BY GUMISAI NYONI
RISING dancehall musician and comedian Farai “Nyerex” Nyereyemhuka, through his recently released song Ebhebhesvebhe, has taken a jibe at “false prophets” making people believe they are the solution to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
In a form of religious exploitation, there have been reports of fake prophecies where many people have lost money and some valuables.
The 19-year-old Chitungwiza-based singer told NewsDay Life & Style that Ebhebhesvebhe berates how worshippers are hoodwinked into paying large sums of money in their quest to be safeguarded from the threat of coronavirus and other ailments.
“After realising that many worshippers boast of receiving holy water to cure COVID-19, I felt inspired to warn the majority not to treat the virus with easiness thinking they are safe and can afford to ignore protocols prescribed to control the spread of the virus that include social distancing, sanitising and wearing of face masks,” he said.
“Many people face the risk of being fooled by the so-called prophets who prescribe certain remedies for congregants to escape the wrath of COVID-19. The spiritual language I gave to the song clearly shows that those facing problems in life never bother to think beyond what religious prophets say, except to ridiculously believe and accept that they can cushion them from coronavirus”
Nyerex said there was a danger if people submitted to false prophets as some congregants ended up ignoring guidelines prescribed by health authorities.
“Religion must not function or used as a weapon to ruin the lives of the needy. Instead, those who seek spiritual help should find solace and gratitude, not sorrow and dejection. So spiritual leaders should not profiteer from suffering congregants by capitalising on their fear or lack of knowledge,” he said.
Nyerex said prophets that deceived worshippers should be disowned.
“My creativity is rooted in real life events, hence a keen interest in issues that impact negatively on the general welfare of the majority,” he said.
“Through music, I hope to convince and enlighten those prone to religious exploitation to think twice before they are misled into ignoring essential regulations that must be followed to survive the menacing COVID-19.”
In a bid to urge citizens to be resilient in the face of the marauding COVID-19 pandemic, Nyerex has also collaborated with Leeman (Leeroy Namoni), Lyon21-7 (Praise Gwanzura), VaMurisa (Nigel Murisa) on another single titled Tiri Kutiza Corona.
Through the song, the artistes trace the disease back to China’s city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered before spreading across the world.
In an effort to fight social ills in Chitungwiza community, Nyerex has also established a 90-member organisation, Nyerex Fire Clan, made up of artistes of various backgrounds — actors and musicians where they exchange ideas and nurture each other’s talents.
Among the group’s young creatives are Peace Kuvarega, Vincent Nyereyemhuka, Ernest Kuvarega and Robson Muzembe, DJ Emjay, Marlon Jena, Praise Gwanzura and Trace Ngaru.