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Business keeps Baba naMai Patai away from music

Ephraim and Respina Patai, who are popularly known as Baba naMai Patai in gospel music circles, say they have not abandoned music and instead are coming up with a new project.

By Stephen Chadenga

The couple hogged the Zimbabwe music limelight following the release of their album Rumbidzwai, which carried the hit song Mazambara in 2005 but went into hibernation for close to a decade.

“Our current calling does not mean we have abandoned music,” Patai said.

“In fact, we are working on a surprise gospel package for our fans. The album is going to be one of our best and it will be sizzling.”

Patai, however, could not be drawn to reveal the exact dates of the album launch, saying like any surprise gift, there were anxious moments before receiving it.

“The surprise gift is an eight-track album and we are at an advanced stage in polishing it and it’s going to be on the market very soon,” promised Patai.

The couple, who emerged as one of Gweru’s popular gospel singers in the early 2000s, are backed by a group — Voice of Prophecy. They were ranked among the best gospel groups to have emerged from the City of Progress.

However, after the release of Rumbidzwai and the fame that followed, the couple surprised all and sundry when they took a sabbatical from the music scene.

Before the release of Rumbidzwai the duo released two albums — Makanaka and Mbiri Kunashe. Between 2005 and 2012 the couple relocated to Namibia and South Africa.

They last released the DVD and audio album, Samulena in 2010. Many fans have however been asking what happened to the couple that helped catapult gospel music to its current popular status.

Turning to reports that the duo left Zviratidzo ZvevaPostori church to join Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church, Patai confirmed they were attending one of the pentecostal churches which he declined to mention.

“The coming album is going to solve all the mystery and that is when we will reveal our new church,” he said.

“By mentioning the church now, it would seem we want to ride on the name of the church or an individual in launching our album.”

He said the much-awaited album will be the first since the couple joined the pentecostal movement and promised it would clear all the secrecy, true or false, that has been reported about them.

Mai Patai paid tribute to Voice of Prophecy fans for their patience and assured them they would not disappoint in the new offering.

“We salute our fans who have been patient over the years, they have been supportive and they should expect nothing but the best from Baba naMai Patai and it’s coming soon.”

Baba namai Patai are now running successful enterprises in the construction industry in Gweru. The couple also manage trucks to complement their business venture.

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