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Nathaniel Bassey, Bukola Bekes, Big Bolaji, Others Thrill At Reloaded Unusual Praise

By Eniola Daniel
10 December 2022   |   3:00 am
For the 14th time, Unusual Praise has witnessed one of the best nights of gospel music performance by leading artistes, with thousands of guests in attendance.

Members of the planning committee with artistes PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

For the 14th time, Unusual Praise has witnessed one of the best nights of gospel music performance by leading artistes, with thousands of guests in attendance. This time around, the music concert held at the expansive Tafawa Balew Square (TBS), which provided a perfect atmosphere for the music extravaganza.

Birthed by the Catholic Church Of Divine Mercy, Lekki, Lagos, the concert showcased powerful gospel ministers such as Bukola Bekes, Big Bolaji, Mercy Chinwo, Nathaniel Bassey, and others, who got slots to thrill the audience till the early hours of today.

When Christians gather to sing praises with Pentecostal music ministers, the assumption that it is a gathering of Pentecostal worshippers isn’t unlikely, but it’s different with the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki, Lagos, which made a radical move to conceive the initiative, evangelizing through Unusual Praise.

Speaking at a media briefing held in Lagos to herald the concert, on the concert, Chairperson, Planning Committee, Chike Oruche, said: “Apart from the ministrations, we had the entrepreneurs. In 2018, we introduced Unusual Entrepreneur, an economic empowerment initiative that combines mentoring and seed funding for small businesses. 400 people have benefitted from the mentoring and seed funding exercise. In the future, we desire to increase that figure with the cooperation of our parishioners and sponsors.”

On what makes the 14th edition different, he said: “Number one, we moved to a bigger venue; we also improved on production. This is not rivalry with The Experience, as Unusual Praise is totally on its own; it’s about praising God.

“Unusual Praise is for anyone who wishes to worship and experience God in a new, special, and unique way. Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, and unbelievers are all welcome. This year’s theme is Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. So, we invited everyone to partake and enjoy a refreshing time in the presence of God.”

On his part, Parish Priest Catholic Church Of Divine Mercy, Lekki, Lagos, Monsignor Paschal Nwaezapu, said: “The whole idea about Unusual Praise is that we want to encourage people to praise God in the normal way they do, and apart from that, we close this with what we consider to be the highest praise ever, the Holy Mass itself. So, it encourages people to go out of the normal thing and give God praise.

“It is actually very typical of Catholics to praise God, as praise and worship is a big part of our faith; though we used to do it more through traditional hymns and classical music. But also, we should not forget that the Holy Mass is the greatest act of praise. While we may have faced a little pushback from well-meaning Catholics initially, the overall response has been incredible, which is why, to the glory of God, Unusual Praise has continued to grow from strength to strength.

On what informed the charity part of it, he said: “The church has a mission and we call the mission evangelization, which some call evangelism. The evangelisation has two dimensions; it has the vertical dimension and transcendental dimension whereby we preach God to people, but also, this people we are trying to lead to God, they are still here on earth. They feel hunger, they feel pains so, we also want to pay attention to that dimension so that their needs will be taking care of and not just talk to them about God because when their needs are met, then they praise God better.”