Baha'i News -- FetAfrik Gospel Show -- Roof resists blare of gospel tunes

FetAfrik Gospel Show
Roof resists blare of gospel tunes

The roof of Seychelles Marketing Board's exhibition hall at Roche Caiman stayed in place on Sunday despite four hours of acoustic hammering from beneath as the gospel show part of FetAfrik, attended by hundreds, progressed on a high and African note.

The first group of performers on the scene were the Nazarite Christians who arrived a whole hour before the event "to tune their equipment." Then and after the show proper began, the group's drummer showed little mercy for the animal skin that made his instrument, to the extreme delight of the audience, some of whom stood and danced as performers "Lit a candle" in song.

Dreadlocked Emile Moumou got his applause in advance, which was just as well because after his heavy reggae performance, he had terse advice on caring for people living with AIDS, which left the Christians deep in thought.

After a seemingly welcome break in which Barney Elizabeth went Western with his melodious "What have you done today," the dreadlocked Nazarites drove the audience right back to their roots with more reggae. That, however, was only after The Believers, led by Father John Gappy, paved the clear way to Black Man's motherland with the extremely rich E, E, Nkuma Tata.

In fact, it was not clear why the audience chose to sit and sway to this and two other very danceable tunes delivered by The Believers, any of which would have brought even rodents out of their holes dancing on one leg in Africa. The congregation nevertheless registered their appreciation and possible apology for inaction with thunderous clapping at the end of the four blaring songs.

An African chief, in complete official regalia including hat and robe, Mr Barney Adeline, offered prayers with his guitar before his rendition. But he "prayed" in a style so lively that if he had done so in yester years, the man, who heads Indian Ocean Tuna Company's human resources department in his spare time, would have faced excommunication from the church for stepping out of sombre worship tradition.

Mauritian sugarcane had never tasted so sweet according to the audience, some of whom admitted they never expected the four girls of Kanasuc, and their leader Steve "Toto" Lebrasse, whose team derives its name from their island nation's chief crop, to perform as well as they did.

As the 4.00 - 7.30 p.m. show started, Kenyan gospel performer Vic Ogola's plane was just commencing descent into Mahe, to land just before 5.00 p.m. That did not stop her from enthralling the audience with two Kiswahili songs later, and getting them to join her in a third tune.

Other groups that performed, and also remarkably well, were the Anglican Church Choir who sang Tanga wanamate and an additional two songs in Shona language, Baptist Church youths who also offered a play and the famous ecumenical Freedom Group registered their strong presence.

Before a team from Malagasy powerfully sang Mihira Fihiram some members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Seychelles reminded the audience that Tou laglwar i pou Zezi, after which a lone but brave and melodious Baha'i member Florette Botsoie interpreted three songs.

The director general for Culture, Mrs Raymonde Onezime, expressed satisfaction with Sunday's show saying it exceeded many people's expectations. She thanked both the attendees and performers, noting that they all contributed in giving glory to God.

©Copyright 2002, The Seychelles Nation

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