By Sandra Maricho
Gospel musician Amai Respina Patai says she dedicates her National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) prize to God amid controversy around it.
The Gweru-based musician surprised all and sundry when she scooped the 2019 Nama People’s Choice gong ahead of top musicians such as Jah Prayzah and Winky D.
Winky D had been winning the award for the past two years.
In an interview with Standard Style, Amai Patai said she was excited and dedicated the award to the Almighty.
“I am still shocked with the feeling that I am the winner of this prestigious award,” Mai Patai said.
“I would like to give glory to God because my success comes from His grace.”
She said she was pushed by her fans to produce songs which saw her return to the music scene after a 10-year break.
Her 2018 album titled Punish the Devil marked her return to the mainstream music arena, receiving an overwhelming response from her fans. Her songs from the album have been topping charts on local radio stations.
The Mazambara hit maker said while she received the praises well, negative comments would not affect her because she believed winning the award was because of God.
“Some people are saying they don’t know me, but my song Mazambara was a hit in 2002 and till this day it is being played by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Band. It still stands out as a national song,” she said.
“I believe those who say they don’t know me it is because they have nothing to do with my music and they don’t listen to it, which is fine.”
Mai Patai said the other issue could have been the gender dyamics considering the patriarchal nature of Zimbabwean society.
“Some people did not appreciate me winning the People’s Choice award simply because I am a woman,” she said.
“As a goal-oriented woman, I would like to stand up on behalf of all the women out there who suffer negativity to know that we can do great things and climb walls of greatness. Just like men, women can also be winners.”
Last year, two songs off her album Punish the Devil — Anokomborera and Ndinodavira — did well, attaining third and ninth position respectively on the Coca-Cola Top 50 charts on Radio Zimbabwe, making her the first female musician in the history of the charts to be placed among the top three.
Mai Patai said she is happy with the response she is getting from her fans and she promised another album this year and a DVD for Punish the Devil.