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Gospel artistes light up praise concert

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St. Cecilia Chior, UNILAG

Recently, Frank Edwards, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adelana (a.k.a. Fada Fuji), Sr. Lucy, Kellar Thrillz, Clenz and a host of gospel artistes lit Magodo, Lagos, with praise, dance and comedy.

Like the three previous editions, the event, Catholic Praise Concert (CPC4), themed ‘Extravagant Praise for Extraordinary Grace’ saw a lot of traditional dances and songs. Catholic Church of the Resurrection (CCOR), Magodo, hosted the concert. The night of praise started with worship songs led by Victoria Orenze. The solemn mood of prayer was broken by renditions from St. Cecilia Choir, UNILAG, led by Ehimare Asuelimen. Though a Catholic choir, its urban gospel songs impressed the majorly youthful audience.

The four-part mixed voice choir’s beautiful rendition of ‘Love Divine’ (a popular hymn) with descant, Makuvu Maria (Hail Mary) and Chekwube elicited feet shuffling until Fada Fuji stormed the stage with his band. The beat of his fuji jolted the audience many of them on the verge of dozing, reliving Handel’s Messiah’s 1743 London premiere, when King George II stood up at the sound of Hallelujah Chorus.

The general dancing continued with Okore’s Niger-Delta style of gospel music. In the mood of Urhobo dance and song aided by his two handkerchiefs, Okore shook the area, taking the concert to a boiling point. The organisers knew better. They introduced Jesus Baby, who hit the diminuendo button with her ‘holy chant’. Immasax whose jazz instrumentation bellowed gospel songs from across major ethnic groups of the country sustained the trend.

But the audience was in for another sweating session when Man of Praise took the stage, which he left for Kellar Thrillz who came with acrobatic display.At some point, members of the audience thought they had got their sleepless night’s worth from the organisers. But when Frank Edwards jumped on the stage, it was like the show just started. Idi Mma was the appetiser, before Miracle Rain and Okaka. Being the last act, Edwards literally set the arena on fire with his high pitch voice and electrifying dance steps. He would not leave the stage until he danced with event organiser, Peter Egbumokei, as well as some members of the audience.

Egbumokei told The Guardian that the event did not hold last year because the organisers went back to the drawing board to see how the concert could be improved.

“Basically, we were trying to give ourselves a break in-between, to learn from what we did and see how we could improve. Also, because of the strain on raising finance, we had to take stock of what we did, how to raise more funds and how to work towards getting more sponsorships and partnerships. We did improve but still didn’t get it well as planned,” he said.He did not fully agree with some participants like Fred Omoigberai, who believed that the location and popularity of the host church affected attendance.

His words:, “We are still trying to fathom a few things and confirm where works best. Location has its advantages as well as challenges. We still have to understand that a lot of people haven’t tuned into taking vigil of praise as a mainstay. There is always a conflict of ‘God knows my heart; even if I don’t join people to praise Him here, it doesn’t make me less of a Christian. We will keep on improving.”On the objective of the programme, the engineer said: “In the localities where we take the concert to, we try to evangelise that community through music.”


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