Otigba Street in the heart of Computer Village, Ikeja – Nigeria’s ICT and accessories hub – was transformed on Thursday June 1st as Technology Distributions Ltd., Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest ICT distributors, unleashed a heavyweight cast of Gospel artistes including Chioma Jesus, Joe Praise, Monique, Enkay, Chika 100%, Sammie Okposo and Big Bolaji, for a morning dose of divine worship, praise and outpouring of God’s blessings at the second edition of a market place evangelical initiative tagged Praise Flame.
For many traders, patrons, representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers and other members of the Computer Village ICT eco-system, the day will remain indelible in the memory.
The usual Thursday market-place environmental sanitation did not in any way deter from the spirit and attendance levels for the concert. Traders were already gathered round early in the morning to sanitize their spirituality. To them, the concert was more important than anything else.
By 8am, the stage set was already vibrating to the sound check from various upcoming artistes – a signal to the few who were still engaged in the clean-up exercise to hasten and round up the exercise.
Monique was the first from the line-up of artistes to perform. Her appearance on stage brought the crowd closer to the stage barrier, setting the tone for what was to follow. Her performance was followed by Chika 100% who delivered with so much energy that charged the atmosphere. Next up was fast rising UK-based Nigerian Urban Contemporary Gospel artiste, Enkay who came on board with a soul-lifting rendition of her major works.
Joe Praise was already rearing to go backstage before he was called upon to perform. Seemingly amazed at the huge ovation coming his way, the talented singer delivered a memorable performance after which he described Praise Flame as the best street concert he has ever featured in. Then came the performance of Sammie Okposo whose energetic approach, silky steps and repertoire of praise song kept the crowd agog, of course with the usual white handkerchief in tow. The ‘Wellu-Well’ crooner also took the opportunity to dedicate a birthday song with some words of prayers for Tim Tehila, CEO of Tehila Records and initiator of Praise Flame.
Ibadan-based artiste, Big Bolaji also thrilled the crowd with powerful gospel messages and some comic relief. His songs warmly ushered in Chioma Jesus who has been highly anticipated. As usual, Chioma Jesus put-up an electric performance that took the crowd into a highly-spiritual level. The stage barriers were almost collapsed but the security guards were able to manage the pressure from the crowd. Chioma sang and prayed prophetically. She also made a special prayer for Joe Praise whose wedding is coming up in a few weeks.
Speaking at the event, Tim Tehila expressed delight at the wonderful performances by the various artistes despite time constraints. He expressed his gratitude to the Management of Technology Distributions Ltd. for supporting the event, while also disclosing plans to take Praise Flame to other locations such as Alaba International Market and Trade Fair. He also expressed his optimistic that more testimonies would be recorded from this year’s concert.
This second edition of Praise Flame was sponsored by Technology Distributions, with the Tehila Records crew on ground to support some of the artistes in what looked like a non-stop gospel performance. Other organizers are Adeniyi Olasoji, Chairman of Computer Village, Ikeja; Godfrey Nwosu, President of Phone Allied Products Dealers Association and Boniface Ania, President of Computer Allied Products Dealers Association.