The Sunday Mail
Fatima Bulla – Religious Affairs Editor
THE next time you admire Pastor Benjamin Dube on stage, looking dapper, calm and collected while playing that keyboard or worshipping God in song, know there is a story behind it all.
Known as a songwriter, singer, music producer, mentor and pastor, as well as an inspiration to secular artistes, Pastor Dube’s life experiences are not to be envied.
A modern gospel legend by any measure, the 53-year-old is using the experiences of divorcing twice to motivate families wherever his music takes him.
And just as his platinum selling album “For every mountain… thank you” says, he is grateful for conquering the mountains of divorce.
Having made frequent visits to Zimbabwe – a nation that recorded 4 500 divorce applications at the High Court by mid-2015, Pr Dube has a word or two to share.
After bringing tens of thousands who had gathered for the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries all-night vigil on November 6 to ecstacy, he spoke to The Sunday Mail Religion about defeat and triumph.
“I have had my times. Well, to tell the truth, those that are in South Africa can tell you that I have been through divorce twice. And I have my boys and I am bringing them up in spite of the actual separations that I had.
“I have been in the valley and God … said to me the very sword and the very weapon that the enemy was trying to use against me to destroy me I have to take it and use it to go against the enemy,” says the multi-award winning artiste.
“I am using now my family to actually build and encourage other families. As you know my boys are into music already and they sing with me most of the time. And now we have taken a tour together as family and we are going all out in making other families aware that God believes in family.
“And in spite of the challenges that we have we can still stand and say God is able to strengthen us and to help us to get us to our destiny and to leave in our destiny in spite of the challenges that we have,” said the last born from a family of five.
Known songs like “I feel like going on” and “Oh Bless Our God”, Pr Dube is an embodiment of triumphing through pain.
While many struggle to come out of the cocoons created by the stigma of divorce, Pr Dube wants all to know that the good they see in him has been forged by what happens in private.
“I wanna say to everybody, when you see me know that it is not only what I do, but there is a story behind!” he exclaims. “And when I worship God and when I bless God it is because I have discovered that in Him there is nothing that is actually impossible.
“And the weaknesses and challenges are not weaknesses and challenges but we become victorious because of God.”
The man who begun ministry in 1986 has seen it all, including sharing the stage with secular musicians like Shinsoman and Oliver Mtukudzi as happened on November 6, 2015.
“I’m one of those people that was a bit concerned about it and I thought to myself ‘wait a minute, but this is church … how come there are secular artistes?’
“But then I realised, how will they know the truth if you do not bring them closer to the truth? And the God that we serve is above everyone else. The God that we serve is more powerful than any other power on earth.
“And many people may not actually see it in that light but God then actually revealed to me that in spite of whether he understands what he is doing or he doesn’t understand what he is doing, at the end of it these people who do not have a relationship with God are being brought closer so that they could experience something they could not experience when they are alone with their friends and family.
“The atmosphere in this place is charged by God and so when they are being called in and to do what they love doing they actually are submitting to the power of God that is in the place in other words we might just have to say the enemy has to bow.
“And God is above all gods. But at the same time I would like to say that we mustn’t leave them without testifying and witnessing to them so that they may know that the God we serve loves them. That is most important, so that they may not think that they are celebrities in the house of God. That is important.”
Pr Dube holds Zimbabw dear.
“I really am moved by the response that many people have, the desire and the excitement just to be in the presence of the Lord in Zimbabwe.
“In fact, it is a challenge even to us South Africans that you know people can actually come out of their homes in numbers like today and just come the whole night … in the presence of the Lord, which is not something that is very common in South Africa.
“And every time when I come here I always go back and plant that seed and say you know what this is the reason why God will continue to bless … And God is upholding Zimbabwe. And it’s because of the heart they have for God and even believing in the men of God that He is using.”
Pr Dube believes now more than ever before, people need to seek God.
“I think that God is able to do more than what people can do. And the truth of the matter is we all have responsibilities.
“If we do not do our jobs and our responsibilities well we are going to account for it … If you do not do it right, God will actually hold you responsible for that and therefore what we need to do is to always pray for those that are in leadership and we need to at the same time do our part.
“And I ask myself a question and say what is my assignment, what am I supposed to do in other words in my nation so that God maybe glorified?
“And that’s exactly what I am doing even in South Africa. I am doing my part and I always challenge those that I believe are not doing what God said they should do.
“I think this is what we are supposed to do. Those that are able to speak for those that are not able, must do that. And continue to motivate those that are down.”