Punque Royal


BOY do I hate being tagged on Facebook, on things which have nothing to do with me. But it’s also foolish and short sighted to sprout off in anger without gathering all the facts about what my name’s been attached with.

“We wanted to get our fans to notice that there is a gross neglect generally in how we treat those who are ours but different. We talk about liberating ourselves from oppression and prejudice while we pass on same poison to those who live among us. We want to get people more aware and involved (directly or indirectly) in fostering a more inclusive culture in our society for the ‘misfits’,” says one half of Tribal PunQ Kgomotso Matjele (Tsoness).

Fortunately, before I exploded in irritation, I had been gripped by what I read about the Able Campaign which is endorsed by music duo, Tribal PunQ. Headed by Ithuba la Bobedi together with Sawubona Music Jam, the campaign will see an event in honour of children living with disabilities next month.

“Initially we were invited as guests in an earlier pilot event on June 16 this year,” says Tsoness, who also did a motivational talk with the youth on the day.¬†Hlengiwe Dhlamini, known as Mahogany is the other half of Tribal PunQ.

Tribal Punq: Mahogany on the left and Tsoness on the right. Photo by Msakha Mona

“We fell in love with this course on June 16 because it aligned with our values. We believe in building a Tribe that is inclusive and nurtures individual gifts to form a strong diversified force. We believe people have dreams and it is their birth right to live out those innate divine stories because that is what they have come to bring to the world. Our music is about that. To get people to bring their stories to life. To get people to believe in their unique role in the world. We are all here for a reason,” Tsoness says.

The Able Campaign takes place at the end of November, but Tribal PunQ encourages people to assist with things such as donating chairs, tents and even just spreading the word, leading up to November 30. While on the day of the event one can “donate your Friday and adopt a child living with disability for that day.”

Tribal Punq. Photo by Sibusiso

Birthed early last year, Tribal PunQ are two vocalists from Soweto seeking to redefine the Tribal Punk genre to relevantly connect with the diversity of the South African socio-cultural heartbeat. Their music varies from afro-fusion, pop, rock, soul and anything fusible with poetic and theatrical elements.

“We used to be Punque Royal but changed due to parting ways with a third member we had and also feeling that Royal could be a bit more focused on leading and ruling while Tribe focuses on working with the people. We are still royal, we believe but so is all we encounter and incorporate into our circle. “Q” in the end, instead of “K” is because we are Queens,” Tsoness tells me.

Tribal Punq. Photo by Msakha Mona

They are rebels on a cause, without a pause. They understand the role they can play in society. Tribal PunQ does talks with the youth, they have donation drives for those living in the streets, orphanages and clothing for the disadvantaged.

“These have been low key and personal. We have not yet made it a Tribe thing but it fuels our music so much. We are also planning to have Safe Spaces events for women next year where women can delve into issues such as identity, beauty, worth, dreams.” They are currently working on an EP which will come out next year. While they’re on the line up for this year’s Smoking Dragons, but they admit that most of their time is taken up by their social responsibilities.

“In all honesty, our social projects towards the end of the year are important to us as we would like to ensure that during festivities, those who are usually forgotten feel included and rise into a more hopeful new year. We are performing to raise awareness and money for such causes and will have few appearances here and there but are not really scheduled.”

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