History was made in Kalabari Land on November 30, 2019 as indigenes and residents of the area, led by the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, His Majesty, King Barr Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel, gathered to praise God for the good things he has done for them.
The programme was the first edition of the Kalabari Praise Festival, tagged The AKULGA Experience, with the theme: Gele Tein Tamuno (Most High God).
Held at the famous Owuo Square, Abonnema, the event, which was put together by Kalabari Times Magazine, was the first of its kind.
Its essence was to draw down the glory, grace, favour and anointing of God upon Kalabari Land for the purpose of permanent healing, cleansing, restoration and blessing of the land, after all the challenges that had bedeviled the people in the past, especially in 2019.
The Kalabari Praise Festival, which was sponsored by a few well meaning individuals, brought together many professional gospel musicians while serving as a platform for upcoming gospel musicians to showcase their talents.
The event formally kicked off at 2:50 p.m. on Saturday, November 30, 2019 with an opening prayer, after which Port Harcourt-based female gospel artiste, Faithful Samuel and her group opened the floor with a scintillating performance that charged the atmosphere of the venue, setting the stage for the rain of anointing witnessed throughout the programme.
Steve Omsten, Afi Douglas, Promise Benson, Boma Harry and the Royal Christian Praise Band of AKULGA respectively, were the next artistes that performed, thus increasing the tempo of the flow of anointing.
Kalabari Times learnt that the Royal Christian Praise Band of AKULGA was set up by the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael G, Bob-Manuel, purposely to praise God in vernacular, with local instruments.
Then came Preye Odede and his band. Preye’s ministration of his popular songs- Osimiri Atata and Ebezina -not only further electrified the arena with an explosion of anointing but also drew more people, including passers-by, motorists and passengers.
Other gospel artistes who performed at the praise festival were Sammie Wonder, Jesus Boy, Ebi Fyneface, I.B. Hills, Wiseone Light Jackrich a.k.a. King Solomon, among others.
Kalabari Times checks revealed that over five hundred people attended the event.
Some of them expressed gratitude to the organizers and sponsors of the programme for their vision, passion and effort in putting the programme together.
Speaking with Kalabari Times, one of the gospel musicians, Wiseone Light Jackrich a.k.a. King Solomon, commended the organizers of the praise festival, describing the event as the beginning of change in Kalabari Land.
“The progress of the event is the beginning of change. I believe it will change our life. The organizers should not give up because of the turnout. If the programme continues, it will grow better,” he said.
The chiefs who graced the praise festival from different parts of Kalabari Land included: Chief T.S. Opufuimoh from Kula, Chief Kalaogu S. Danagogo I. (Abonnema), Chief Deacon Charles Sekibo-Manuel (Abonnema), Chief T.S. Amakiri (Abissa), Alabo Karibo Lord Gogo, Chief Ipalibo Fenibo-Peters, Chief Tamunobere Orusah, Chief I.S. Isimama and Chief-elect Alabo H. Bob-Manuel, among others.
Sponsors of the maiden edition of the Kalabari Praise Festival: The AKULGA Experience, include His Majesty, King Barr Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel, KSC,JP, Amanyanabo of Abonnema, Alabo Ferdinand N. Alabraba, Hon. Dr. Tammy Danagogo, SSG, Rivers State, Hon. Rowland Sekibo, Executive Chairman, Akuku-Toru LGA, Hon. Christian Sekibo, Chairman, DAA3 Cluster Development Board, Engr Diepriye M. Tariah, Hon. Major M. Jack, Hon. Sobomabo Jackrich, Engr Wenike Princewill, Engr Benoni S. Wokoma, Mrs Bara Lawrence, Mrs Crown Wilcox and the Lagos Forum.
The next edition of the Kalabari Praise festival, which in tagged the Asalga Experience be hosted by one of the communities in Asari Toru L.G.A.