Mai Patai bounces back after illness

HARARE - Gospel musician Respina Patai, popularly known as Mai Patai, has bounced back after illness had kept her away from the showbiz circuit for nearly two years.

While some might have written her off, the gospel musician is back in the limelight, with a bang.

At a time some had ruled her out as a spent force, Mai Patai recently made history by becoming the only female musician to be in the top three of this year’s Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola top 50 charts.

She told the Daily News on Sunday that she is back in music for good and is looking at recovering lost ground.

Mai Patai is now working on taking her career further as a solo singer — away from her husband, Ephraim.

The singer broke onto the music scene with her husband, forming the duo Baba naMai Patai and the Voice of Prophecy.

They became popular with early projects such as Mazambara.

After making a name for themselves, they took a break from music — leaving their followers dejected. 

But she says her life is a living testimony as expressed in her music.

After “God rescued her career after two years of ill-health”, she released the album Punish the Devil which is testimony to that. 

The album saw her rising again and made it into the Coca-Cola top 50 charts, coming third with the song Anokomborera and Ndinodavira on ninth position.

“God has been good to me after two years of illness, I’m healed and I expressed it in one of the songs Dai Asiri Jesu. There is this illness that you will realise is spiritual and only God can heal. This saw me being away from music.

“Questions were asked, people asking about the break. At first, we moved to Namibia where baba is working but now I’m back and back for good. We have come up with a decision that while baba is working, I will be doing music. I will pursue a career as Mai Patai and be counted among the best female singers in the country.

“This, however, does not mean we will no longer be doing music together. He will be supporting me when he is around. He actually backed me on my previous album,” she said.

Mai Patai has three albums under her name; Samulena, Makanaka and Punish the Devil and she is looking to add another one this year.

She says she does not regret the break she took saying everything happens within God’s time. 

“Everything happens within God’s time. I cannot say if I had not stopped I would have done this or that, everything happens for a reason. In a short space of time, I have reconnected with our followers,” said Mai Patai.

The singer said the recent Coca-Cola charts where she came third shocked her as the songs which she thought would dominate did not.

“Ndinodavira came third but I did not think it would make it that far. I was actually looking at other songs on the album,” she said.

Mai naBaba Patai are blessed with four daughters. 

Their third, Moila, is showing great interest in music and when she is not at school she joins her mother on stage.

“So the legacy is safe,” she said about her daughter.

Mai Patai is currently working on visuals to reconnect with her followers and will start with the video for the successful song.

“I’m now focusing on videos to reconnect with our followers. I’m targeting that by February one of the videos will be done and I’m looking at releasing the one for Ndinodavira,” she said. 

She will be releasing a new project during the Easter holiday and work on the album has already begun. 

“Like I said, I’m back for good and I will be releasing a new album during the Easter holiday. We are half way through on the project,” said Mai Patai.

A devout Christian, she says she is now worshipping under the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM).

“I sing for the Lord and I will not stop. I’m happily a worshipper in AFM,” said the musician.

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