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Macufe Gospel: The Day the Lord Has Made


Ace Moloi re-imagines his conversation with CUT FM presenter Portia Sebothelo during #MacufeGospel

Yes, I see it. Yho. So huge! It’s larger than the ordinary tent you will find in Ladysmith. Or Jozini. I doubt we’ll find seats inside, hey. No, but I couldn’t miss the opening specials at The Kota Joint. Neh? Too good. I’m glad you enjoyed your joint as much as I did mine. I think you should go for spa treatment. This kota defeated you. No, it’s very cheap, actually. The one I went to? It’s called Ubuncoko. Ubuncoko Day & Mobile Spa.

Are you sure it’s your supper? So we only need a budget for drinks? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, “This is the day the Lord has made. We shall rejoice and be glad in it.”

Le nna, hle. I can’t wait to see him. Plus Dr Tumi is powerful: anointed, authentic, doctrinally sound. Who is Helen M? I don’t know her, hey. Fikile Samela ke mang jwale? No, don’t look at me like that. Of course you’d know every local gospel artist. Ha se nna Portia Sebothelo—I don’t co-host the only spiritual show worth attention in Mangaung. O, come on. Fake modesty. You know very well that Divine Intervention is our weapon of intercession.

Actually, why did we pay to be here when you work for a radio station? Tjo! Qhubani, but I’m not inspired.

I’m really glad you’re here. Your knowledge of the politics and personalities of the industry will boost my review.

But there are no chairs for us here. This place is packed. But since this is a faith-based show, we must believe God for two unoccupied seats. Let me walk down this aisle to spy the land. This look you’re giving me makes me feel like an unemployed husband coming home empty-handed from marketing.

No, in fact, there are vacant chairs on both columns. But they booked them and stationed war veterans to protect them. This other woman legit looks like she was in Vietnam. She shot me with a look of: “You do something funny I kill you.”

Don’t forget that Macufe is a season of class power. The petite migrant bourgeoisie pervert their fragile capitalist identity on the native proletariat through minor tasks that nevertheless carry greater self-esteem symbolism. So, when you go to #TshepeVsTrap, the poorest man in the squad is an Eskimo, and in here he marks seats.

We should all be Marxists, I say.

What’s the name of this artist currently on stage again? No, he is good. I’m loving it. Type it in for me, please. Keorapetse Melamu. Smart move on the African hymns combo. See how he has everyone up on their feet when he sings, “Jesu, o re file mohau. Kajeno re a phela!”

If a Black woman is cleaning and this song is playing in the background, she can go as far as mopping the roof.

Wow! So that’s Sibongile Selebeli of Lesedi FM? I have never seen her with my naked eyes before. This Helen M she is raving about is the same person you mentioned earlier, right? Let’s see what she has to offer. Her vocalists have positioned themselves readily.

There she comes. Beautiful voice—and dress. If dress proclaims a woman, the colour of the dress reveals her intentions. I think here, with the white colour, she’s telling us that her sun cannot be eclipsed. She is a city built on the mountaintop. It’s not by accident that her backing vocalists are wearing a black uniform.

O, Morena! This woman can worship a storm into stillness. Listen to this song: “Lentswe la ka ke lena, Jesu.” This is a petition. In fact, it’s a dedication. You said this is her first and brand new album as a recording artist. So, she is presenting her ministry to the Lord. You really should host her on your show.

What do I think about? Oh, her sound. I think it’s for intimate worship sessions. It’s contemporary and rich. With this album she has cast her eyes beyond the fields of her home province. Free State doesn’t really have music worshippers.

There’s just an overconcentration of people who namedrop God in their songs, and drop Him with the mic when the show ends. Therefore, whenever a worship minister is raised among us, we must stand in the gap.

I love the balance in her set. Though her sound seems to be of an intimate experience, she is aware that in this dome there are multiple personalities.

Is it me or in her praise mix Ke Lelaletsa is the song everyone was holding their breath that she performs? Oh! It makes sense now. This tune goes in. I think you should move a bit away ke kgone ho bula circle. Thiba! Ntshware! Yheeyi! Brr! Brrrr! Brrrrr!

Hee banna, that’s Joyous Celebration’s Andiswa Mbantsa gearing up to dish for us on stage. She is dressed so casually. Is she on the programme? You know this MC? I see: Pastor Neo Kabi from Mosupatsela FM. Wena you know everybody here. Who is this security guard at the door?

Interesting pairing of hosts. But, hey, community radio presenters will shock you. Don’t laugh. I’m serious. He strikes me as a man who is still processing the actuality of his role here today—a person who is eternally grateful. I’m just nervous – for some reason – that this platform could overwhelm him to a point of self-humiliation.

