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'It's like she knew she didn't have much time left' — Benjamin Dube reveals last phone call to Deborah Fraser

Rev. Benjamin Dube paid tribute to Deborah Fraser.
Rev. Benjamin Dube paid tribute to Deborah Fraser.
Image: YouTube/ SABC

Gospel star and clergyman Benjamin Dube has revealed that he was planning to record a song with Deborah Fraser before her death last weekend.

Deborah died last Sunday at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital surrounded by family, after a short illness.

Speaking at her funeral on Saturday, Benjamin said he wanted to work with gospel icons and shine a light on their talent. He called Deborah in October last year to ask her if they could work together.

After working with Rebecca Malope and Sipho Makhabane, he approached Deborah. He said it seemed as if she wanted the project to go ahead quickly — as if she knew she didn't have time

“When I spoke to her on the phone she said: 'Hai, Benjamin. Just send the song so I can listen to it. And then after that we will see what we are going to do. I asked her if she was sure, she said 'just send the song'.

“It was almost like she knew she didn't have much time.”

He said he was determined to record the song, even if Deborah was in a wheelchair.

“I remember telling her that I know you were not well but I know even if you are in a wheelchair you will sing. She told me 'don’t worry about me being well and wheelchair-bound just send the song'.”

He said Deborah will always be part of gospel music in SA.

“Deborah is definitely in the DNA of gospel music and you will never speak of gospel without mentioning Deborah.”

Deborah fell ill on the way to a gig earlier this year and was hospitalised.

“I was unconscious, even the artists that came there said I should be transported to hospital,” a wheelchair-bound Deborah told TshisaLIVE a few weeks ago.

She was set to undergo rehabilitation before her death.

“I still cannot walk. I think it's because I was in bed for a long time, but I don't know for sure. It's stressful to live a life you're not used to. I'm asking for love, I'm asking for prayers.” 

The star still performed after her hospitalisation, with images and video of her performing in a wheelchair going viral.


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