are launching in NY (her favourite city) on 9th February in her honour.


James Mifsud- close friend

Katia was an icon and lived her life to the full. She was extremely creative and met numerous famous people of the likes of David Bowie and Mick Jagger. 

I was a good friend of hers, whenever we would meet for coffee she was dressed to impress, like an Alexander McQueen model. Even on her bad days, she always glamorous and with a flair of her own which amazed people.


Katia’s funeral will be held at Carmelite church Balluta on this Friday 1 February at 2 pm. After the funeral people are invited to go to City of London bar to reminisce and share beautiful memories of a very special Diva

  • don't miss