The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: U.S. - Based Gospel Musician Releases New Album

Most people seem to think that living in the United States means forgetting everything about home, but that is not so for unsung gospel diva, Mai Pam Plaxedes Banda, who says such a privilege is an opportunity for her to connect people in Africa and the Diaspora through her music.

Currently in Zimbabwe on holiday from her base in Dallas, Texas, to promote her latest 10-track album "Servant of God", she said her music was being well received.

"People are just loving it (music) both in the US and Zimbabwe. Although I have limited time in Zimbabwe because of my ministry work as a music director with the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the US, the people out there are loving each and every performance I make on stage every weekend and sometimes I have to cancel some of my gigs owing to pressure.

"I have faith that when I come back to Zimbabwe sometime in mid-2013, I will do better things including live shows, launching my album, shooting videos as well as attending and performing during church conventions by the United Family International Church and AFM," she said.

Just to prove how her music has caught the fancy of people in the US, her latest album was recorded by ZiviMusic based in Dallas while locally it is being marketed and distributed by leading recording firm Diamond Studios.

Also, some of her fans are of a cosmopolitan nature, including Nigerians, Sierra Leoneans, Ugandans as well as others from different parts of the world.

If you thought that it is just that, then you are in for a big surprise!

She has also always been a member of the Voice of Africa music group based in Dallas, apart from sharing the stage with the likes of Ron Connolley, the late Lucky Dube and Prince Mafukidze, among others.

"My music is inspired by Jesus Christ himself as well as my experiences in life because whatever is happening to me now is a reflected in my music," said the diva, who first developed a passion for music at the age of five when she was a member of her praise and worship team at church.

Mai Banda was born on December 12, 1976 in Harare and relocated to the US when she was 19 to pursue her college studies in accounting.

She holds various degrees in accounting including an associate degree (2000), bachelors degree (2002) as well as a masters degree (2008-11).

"Although I am a financial analyst by profession who is yet to acquire a PhD soon, I am currently concentrating fully on my music and family who both need adequate attention," said the singer, who is married to Douglas, her husband for the past 14 years.

Speaking about her latest album, "Servant of God", Mai Banda said: "In essence, it is an album that talks about all the good things that Christ has done for His people, and how we should not dedicate our time to other gods but keep our faith in God".

Tracks on the album include "Mwari Mune Tsitsi", "Servant of God", "You Are Worthy", "Iro Vhangeri", "Ndiye Mwari", "Runyararo", "Garai Nesu Jesu", "Victory", "Holy Is the Lord" and "Servant of God (Instrumental).

This is her second release after her 2009 self-entitled project "Mai Banda".

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