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United Ethiopian Church


Pastor Khaya Mayedwa

Ordinarily, a man with an impressive academic record would not consider venturing into the ever-burgeoning gospel industry as a singer. For Pastor Khaya Mayedwa, music is not only for entertainment but is a potent leverage for enhancing his ministry.


An ordained priest of the fast growing United Ethiopian Church in Africa founded by the late great Dr J.M. Masebe, he is destined to achieve another milestone with the release of his debut album, “Mbonge” (Praise Him) released by Cool Spot Productions. A passionate singer who clearly is God’s messenger will, without a doubt, validate the confidence talented music producers Sizwe Zako and Jabu Nkabinde have on him. They were mesmerized when they first heard him sing.


But then Pastor Mayedwa is a singer of a different pedigree. He has dazzled many who have heard him sing, including the irrepressible Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo. The doyen of music felt compelled to include him in his mass choir in Cape Town.


However modest to openly proclaim it, there is no doubt that “Mbonge” has exploded on the local scene. Although the title track “Mbonge” is sizzling and evocative lyrically with an equally spiritual “Andimbonanga,” the entire album is powerful. It extols the virtues of God rhythmically and lyrically. Pastor Mayedwa’s sequel will be released sometime in August 2005. It will herald a talent nurtured in the heavens.


Born in East London, he grew up in the church and wholly embraced Jesus as his Lord and Savior when he was 14 years old. He has not for once deviated, maintaining his communion with Jesus throughout his young life. Immersing his life in church activities, he found his niche in the church choir wiggling his way to lead singer and conductor of the East London church choir.


It was this environment that allowed him to concentrate on his schoolwork. After matriculating, he moved to the University of Western Cape (UWC) where he graduated with a B.Com honours degree at the tender age of 21. Overall, he holds a BComm degree, BComm (Honours) in Advanced Marketing Strategy, Spiritual Psychology and Christian Counseling. Currently he is doing a Masters in Business Leadership through UNISA.


While in Cape Town, he sang with the University of Western Cape Creative Arts choir. It was here that Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo spotted his potential as a tenor singer. He also lifted the mood of the Cape Town chapter of the church with his singing in the church choir.


After graduating, he stayed on in Cape Town and undertook religious studies under Dr Masebe. The older Pentecostals will remember that Dr J.M. Masebe was converted under Rev Nicholas Bhengu in 1950. God then used him astoundingly: The cripples walked and the dead were raised. Before Dr Masebe left the Assemblies of God to initiate the United Ethiopian Church, Rev Bhengu released a blessing on him. Pastor Phillip Msiza remembers the man vividly. Dr Masebe died last year, 2004. Pastor Mayedwa is currently putting together literary work on the life of this remarkable man. We will also publish some of his history on this website.


It is for that reason that many Pentecostals applaud God’s anointing upon the man, Khaya Mayedwa. He was only 24 years old in 1998 when he was ordained as a priest. Despite his age, he displayed maturity by not waiting for the church to deploy him to one of the regions. Instead, he took the initiative of starting a new chapter in Strand, Cape Town. Without any resources, the church flourished and had attracted more than 400 new congregants within a year. Since then, it has grown in leaps and bounds. Although he now lives in Johannesburg as the Presiding Minister of the region, he is still in charge of the Strand offspring he founded.


It was during his Cape Town tenure that he came to know a group from King Williams Town called Lord Comforters. When the group traveled to Cape Town for performances, he would organize their shows and even arrange accommodation for them. It was at these shows that he created a precedence of allocating a few minutes preaching at the start of the shows. But it was his singing and voice projection that impressed the Lord Comforters. They invited him to work with them.


Together they went to Johannesburg to record the album, “Konke” in which he featured as a lead singer in the hit song, “Shiyani Zono.” As fate would have it, it was here that Sizwe Zako and Jabu Nkabinde singled him out for his special talent. After being granted permission by the Lord Comforters to record a solo album with him, they rushed him to Sizwe Zako’s modern studio in Rivonia. The privately funded project produced the album, “UJesu Uyakubiza.” Although it had the potential to scale great heights, it sold moderately. Without a big marketing budget, no promotional video was produced. What salvaged the project was the heavy air play the album received.


Appreciating his enormous talent Sizwe Zako secured a recording deal with Cool Spot Productions’ Ken Haycock with whom he previously worked at CCP-EMI Records. Pastor Mayedwa, who is a family man with two children and works for Total SA as Retail Entrepreneurship Executive has finally realized his dream to punt his ministry on celluloid. As he quips, he will now be able to “win the souls and touch many more lives” as he usually does at his church.


By the Grace of God I Am What I Am. His grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain. (1
Corinthians 15:10).



"Next to theology I give music the highest place of honor" Martin Luther 1483-1546