Entertainment of Saturday, 7 October 2017
Hyper-youths bounced into the auditorium like protons. But as the worship went on, the songs battered their souls like a castle under siege until their spirits poured out and tears flowed out like a leaky roof.
Beyond the entertainment, there was a discernible mass of Ghanaians in there who came to connect with God the same way people looked for mobile phone chargers after 72 hours in darkness.
And this need was irrespective of social status or the quality of a person’s make-up. When God is magnified, the tear duct is hapless.
And that is what the performances from Francis Adjei, Joe Mettle, Steve Crown and Preye managed to accomplish with little effort.
We must spend some time to talk about Francis Adjei’s improbable return and a shocking confirmation of his grip on gospel music. But for now, let’s dwell on the strata of patrons at the 8th edition of Adom Praiz.
A policeman and a prisons officer sat at a good viewing spot that appeared to be a reward for their punctuality. Wearing their work clothes, they could not go home and change perhaps fearing they could be shortchanged by terrible traffic.
As a Prisons officer, he must have seen enough squalor and suffering in the breathless and stenchful cells to understand what it means when Christ sets a man free.
It was quite observable, the number of babies and toddlers at Adom Praiz.
Mumbling babies as old as 4-months made it into the Perez Dome as if they had read, the verse ‘from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’.
For some of them, the last time they came to Adom Praiz was in 2016. They watched from the womb.
And these babies and toddlers prove that those who complain of the disruptive effect of a neighbour’s noise at their bedtime are simply not sleepy enough.
No amount of noise, no matter the size of the combo or the trembling upper terrace could wake them up. They were just off.
For these kids slept like they had been shot. A Joe Mettle- shot or a Francis Adjei-shot, we would have to wait till they can speak.
You have to feel proud of Francis Adjei and when he sank on his feet, it must have been because of an overwhelmed man standing on a gospel stage he literally owned some 20years ago.
The Church of Pentecost Elder marked a most unlikely return from Texas, US, with a performance that could make him tear up his visa for good.
Wearing a suit in typical Pentecost elder style, he must have made it clear even unconsciously that he was not coming for Adom Praiz. He was simply coming to church.
The Elder is an old dog. So for those suffering an addiction to new things, like buying a new phone every six months, there must have been an inquisition going on about why bring Francis Adjei.
Surely his time is past, you would think. But an anointing is an anointing, period. You can sing his songs but when he sang it, it had the copyright of an anointed man.
An older man with white beard dumped his face into his face towel as tears shook his manly stature. Broken by some overwhelming sense of his own life’s experience of God.
Francis’ worship was a statement of how we are deviating from the foundations of Christianity. His voice, that voice exposed how we want miracles without the manual work of obedience to the Holy Spirit.
How commercialised gospel is dislodging the crucified gospel. How the cedis is the new cross and how petty rivalry is dislocating Calvary.
Before E.L sang ‘Koko for my God’ and collected awards, Francis Agyei sang ‘I have a God who never fails’ several years ago and got only fans. The two songs are the same, only separated in taste by genre.
A Francis Adjei nostalgia swept through Adom Praiz. We wrestled from him his song ‘ God is so good’, leaving him to conduct the song while heartful of voices boomed the lyrics like a karaoke night.
Before Francis Adjei, every Ghanaian artiste sang a Nigerian song. After Francis Agyei, even a Nigerian artiste now sang Ghana gospel.
National darling Joe Mettle who is becoming an Adom Praiz constant received a thundering welcome back to the stage after his VGMA exploits. The mantle has indeed fallen on The Mettle.
Genetically incapable of flamboyant outlook, banished to a life of simple outfits, Joe Mettle picked the microphone up from Francis Adjei and people picked their handkerchief again to cry.
The crowd literally stalked Joe Mettle expecting his hit song “Bo n?? ni eee” and it came before he did a Joe Bechman song to finish his worship. For his best praises, he sang ‘turning around for my good’. But Joe couldn’t even turn well on stage betraying weak dancing legs despite a strong singing voice.
You can’t have it all can you?
Steve Crown with that boyish look shone in his Agbada. Steve became great after singing that God is great. It is as if God was impressed by the song ‘You are great’ he allowed a bit of himself to rub off the Nigerian gospel star.
The song was over-performed on the night. We even used to dismiss poverty even AIDS. The young man must be delighted that the younger generation here connects to him at such a growing stage of his music career. If he keeps a cool head amidst the potentially intoxicating adoration of fans, his career will be on cruise control.
After more than 270minutes of praise and worship, the concluding performance fell to the CEO of Script Music Preye Odeye and the performance went to script.
The ‘Ebezina’ man has a baby named after him in Zambia. The songwriter is not a doctor but his song supervised a delivery in a hospital in Lusaka.
It was after doctors reached their wits end on what to do with an expectant mother whose nine-old month pregnancy delayed beyond expectation.
She testified, her sister slipped the song to her on the hospital bed and the baby literally rolled out like a dice.
And so Preye has a ministry which was well demonstrated at Adom Praiz and after five hours, folks trudged out of the Perez Dome like labourers. They brought energy to burn and burnt it. They had worked their socks off or better put, their souls out.
They looked now eager to drop dead on a sofa. The children put to sleep by the noise now woke up by the new silence.
‘Mummy, can we go home’
Yes, my boy, yes we can.