Punah Gabasiane is a Motswana Afro jazz singer who shot to stardom with her albumssince2001, the critically-acclaimed gospel album “Introducing Punah” and Afro- Jazz Album"Iyoo Nna!”
As she is the first and reigned for a long time as being the only Botswana Female Afro-jazz musician to consistently cause a stir among genre lovers, Punah performed in South Africa’s biggest jazz festival, appeared on local television shows, and shared the stage with prominent international artists such as Selaelo Selota, Sipho Gumede, and Jonas Gwangwa at international music festivals. She became a worthy ambassador for Botswana on the world stage, representing her country at Barbados’ independence anniversary celebrations in 2006. November 2007 she was invited to perform at Ottawa, Canada.
Born and raised in Serowe, Central District of Botswana, Punah knew that she wanted to be a singer from an early age. After completing her O’level at Swaneng Hill School, she decided to seriously pursue her love of dancing and performing when she joined the Ditholwana Traditional Troupe as a lead singer and traditional dancer. 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 later sang as a cabaret singer at the Grand Palm Casino and Resort Hotel and other hotels around the country.
In 2002 she enrolled to study a diploma in Business Administration. While continuing with Jazz singing, she is a full time employee of an international NGO as a Program Officer for the past eight years. She is also a mother of 2 a boy and a girl.
Since 2001 she has managed to scoop several awards:-
Best Live Band – Botswana Presidential Award 2009
Best Live Band – Botswana Presidential Award 2008
Best Female Artist – Botswana Music Awards 2007
Best Jazz Album – Botswana Music Awards 2007
2nd Position – Botswana Orange Botswerere Artists Award
Best Jazz Artist – Botswana Music Awards 2006
Best Gospel Album – Botswana Music Awards 2001
She released her second album, Tshwaraganang 2007. She won BOMU awards for Best Female Artist the following consecutive years she won Presidential awards for Best Live Artist competing with local Male Jazz and Kwasakwasa giants.
April 2011 Punah is launching her newest album, BOTHO. The ten-track Afro-Jazz album successfully fuses contemporary and traditional music, social commentary, and Afro-hypnotic jazz in a unique and spellbinding creation that appeals to both the old and the young. She doesn’t shy away from tough subjects. She is among the best lyricist of our time, if one is conversant with the vernacular will appreciate that she is also a talented composer.
We have no doubt in our minds that Punah have the potential, apart from doing charitable concerts that help save humanity, of promoting the Botswana Brand appropriately positioning Botswana in the global market as a unique offering. She is home grown and works hard as well. We see her as a source of energy, progress and growth for our nation as well as an embodiment of the nation’s new dawn and beginning. A Woman committed in song for the full glory of her nation. She is always driven by a spirit of optimism and positivity.