What? What did I just say? Banna we! He just introduced Andiswa as a woman with curves. O, my goodness. He is not stopping. Now he is talking about her lips making him wonder how they would make a man feel when she kisses him. Father God, Lord Almighty, please save us.

Look at Andiswa wa batho. Discomfort is written all over her face. She is trying to cheer herself up with this Modimo song, but the falcon cannot hear the falconer.

If I were her I would demand an immediate apology and sober reintroduction. I don’t understand why men who are MCs and radio presenters think there’s no other way to introduce a woman except through her body.

This is trashy conduct on Neo Kabi’s side: inappropriate, sinful and amateurish, despite his eloquence. Thomas Sankara is said to have said that a soldier without political consciousness is a criminal-in-waiting—and so is an excited man with a microphone.

I think the fact that this man is a pastor is making this entire scene extremely embarrassing. Is he married? Anyway, married or not, pastors generally misbehave these days, especially basading ba batho. Church boys are no longer fighting against the wolves of Small Street. No, the enemy is now within. On the pulpit. Re jellwa ke baruti.

True. We should all be feminists

When we’ve converted as feminists, we should all aspire to be like Thoko Nogabe and remember to honour bygone lives that impacted us greatly in their times.

This tribute to Sfiso Ncwane is forcing me to ponder him, and contemplate myself accordingly. When she said it on your show this morning that they’ll be paying tribute to him, I actually just listened in passing. No, come on. You know it as a matter of fact that I’m your listener-in-chief, especially on Wednesdays. I mean, why ask a man when you can have girl talk?

This tribute is so powerful and profound. Thinah and Sipho are the best choices for this service. Zulu boys. Who is the other singer? No, Neyi Zimu I’d recognise. He didn’t make it on time I suppose. This other singer. Who is he? Biki who? He is amazingly gifted. Wow! O ntjwetsang na? Tswa ka tsona, mosadi.

So, Sipho and Thinah are the Sphectacular and Naves of the Christian events calendar? But what are they wearing now? I know they want comfort, but these onesies make it look like Sipho is about to say, “Maaaango,” to which Thinah will reply with a tiny voice, “Naarrrrrrtjie.”

Yheeyi! Thinah is singing your war room anthem. Indeed, as Sibongile Selebeli preached earlier, it is all by grace that we have gathered here today at this auspicious occasion. Indeed, every race has its grace, and in the end we are standing here only because He made a way. Kwanqab’ Umusa!

What’s happening there? Did you hear that? Yes, he did try to confirm if they are saying it is not their time. It looks very tense up there. I hope we do not see sparks off someone’s cheek as they give him a fivefold blessing. Or Sipho going Goldberg on the stage manager!

This song is not my favourite, but it is doing the most. It is the Kulungile Baba of 2017 and beyond. It fights people’s battles. It urges believers to bear their nightly suffering, for morning shall break. Jesus will step in just as “they” – whoever they are – thought you had spoken the last word over your life to signal defeat, not knowing that Jesus Christ is The Last Word marking victory.

Ouch! The masses are booing this choir that nobody introduced. If you too don’t know them, then ho boima. People really want Sipho and Thinah back. So ungovernable now. Look around. Their joints are so loose they will not go home before they are screwed.

That person is Thuso Motaung, isn’t it? Oh, he is taking them off stage. Funny I actually thought he is conducting the choir. I see the senior leadership of the event is on the stage to remedy the misunderstanding. Judging by the seriousness of the chaos, someone’s fridge is about to make the reverberating sound of poverty, until they learn to not disrupt spontaneity with technicality.

I’m glad the people used their power to recall Thinah and Sipho. This is the first people-driven recall in the post-apartheid dispensation. I’m so happy I must be called Thabo.

But I think we should go. The atmosphere is violated. The anointing is compromised. Did you take everything? It’s exactly my question le nna. Why allow people to drink in here?

This was church: a multi-purpose community centre that is as much democratic as it is uncomfortable. Nobody must sculpt a fixed image of the church. Wherever the masses have come together, especially in a tent erected on a sports ground, let the children of God worship. Church, like the Garden of Eden, is an atmosphere.

No, you didn’t hear me properly. I said it before you that I’m ready to leave, if you want us to. Bathong, do you want us to move or what?

For a first time Macufe experience, it was quite good. You reckon? Nna I’m still hooked on Keke Phoofolo’s performance. To say it was explosive is an understatement. It was just something else: a full show of praise songs, with throw-ins such as, “Ha re tsamaye rona. Re robala mo!”

But these are the Helen M days of our lives.

@Ace_Moloi is the Editor of ART STATE.

FEATURED IMAGE: Helen M leads the Dome in worship. Credit: Sourced

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