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A night of awesome praise at Hi-Impact Planet


Tope Alabi

What hits you first as you are ushered into the Hi-Impact Arena, after being frisked by the men of Nigerian anti-bomb squad, is the massive stage.

Said to be about 44 metres in length with the outriggers on which also is hung two large screens on each side, the stage is about 14 metres high and is also said to be the biggest in Africa. It houses about 300 robotic headlights and suitable for any form of events.

Earlier during a parley with newsmen to announce a 12days of Magic, where he promised events that will make “Nigerians stay here for entertainment and holidays and avoid going to Europe or America that are always very cold in winter,” not many thought the Chairman of Hi-Impact Amusement Park and Resort, Prince Adeyanju Lipede could mean every word he said, especially when the oldest of the events slated for the 12days of Magic -the Praise Blast is only two years old, whilst the second one, Shutdown 2017 is just making its debut.

But like little drops of water that turn out to make a mighty ocean, couples, with their kids, friends and groups in trickles started to gather on the second day of Christmas at the 20,000 capacity crowd HIP Arena located right at the back of the Amusement Park for the Praise Blast.

Setting the tone about 7pm was the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Praise team with their ministration to the admiration of the almost jam packed Arena. It was just a perfect way to start an event designed to praise and appreciate God for His protection all year round.

Then enter the Lagos born Bukunola Bekes, who has been variously described as an exceptional Singer. She has at one time led The Redeemed Christian Church of God Mass Choir and composed most of the theme songs for Redeemed Special Holy Ghost Services, Conventions and Holy Ghost Congresses.

Then the Lagos City Choral held the audience spellbound with soul inspiring praise worship songs before Bukola Akinwande popularly known as Senwele Jesu mounted the stage.

With her popular hit songs like Ero ba mi yin, Ko ni ja se mo, Eje njijo ope, Omo kekere e yin baba and others, it was all dances and singing galore for the night of praise.

The popular Trem Choir heralded the coming of Bishop Mike Okonkwo, who is the General Overseer of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission for the word of exaltation that night. This was Daystar Musical Choir, who with their sonorous voices, rendered popular hits like Elu agogo, swinejiro, Keresimesi odun de and others, before capping it with Gospel Fuji.

Other notable gospel artistes that performed include Ayan Jesu, Baba Erujeje, Yetunde Are, international award winning Vashawn Mitchelle, Chioma Jesus, Kaduna State born Tim Godfrey and lastly Tope Alabi, who mounted the stage at about 4.30am and took the ecstatic crowd till about 6am.

Speaking after the show, Prince Lipede, who could not hide his joy on the success of the 2017 Praise Night, said the massive crowd that thronged this event shows that Nigerians are grateful even for the gift of life.

He commended guests for their proper conduct, which gave the security men put in place almost nothing to worry about. While giving kudos to the police, anti-bomb squad, men of Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps, and DSS, he promised that the third edition would surely be bigger and better.

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