My Review of Adom Praiz 2014

Quesie Boate, blogger on (Quesie Boate’s Corner) gives a enlightening review of the just ended Airtel Adom Praiz 2014.

Undoubtedly, Adom Praiz, one of the flagship programmes hosted by the Multimedia Group is one of the major Gospel Concerts on the Ghanaian Events Calendar.

Having started from a humble beginning about five years ago, the brand Adom Praiz has progressed steadily and had shot up to become one of the biggest if not the biggest.

But for some challenges which occurred during the 2013 concert, Adom Praiz which had seen patrons such as the former President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Jerry John Rawlings in attendance, speaks volumes of how successful this event has been since its inception.

Coming from a not so pleasant experience of the 2013 event where many patrons left with disappointment written all over their faces, it was very much expected that the organizers would get things right at least to soothe the pain of persons who went through that bitter experience in 2013. By and large Adom Praiz 2014 chalked some successes in spite of some challenges.

I will attempt to take us through a rundown of how events unfolded this year just so those of us who couldn’t make it to the event will have a fair idea as to what transpired. These represent my thoughts though and from how I saw things unfold.

It was a beautiful sight from the entrance of the Perez Dome, venue for this year’s Adom Praiz. The branding of the place was good. One could tell from a distance that surely there was an event coming up. I mean if Multimedia is hosting an event your guess is as good as mine. You can’t miss it. Their brand identification was loud enough and that is a plus to the organizers.

With the place decorated in Red and White, it was pretty obvious the sponsors did not struggle with their branding as well as both Multimedia and Airtel share similar brand identities. That was a good one from both teams.

Timing and Start of Programme
For those of you who have followed my write-ups on events, I have constantly made the point that it will be in the interest of events managers to start their events on time. By so doing, we will subtly be changing the known “Ghana Man Time (GMT)” to what it actually is supposed to be, GMT. 5 o’clock must be 5 o’clock not 7 o’clock!

It was widely advertised that the event would start at 5:00pm. Due to some commitments I couldn’t get to the venue at 5:00pm but kept in touch with colleagues who had already gotten to the venue and to my surprise I was told some of the artistes were going through “sound check.” Eventually the event had to be delayed for about 2 hours before it could start with an acapella performance.

Cecelia Marfo
The “TSOOOBOI” minister walked on stage in an all-white apparel with her trademark headgear neatly and nicely fixed. Her presence on stage told all she was in for some serious action. Auntie Cece took the house through some powerful time of worship such that one could literally touch the presence of God. Awesome time as we say. Bless you Auntie Cece.

Joyce Blessing
Joyce settled in well. It was quite a balanced act as she entertained fans to some of her compositions. It was pretty obvious that her songs have resonated well with her fans. Good show JB. More of such Joyce! When is your live show? I personally want to see you on show for about an hour.

Daughters of Glorious Jesus
If you ever thought that Daughters of Glorious Jesus are old and out of touch please re-write your notes. Midway through their performance I sent a tweet and said “Daughters of Glorious Jesus, EVERGREEN.” I stand by my tweet and will repeat that “Daughters of Glorious Jesus, EVERGREEN.” OMG Cynthia! The woman knows how to rock it.

These three ladies have hit LEGENDARY status. Come on! Stage act, Presence, Control, Connect with audience, Vocal astuteness, you name them, they got it all. It was no surprise that they were on stage for quite some time, I believe close to about 30mins. Good one seniors! You make Gospel Music exciting and not boring as some people say. God bless you.

Minister Joe Mettle
He is arguably one of the most sought after talents in the Gospel industry at the moment. I was particularly excited when I heard he was on the bill. I expected much from him, knowing very well what stuff he is made of. And yes, Joe walked on stage in his usual style whipping up the audience into a “HOLY GHOSTIC” frenzy with shouts of Joy.

He led the people into a short time of worship and switched to the Praise Genre. At this point I observed that the people were warming themselves into the flow and then after a song or two during the praise session I observed something funny. Joe was being signaled to end. This was barely 10 minutes into his act. Then I saw the MCs jump on stage finally signaling him to bring his act to an end.

I must say I was very disappointed. I think the organizers were very unfair to the young man. Why will you bring an artiste on stage and get him off stage when I am told the agreement was to have him on stage for 20 minutes or so? Anyway I hope next time we will have some more time to enjoy God’s presence under this talented icon’s flow.  God bless you #JM

I think the idea to partner Captain Smart and Rev. Yaw Owusu Ansah may have been borne out of a good one but I think the show could have been handled by just one person as there were not so many change-over scenes.

It was pretty obvious Rev Owusu Ansah got dwarfed in the process. Maybe the organizers may look at role identification for future MCs and have just one MC on stage at a time maybe that will help if they so decide to go with more than one MC. And ei “Captain Smart p3 kasa oo” lol to wit “Captain Smart can talk oo.” The guy can talk lol. Captain 3y3 aa twe break kakra wae na nom nsuo lol to wit (he should allow some pauses during his speeches lol). I guess you wanted to entertain us but errrmm anyway.

