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The biggest and first themed concert of its kind The CATHOLIC PRAISE CONCERT 2015 held on Saturday, 23rd May 2015. The concert kicked off from 3.45pm with Holy Mass Celebrated by Reverend Fr. Alphonsos Ozoemene O.P. at the University of Lagos main auditorium. Entry was free!

It was an unforgettable cantata tagged, ‘Dare to Praise’. Reverend Fr. Alphonsus Ozoemene, in his homily, affi rmed that the pentecostals are doing well in Gospel music, adding that Catholics have the potential to do better. In his words, “Pentecostals are doing wonderfully ahead of Catholics when it comes to praising God through music. But we (Catholics) are sleeping giants; when we rise, they will start looking for their legs”. The Priest also made us to understand that the Holy Spirit is one but the gifts are diverse and among these gifts is Singing Ministration.

Making allusion to the words of St. Augustine, that he who sings well prays twice. After the Mass came the concert which was compered by comedians, MC Big Ant and MC Mekoyo with Dj X-moe on the wheel of steel. Indeed it was a Dare to Praise Event as baring all the odds and last minute challenges at the UNILAG Main Auditorium caused by the University Management, The Concert audience refused to be deterred from Praising God and having The Concert even after three (3) power outages.

The three (3) power outages are synonymous to the three (3) falls of Jesus Christ on His way to Calvary, where He died for our sins. And like Christ, The Spirit of GOD picked up the Concert and all of us at the concert got up and rose to praise God. The audience sang Praises and thrilled by comedian Mc Holy Mecoyo and Tony “BigAnt” Ofi li the Mc.

The audience that cut across young, old, students, interdenominational Christians, and non-Christians joined the executive producer of The Catholic Praise Concert, Peter Egbumokei in chanting “The devil is a liar”. Eventually The UNILAG Management got their act together and provided steady power supply for the last (2) two hours as against the six (6) hours the venue was booked for.

The theme for this year was inspired by the life of King David in the Bible who was reputed for praising God no matter what situation he found himself in, hence the theme “DARE TO BE A DAVID; DARE TO PRAISE”.

In spite of the huge challenges around the date; fuel scarcity, inclement weather and the power outages (another conspicuous 3 trials), the concert was electrified by the awe inspiring performances; thrilling the audience live on stage were: FLO, Kenny K’ore, KELLAR THRILLZ – Fix crew, Prisca D Nightingale, The Catholic Church of Resurrection Magodo Choir, Axios Choir, St. Cecilia Choir University of Lagos, De Supreme Gospel According to Dance, Goody Bama Orchestra, Peacemakers, Ablaze crew, St. Michael the Archangel Choir- CKC Akowonjo, APVO Mars, Jide Ayan and Fizzy (winner of #PerformatCPC2015Onlinecontest).

It was an opportunity for Christians to come together to praise God, interact, put aside ungodly differences and together lift one voice in worship to God. In a simple phrase, an offering of Praise to God; our lives must go from grace to Praise of God, that the heavens may take notice of us and our beloved country.

Moreover, the Catholic Praise Concert has come to stay and the organisers seem determined to take it to places. On the vision of CPC, the organiser, Peter Egbumokei, said right now, sponsors are very limited. “We are not charging any ticket fee, admission is free of charge and we are solely dependent on donors”. According to him, the aim is to move the concert from city to city or have more than one concert in a year, maybe two cities in a country. “When we start to have regional attendance, people coming in from oher parts of the world and states outside Lagos to perform; that is what we look forward to.

When in 2014, the maiden edition of the Catholic Praise Concert brought together musicians, dancers, choral groups, Christians and non-Christians from across the country in an evening of inspiring and colourful praise offering to God, many thought it was too good to be sustainable. Adjudged the first of its kind in West African sub region, the organisers were very optimistic that it would become an annual festival that people will look forward to.

The Catholic Praise Concert is simply an opportunity for Christians to come together to praise GOD, interact, put aside un-Godly differences, and together lift one voice in worship to God. In a simple phrase – an offering of PRAISE to God; our lives must go from Grace to Praise of God, that Heaven may take notice of us and our beloved country. It also serves as a medium to showcase beautiful Gospel talents that our country is endowed with.

While the maiden edition took place a few weeks after the abduction of the Chibok girls by the dreaded Boko Haram sect, this second edition is took place when the nation was rejoicing at the imminent eradication of Boko Haram and the release of hundreds of women, girls and children abducted by the dreaded sect, a confirmation of the fact that praise is the greatest form of prayer.

The Visioner and Convener of the concert Engr. Peter Egbumokei in an exclusive chat with Nigerian Catholic Reporter at the maiden edition said that the concert was an opportunity to praise God and pray for the nation. “We are not just praising God because we are all happy, we are praising God because He is worthy of praise, no matter the situation. The Bible says in all situations, give God the glory.

We are using praise to draw Gods attention to our plight. The Catholic Praise Concert is being organized by the Felicia Michael Save our Souls Foundation- FMSOSF, House of Ogugua Michael Egbumokei and Yellow Craig. It is powered by the Holy Spirit and proudly supported by Catholic Archdiocese (Metroploitan See) of Lagos, Donralph Media Concepts Ltd- DonRalphDMG, Nigeria Catholic Reporter, Inspiro Productions, Oluwamiranda Blog, and other individuals/corporate bodies.

Concluding, Peter Egbumokei said “…ultimately, we want people to be blessed; for those who don’t believe in God to see the awesomeness of God, not just entertainment”.


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