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Music degree transforms Mai Patai


ONCE upon a time music and art were taught in former white-only Group A schools as subjects of note, while venturing into music or art was generally scoffed at and shunned by the majority of indigenous communities.

This resulted in most of the country’s early musicians and artists being exposed to very little education. Many past and present-day artists are actually riding on their inborn talent and artistic passion, yet reality dictates that one needs to back the talent and passion with qualification: And education becomes the key.

No doubt, when an artiste acquires education it sharpens their talent, widens their horizons and takes their calling to a higher level.

However, if an artist lacks academic knowledge, it does not mean that they are any less of an artist in their chosen genre. One could still be a successful artist without an academic

Of late, a number of musicians such as gospel singers Respina Patai popularly known as Mai Patai, Charles Charamba, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and mbira queen Hope Masike, among others, have, however, enrolled for different music programmes.

This is a departure from tradition where some of the country’s well-known musicians such as the late Leonard Dembo, James Chimombe and John Chibadura never considered enhancing their educational qualifications, but simply rode on their talents.

Gweru-based award-winning gospel singer Mai Patai is a holder of a Bachelor of Science in Music Business Musicology and Technology.

Mai Patai will tomorrow launch her fourth six-track album as a solo artiste titled Watch and Pray live on local radio station, Radio Zimbabwe, from 9pm to 9:30pm.

The launch will be livestreamed on her Facebook page, Mai Patai Music and Flash TV.

In a wide-ranging interview with NewsDay Life & Style ahead of the launch, Mai Patai said attaining the music degree had made her an improved singer.

“Studying Bachelor of Science in Music Business Musicology and Technology improved my music and performance as compared to the previous albums and performances,” she said.

Mai Patai said her composition had transformed, bringing with it maturity and tasted like old wine as she now has a better understanding of the world of music.

“I believe that, I now don’t just sing, but I grasp and arrange everything professionally. Professional musicians and professional people will agree with me on this,” she said with a chuckle.

“There is no doubt that this album is the best of all my previous albums because of the knowledge and maturity.”

Mai Patai said the holy spirit had whispered to her that she should inform the world through the album Watch and Pray.

“The holy spirit inspires the album title Watch and Pray. I write and sing prophetic songs which are inspired by the holy spirit and the word of God,” she said.

“The album exists to be a prophecy or reply from God according to what people are going through be it at work, in family, in relationships, in the nation, despite all that we are going through, and the suffering of our nation.”

The album carries the following tracks: Ndinonyengetera, Settle My Matter, Handikundikane, Musandisiye, Chii Chandingatye and Mwanakomana.

“The main message on the album is that we should focus on the cross and glorify Jesus despite the challenges we might face or what we may go through, but keep your focus on the cross in good or bad times. I have so far shot videos, Handikundikane, Ndinonyengetera and Musandisiye. The album launch will be followed by videos for all the remaining tracks,” she added.

Watch and Pray was recorded at VOT studios and produced by Gibson Makumbe, while the songs were arranged by Mai Patai’s husband Ephraim.

Mai Patai, who is also a pastor at  Apostolic Faith Mission, says her pastoral cap is helping to bring some oomph to her compositions, adding that being a pastor had, however, not changed her musical identity.

The songbird said God’s grace and fans’ support had enabled her to remain in the competitive industry beyond her imagination and promised to release more music.

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