I enjoyed his sermonette on the “Ebola Virus” and the Prophetic Utterance on Ghana. Captain maybe you may want to consider taking on some clerical role as part of what you do. Rev. Dr. Captain Smart won’t be bad title at all…

Israel Hougton’s Show
Great worshipper by all standards! His rise to stardom is no fluke. He has worked his way up the ladder. The audience identified with the songs he did and the room was electrifying. I observed how Israel and the New Breed occupied every part of the stage. In fact they left no room on the stage. Every inch of space was occupied by the six Backing Vocalists, BVs, and Israel himself.

The attitude of the BVs was energetic. They were full of energy all through Israel’s ministration and connecting with the audience and the audience equally responded positively. Then that moment…

Sitting up at the terrace I saw security pushing young people away from the front of the stage signaling them to go back. Then the next moment I saw Israel’s BVs jump into the crowd. I was wondering what was actually going on. After the event I was told some persons sitting at the VIP requested that the excited young men and women be moved from the front of the stage because their views were being blocked.

For Christ sake this was a WORSHIP and PRAISE CONCERT not a fashion show? Come on! Why will anyone go for a Gospel Music concert and want to sit in a chair to watch when the focus and reason of the event is to celebrate the KING. How can one sing “My God is Mighty to save,” “I am not forgotten” and be sitting? I just don’t understand.

And I humbly would want to know, by whose theory in Ghana do we continuously bring security men to harass people at events? Patrons are harassed at entrances during checking of tickets and when the show is ongoing too they go through same.

Elsewhere people are paid to come make events exciting and lively. Here in Ghana, the people buy their own tickets and want to have a good time and security men keep embarrassing them. I think this culture needs to be changed. Can we look at re-arranging our order of seating and keeping our VIPs far from the front of our stages? Will that be possible? It happens elsewhere so let’s give it a try.

I was quite sad when I read on Israel’s twitter handle that “I’ll never get why people come to a worship night but sit down & not worship- & complain that young ppl are blocking their view! #roughnight.” These words just summed his frustration on the night.

Cece Winans
Two years ago if I am right, Cece Winans was featured as the main International act for Adom Praiz. I was quite surprised when I heard she was going to be part of this year’s event. It was refreshing to see her still in her buoyant self when she walked up stage.

Unfortunately those persons who had seen her perform when she made her first trip to Ghana began to leave when the setup for her performance delayed. Finally she landed on stage doing “Highest Praise,” one of her compositions. Still evergreen though. I personally think she should have been given the chance before Israel because it was pretty obvious most of us in the Perez Dome were there to see Israel.

No Tribe
In fact at the time No Tribe got on stage I was almost home. I am not too sure how many patrons were in the auditorium when No Tribe came on stage. Sorry guys I know it was no fault of yours. I am sure as things get better you wouldn’t go through this again.

Relatively the sound produced this year was an improvement. But again those at the upper terrace could only have a feel of the full ranged line array speakers. The low frequencies from the kick drum and the bass guitar were almost lost in the output at the terrace.

Was it my ears? How did the sound change when Israel and Cece came on stage? It was almost as if a new set of instruments and speakers had been fixed for Israel’s act. I keep hearing people say the International guys come with their loops and all that, so my question is what is it about the loops we can’t also have? Maybe our artistes will also have to look at bringing their loops, whatever that means.

But again the sound during Israel’s session was too loud. It was quite piercing and made some people feel quite uncomfortable.

Let me try and share a few thoughts here before I conclude. Gospel events in Ghana pull together a large section of predominantly Christian audience who regularly do not miss their Sunday services. If the organizers had carefully looked at the calendars, the next day after the event was a communion Sunday in most Orthodox, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and these people do not joke with their communion services.

It was in the interest of the organizers to close the event on time so that patrons could get home in time, rest and prepare for the next day’s activities. Secondly transportation arrangements in Ghana aren’t as simple as it is in Europe and the Americas where at 2:00am one can find a bus to most locations. I personally think we need to be sensitive to our audiences as Events Managers especially in the context we find ourselves.

On pricing of tickets, I am told it was a strategy to cut the numbers as the event in 2013 came with challenges especially in respect of tickets which led to a near stampede situation. Well it may have been a good strategy but why will any event’s organizer want to cut its audience by more than half? The prices of the tickets were overly expensive. I really do not know what went into the decision to price regular tickets at GHC100.00 and VIP tickets at GHC150.00 in today’s Ghana.

Anyway, all said and done the event was quite successful at least fans had something to be excited about. There was much improvement in the organization of this year’s event. We only hope that the organizers will right the wrongs so we can have a very good show come 2015 God willing.

Humbly submitted,

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