Nerissa, Beena and Shabana Benjamin are sisters coming from a small Christian family in Pakistan. From a very humble beginning they rose to immense popularity not only in Pakistan but in India as well.
Their trade mark singing style and repertoire became so popular that they created what is known as the ‘Benjamin Sisters phenomenon’. The famous singers of patriotic anthems, the cherished icons of every childhood, role models so exemplary that their very wholesomeness can never be over looked, Benjamin sister still remain cherished in the hearts of many.
at a time when Zia’s Islamisation campaign was at its peak, these sisters from a minority community extolled nationalism in their beloved milli naghmay, capturing the nation’s heart in the process.
It was their father, Victor Benjamin, who first kindled this love for music. A skillful player of the xylophone, he encouraged his daughters to sing and they soon joined the Sunday school choir at The Christ Church. This was the sum total of their musical training
They made TV appearances in late 1970’s and early 80’s. The Benjamin sisters first participated in music learning programs aired on Pakistan Television in 1968-87. These programs aimed at educating young children about music. The sisters sang Urdu and Punjabi songs and were invited to programs where they sung songs by acclaimed artists to pay tribute to them.
Songs sung in highly synchronized and the melodious voices made a mark in many hearts. They were introduced to showbiz by Javed Allah Ditta, a notable sitar player and member of the PIA Academy.
Beena Benjamin now lives in Canada with her husband and kids. Nerrisa and Shabana are in Pakistan and Dubai respectively and are both blessed with children. Belonging to an era when showbiz did not gel with married life, the sisters disbanded in 1987, at the height of their popularity, when Nerissa got married.
Nerrisa now teaches at St. Patrick’s High School and Beena works as a voice over artist. Shabana who initially worked as a VJ is now a housewife.