15 years ago, Prince Phiri — a praise and worship musician — would have told anyone that dared tell him that one day his voice will serenade worshippers in the Middle East to stop dreaming.
Growing up in the dusty streets of Pumula East suburb in Bulawayo, Phiri was the typical boy next door who played soccer on bumpy makeshift football pitches in the streets and attended a local primary and secondary school in the township.
A career in music was a far-fetched dream let alone an occupation that he even considered.
Fast forward to 2020, Phiri sleeps and breathes gospel music in Israel, where he is a praise and worship musician for a local church — Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Christianity is one of the recognised religions in Israel.
But the journey that has landed the 35-year-old musician in the Middle East started in South Africa over a decade ago when the calling to join a praise and worship choir at church came knocking on his door.
“Growing up in church was a big part of my life but it’s only when I moved to South Africa that I found myself singing in a church choir and to my surprise other congregants thought I was really good at it. Music is one of God’s gifts to aid us in worshipping and in no time, I was heavily involved in praise and worship at church and it became a means of spreading His word through my music,” said Phiri.
Phiri has shared the stage with renowned Zimbabwean award-winning gospel musician, songwriter, and vocalist Takesure “Zamar” Ncube who is based in South Africa together with Takie Ndou and South African Keke, born Kekeletso Phoofolo.
“Sharing the stage with seasoned musicians is always an eye opener for every aspiring musician and it motivates one to work hard because with God everything in possible,” he said.
For Phiri, writing music from personal experience helps him come up with songs that speak to the ordinary man and woman going through life’s trials and tribulations.
“Some people say good music usually comes from personal experiences or the experiences of people close to you so my new album Shifting Higher speaks of problems that ordinary people go through in their daily lives. The album was released late last year and is available on online media platforms,” he added.
The album has nine tracks.
He says moving to the Middle East was a career changing move that has opened doors for him.
“Music is a calling and I have been blessed to use my voice to spread the word of God since I moved here in Israel two years ago. To all aspiring musicians I say never give up on your dreams, nothing is impossible with hard work and unwavering faith,” he said.