Punah Gabasiane knew she was a natural performer at a young age. Growing up in Serowe, Punah would mime Brenda Fassie songs to entertain her family. Her confidence and star-quality continued to develop in boarding school when fellow classmates would ask her to sing for them in their dormitories.
Punah decided to seriously pursue her love of dancing and performing when she joined the Ditholwana Traditional Troupe as a traditional dancer over ten years ago. With the troupe, Punah first experienced the pride of representing her country on the international stage as she performed at the SADC Music Festival in Harare as part of the Ditholwana Traditional Dance Troupe. But dancing was not Punah’s only passion, as she began to discover her own mature and unique vocal ability as well. She was recruited by the renowned KTM choir and also sang as a cabaret singer at the Grand Palm Casino and Resort in Gaborone.
Punah released her debut album in 1999, entitled Introducing Punah. The gospel album instantly received critical acclaim and Punah was selected as the BOMA Award winner for Best Female Gospel Artist in 2000.
But Punah’s stunning vocals and unique style pushed her beyond gospel music and into the Afro jazz world. Her vocal adeptness allowed her to start jamming with top local jazz musicians and she released her debut Afro Jazz album “Iyoo Nna!” in 2005. Punah’s original blend of Setswana folklore and traditional Setswana melodies with Afro Jazz and Pop rhythms earned her the BOMA Award for Best Jazz Artist in 2006.
Queen of Botswana Jazz
1st Lady of Botswana Afro Jazz