Not only has ‘Ntsoro’- as he is popularly known to his legion of fans, returned to his religious roots, he has founded the Heavenly International Souls (HIS), a Pentecostal church that he now leads.
This week he opens up to Voice reporter, Daniel Kenosi about his past, present and future life.
Q. Good day man of God. Please introduce yourself to our lovely readers.
Everyone out there knows me as Joel Rebaone Keitumele but I have since changed and I am now known as Pastor Joel Keitumele.
The whole transition came after I considered taking the calling to be a pastor. That’s how I got the pastor title.
I am a leader at a church called HIS Church which stands for Heavenly International Souls.
Q. When did you receive the calling?
I am from a Christian oriented family.
Both my parents are leaders in the church.
I grew up to the word of God.
All I can say is that I am carrying on from them.
As I was growing up I discovered that I had lots of talents and I ended up ignoring the calling of being a pastor.
If you remember very well in 2003 people knew me as a gospel presenter but in 2007 things changed when I got myself a spot to present a totally crazy different show which erased my Christianity roots.
Even now I understand why people get shocked when I preach the word of God because they now know me as that crazy presenter.
In 2011 I had to pull away from the show and that was when I went back to my Christian roots and received the calling on that same year.
Q. Before we go further, where does Keitumele come from and how were you raised?
I was born in 1979 in Shoshong where my mother comes from, she then got married in Kanye which automatically means I am a Mongwaketse from Kanye.
My father is also a gospel musician and once did a recording with his church mates back then.
We used to attend a church called Christian Assemblies where my dad taught me how to play pianos and even singing hence the talent in me today.
Upon moving to the capital city I joined a church called New Seasons Ministries which was led by Apostle Sakufiwa.
One other thing that I used to have so much interest in whilst growing was acting.
Q. Just a minute. From what I pick, you moved from one church to the other.
What was the migration all about?
There is a church that I talked about, called Pentecostal Holy Church.
That was a church my parents had chosen for me but as I grew up I moved to the one I liked which is called Holy Throne and was led by a South African pastor who was later deported and that brought the church to a halt so I had to move out to find another church.
Q. That’s ridiculous. So your church existed because of the pastor?
Not really that way, it’s just that after he left, there was conflict and the church split into two churches.
I however chose to go a different route and joined Pastor Sakufiwa’s church.
In 2011 I left Sakufiwa’s church when God called me to set up my own church.
Before opening my own church I used to preach from home and congregants from different churches used to come to my house.
I brought them together and we registered a church. We are officially launching the church in November.
Q. A church is known to be a place of unity and that it’s very common for churches to break apart.
What really causes that?
You should know that where there is anointing there are always attacks. Jesus was attacked because of his anointing.
The devil is doing the same thing. He sends his angels of doom to destroy the church hence all these fights and breakaways.
In other cases its members of the church who are power hungry and want to go up.
Q. Why do Pentecostal Churches preach against old African Churches?
That’s an interesting question you are bringing.
Before I was born again I used to think the world out there was filled with petty politics but I only got to notice that there is more politics in church than anywhere else.
That’s a sin because God is the only judge. You can’t be in church and sin against God.
Q. Still on Pentecostal churches; they have brought a new ‘term’ which has everyone talking.
What is Satanism that you guys claim to be fighting?
Satanism exists my brother.
I have seen people manifest before.
I preached at one school in Mahalapye and some students confessed that they were Satanists and that they drank blood from sanitary pads.
Q. You also jumped ship into entertainment industry which most Christians deemed to be of Satanists.
I was indeed lost because I was going against what I preached as a gospel star.
I used to be a drunkard and I noticed that the devil was now trying to use me through this job.
I no longer do any jobs in night clubs.
As a child of God I live a straight life.
I was lost but now I have been found.
Q. There is a belief that all these Pentecostal churches including yours are all out to make money from unsuspecting citizens.
What’s your take on that?
That may be what people think and they are right to think so because there was a season in which we invited pastors from other countries to preach here.
Some came with positivity and some were negative something which brought a lot of confusion about the Pentecostal churches.
That has even made our Government to eye some of the pastors with suspicion.
However you should know that giving in church is a good thing because, you receive more of what you have given out.
Q. Please take us into your family.
I have a small family; my beautiful wife who works in a bank and my two children.
My wife is my assistant in church.
She helps me a lot when it comes to the work of God.
I also have a spiritual family called Jam in Christ which is a Gospel group.
Q. Your sexuality has been a matter of speculation for years. Are you gay?
I am not gay and I am very aware of that rumor.
This rumor started while I was a student at UB.
It was mainly due to my dress code because I wore tight pants.
Even when I got married people still continued to doubt but I didn’t get married to prove anything to anyone as they believe.
Q. At one point you were rumoured to be on your way to Muvhango. What happened?
I received a lot of offers from across the border and Muvhango was one of them but I couldn’t take it because I now had to focus on God’s calling.
Q. We thank God Its Friday.
What is the pastor up to this weekend?
I will be busy praying out at Mount Kgale with my other fellow pastor and then I will be going to Minister at church which now has over hundred congregants.
Q. We thank God for giving you the strength to be with us here today.
Any last inspiring words to our readers ?
They should read in the book of Isaiah Chapter 54 Verse 17 which says “No weapons formed against me shall prosper.” God Bless.