The recent deaths of musicians, artists and actors have prompted African Apostolic Church Bishop David Ramela to seek divine intervention by calling for a prayer meeting involving all in the entertainment industry.
Invitations have been extended to a variety of key people, including Gauteng MEC for Arts and Recreation Faith Mazibuko, music doyens Deborah Fraser, Sipho Makhabane, Abigail Kubheka, Dorothy Masuku, Tu Nokwe, Jumbo, who won gospel song of the year, Buhle Nhlangulela, Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya and Jeff Hadebe.
South Africa has been shaken by the deaths of leading lights such as Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri, Dumi Maselela, Tsekeleke, Sandy Mokwena and many others. Hence the prayer meeting, the first of its kind and regarded as urgent by the organisers.
According to Bishop Lehlohonolo Ntamo, who is working closely with Ramela in organising the meeting, prayer is crucial.
“From the beginning, God created man without classification, meaning celebrities are human like every person. It is important to be concerned about them and have special prayer for them and for ourselves,” says Ntamo.
Gospel vocalist Deborah Fraser says this is a grand gesture from Ramela to bring artists together in one space to pray together for a common goal.
“I believe that if we pray together as a collective, as artists of South Africa and ask God to change the situations we are faced with, asking Him to be with us, the prayer will help us a lot,” she says. “It is also an opportunity for us to get closer to God and communicate with Him."
Fraser says it is scary to see the number of deaths occuring within their "small family". “I accepted the invite because this is necessary for us as artists to take the bull by the horns through prayer. We are a small family. The way God is taking us we don’t know who is next. So for God to hear our pleas, it is good we do it together."
* The prayer meeting will be held at the St Paul African Apostolic Church headquarters in Soweto on Sunday, February 18 at 11am and is open to all.