Brenda Fassie

Brenda Fassie’s niece, Gemma. Images via X @ThusoThelejane and Instagram @gemmafassie

‘Bongani cried’: Gemma Fassie on looking like Brenda

‘Bongani started crying when he saw me’: Singer Gemma Fassie opens up about being compared to her late aunt, Brenda.

Brenda Fassie

Brenda Fassie’s niece, Gemma. Images via X @ThusoThelejane and Instagram @gemmafassie

Musician Gemma Fassie opens up about her upcoming project and the first time she met Brenda’s son, Bongani.


The songstress, Gemma Fassie, tells Sowetan that she had no idea how deep her last name was for South Africans, when she was growing up.

“I always knew I was a Fassie, but I didn’t know how deep the Fassie name was for South Africans until I was in high school.”

Her father, who was Brenda’s brother, wasn’t present as much in Gemma’s childhood.

She had little to no knowledge of how iconic Brenda was, whose legacy still lives on 20 years after her death.

The 24-year-old also reveals that she only met Bongani at a mutual friend’s funeral.

“The first time I met Bongani was at a mutual friend’s funeral. He started crying when he saw me. He kept telling me how much I looked like his mom,” she adds. 

She adds that she plans to infuse Afro-pop and Amapiano sounds in her upcoming project. Her dream is to be known all over the world.


South Africans and celebrities such as DJ Black Coffee and Gigi Lamayne were blown away by Gemma Fassie’s angelic voice after Brenda Fassie’s son, Bongani shared a video of her singing on social media in 2022.   

South Africans also noticed the resemblance between Gemma and the late Vulindlela singer when her video went viral on social media.  

Speaking to Dr Keyes on Kaya 959 in 2023, Gemma revealed that she doesn’t like watching herself sing.

When she started getting comments on social media after posting her video, she deleted it.

“I don’t like watching myself sing but I posted it again. Bongani surprised me and reposted it,” she said.

“Yho Ngu Mabrrrr… Wow! Can you please do a Vulindlela cover too,” posted Nkosinathi Wa Kwaito  

@Bralu_nkompela said: “She looks like Brenda… Just prettier.”

Image via X @ThusoThelejane