The Herald (Harare)

2 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Is Voice of Prophecy Breaking Up?

Is Gweru-based gospel group Voice of Prophecy on the verge of breaking up?

This follows the groups' three-year lull on live performance in which two of its key members, Ephraim and wife Respina Patai enrolled at a theological college.

Speculation was rife in the media that the duo of Baba naMai Patai could be forming a breakaway outfit from their apostolic church called Zviratidzo ZvevaPostori Church in Gweru.

However, Madzibaba Patai, as he is affectionately known in music circles, said there were no immediate plans to start their own church.

"I know many people would want to know whether or not we are planning on starting our own church. We wish to state at this point that we have no such plans but if the Holy Ghost says so no one refuses.

"You know what happened to Jonah when he tried to run away he was given better transport to go where he was told to go," Madzibaba Patai said.

He, however, confirmed that he and his wife were studying theology.

"We are studying theology at Mt Hermon College and we hope to resume shows once we are done with school," Madzibaba Patai said.

The Voice of Prophecy burst onto the music scene with the release of their debut "Ane Nzeve Ngaanzwe" which was followed it up by "Shoko Seshoko".

These did not, however, do well on the market owing to a lack of promotion. But he was not deterred.

His fortunes changed as he learn't the ropes and dynamics of the industry. He, like the proverbial phoenix, rose from obscurity to a top selling gospel artiste, spurred of course by his wife who has been providing the vocals on popular songs such as "Mazambara".

He caused quite a stir on the scene with the release of his third album "Rumbidzwai" in 2005, from which he picked "Mazambara" for a video. So superb was the choreography that for some time it was a regular feature on national television.

The duo was credited with raising the profile of gospel music, hitherto regarded as a solemn genre, to one of the most popular forms of entertainment and spiritual healing.

Added to this, the group pioneered the "Butterfly Effect" dance that many tried to imitate but failed to match the master who at his zenith had his songs considered for awards in the most popular song and best of video of the year categories.

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