Lunch with the Gospel Girls

By Drum Digital
21 September 2010

RUMOURS, tabloid tales and constant speculation about the state of their love-lives – it’s enough to send anyone running for the hills! But for two of South Africa’s favourite gospel divas, it seems the gossip is water off a duck’s back.

After years in the spotlight Rebecca Malope and Deborah Fraserknow it comes with the territory and the best they can do is grin and bear it – which is what they did recently when they were both the subjects of more than one juicy gossip story.It was reported that Debs (44) is supposedly engaged to a new man, KwaZulu-Natal businessman Fani Kubheka, following her controversial split from Nigerian preacher Pastor Sockey Okeke (It’s time to move on, DRUM 4 September 2008). This would be Debs’ third marriage.

Rebs (42), on the other hand, was subjected to a traumatic robbery at gunpoint at the gate to her home – a story that broke at the same time as rumours were doing the rounds that she was pregnant.

But when we meet at the luxury Tintswalo Hotel between Kyalami and Sunninghill north of Jozi, the songbirds – just like women everywhere – are more interested in talking about children and work.

Pint-size Rebs is in a pair of designer jeans, a pink and white shirt and zebraprint sandals, while pal Debs – or “sistahs” as she calls her – is also looking elegantly casual in jeans, a linen top, black militarystyle cap, transparent jelly wedge heels and her signature designer shades.

However, as the pair sit down to a healthy chicken Caesar salad, strawberry juice and fresh fruit platter, they do ask in hushed tones how the other is doing in the light of the recent stories.

Rebs is quick to tell us there’s nothing to the pregnancy rumours. It’s just a problematic mkhaba, she says, and she dramatically sucks it in every time our photographer counts down to the next shot!

Between elegant poses and fruit platters we catch up with Mzansi’s first ladies of gospel ...


REBS: Yes I have a fiancé, Themba, but I’m not ready to talk about him or our relationship. There are no wedding bells yet and we feel it’s still a private matter.

DEBS: Akukho! There’s nothing like what the tabloids say. I am not seeing anyone. I don’t even want to say I’m still in the healing process because I’m fine. God gave me the gift of healing hands and I have to fulfil that purpose. If there is a man out there for me, that man must be someone who can support my ministry.

There are a lot of people who look up to me as a woman of God so I must do things right. After I separated from Pastor Sockey I was worried about what my fans and those people looking up to me would say and think.

I felt like I was promoting divorce when God hates divorce. But through the grace of God and lots of praying, that phase is over. Now I’m letting God lead me.

To read the full article see DRUM of 30 September 2010

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