I’m not a traditional healer: Patai
The Voice of Prophecy, a Gweru-based gospel group has been quiet for the past nine years during which time some of its key band members enrolled at Mt Hermon Theology School and consequently relocated to Namibia.
With husband and wife Baba Ephraim and Mai Respina Patai at the forefront, the Voice of Prophecy was credited for raising the profile of gospel music, hitherto regarded as a solemn genre, to one of the most popular forms of entertainment and spiritual healing.
The group made a huge splash on the music scene with their third release titled “Rumbidzwai” in 2005 which caused quite a stir on the airwaves. Our Entertainment Reporter Jonathan Mbiriyamveka (JM) spoke to Baba Patai (EP) on different aspects including reports that he was now a traditional healer.
JM: There were some reports that you are now a traditional healer, is it true?
EP: This is a totally unjustified statement from people who are bent on creating confusion. The truth is when we started to hit the airwaves through gospel music we were members of the Apostolic church and people used to watch us on television as well as at live shows. At times we would put on white robes which are popularly known as magamenzi. It was during those days when I was a preacher. I was also munamatiri wevanhu uye mududziri wehope nechiporofita chete kwete traditional doctor but faith healer ikoko. I guess that is when all these allegations started. But as I have already said, it’s water under the bridge. I am a born again Christian who is an ardent follower of a pentecostal church. Chisikwa chitsva mumba maJehovah.
JM: When did you leave Zimbabwe?
EP: We left Zimbabwe in 2005, however, my family is back home and I am always there most of my time.
JM: Are you still recording music?
EP: Yes, I can tell you that we are preparing to record this year.
JM: Tell us who is who in the Voice of Prophecy?
EP: It is made up of Baba naMai Patai, who are the lead vocalists and several group members, dancers and vocalists.
JM: How is your music being received in Namibia?
EP: So far so good, our music is very popular in the Kaprivi region from where we operate from.
JM: Tell us about Mai Patai, is she still singing?
EP: Yes, she last recorded her project in 2010 when she released a DVD and audio album called “Samulena”. At present she is recording her latest album.
JM: Any solo projects coming?
EP: We are all gospel musicians and our thrust is to preach through music. You cannot separate the two and in fact we are one group though here and there she records her own music.
JM: How many albums has Mai Patai recorded?
EP: She has so far recorded two albums backed by The Voice Of Prophecy. We also recorded three joint albums. Generally we work as a team even on solo projects. As musicians we don’t want to release half-baked albums in trying to let our music out to the people. So we are taking our time to release and make sure that the album is perfect as it should be.
JM: When are you planning to stage a show in Zimbabwe?
EP: We have no specific dates but when we get the chance we are going to be performing in all the major cities.
JM: You were credited for popularising Apostolic music, do you think you will be able to fit in after such a long absence?
EP: Everything is possible with God. We really believe that we still have the capability to soldier on since we want to fulfil our mission of preaching good news.
JM: Which church do you go to?
EP: UFIC, since we are now pentecostal church members.
JM: Finally, what is your message to your multitudes of fans back home?
EP: We want to thank all our fans for their everlasting and tireless support though we have taken long to release our new projects. We have also not be active on stage. However, through God and love of our Christ, we say tichapagadzirisa achida asingadi muvengi wedu devil. Amen.