By: Awesome Ekene
Steve Crown, Chinyere Udoma, Osinachi Nwachukwu, Chioma Jesus, Prince Gozie Okeke, BJ Sax, Joe Praise, Avoma Kids, Nkiru Emmanuel, Jude Nnam, and other top Nigerian gospel artistes will on Friday storm Onitsha, Anambra State for 2021 edition of Africa’s largest Catholic gospel event.
The event, tagged “Unusual Praise” is being co-sponsored by Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation, one of Nigeria’s leading non-profit organisations,
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Founder of the VCO Foundation, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, a respected business mogul, expressed joy and humility at “the opportunity of contributing to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ on the continent of Africa”.
According to the statement, Unusual Praise is an annual showpiece that brings all Christians together, particularly the Catholic faithful, for an evening of transformational gospel ministration, praise, and worship. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit and organised by the Catholic Church Of Divine Mercy Lekki.
“Unusual Praise 2021 is the first double edition of the event, which is scheduled to hold in Onitsha and Lagos. The Onitsha event is scheduled to hold at the Cathedral Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha,” it added.
Announcing his foundation’s sponsorship of the event, Mr Ozigbo expressed thanks to God for the grace that has carried him through his journey especially in the last two years in which he ran for the governorship of Anambra State.
“It is a joy and with humility that I offer my contribution to bring Unusual Praise to my home state of Anambra,” Ozigbo declared.
“As a member of the Charismatic movement in Nigeria, Unusual Praise is one event dear to my heart and I am looking forward to a wonderful evening of thanksgiving, praise, and worship.
“Unusual Praise is coming to Anambra at a perfect time, and I am proud that the VCO Foundation is a part of this historic project.
“As the name goes, Unusual Praise is a break from the norm and could potentially serve as the turning point for my people. Recently, Anambra has experienced challenging times, and an evening of Unusual Praise will, in no small measure, help raise the spirit of my people.
“I am grateful for the leadership of the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy led by Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu, for catching this divine vision which started in 2011 and taking it to the next level. I thank him for the confidence he had in me when he appointed me the Chair of Unusual Praise in 2018.
“I wish to specially thank Mr Francis Anyakwo for his generous financial contribution towards the sponsorship of Unusual Praise,” Ozigbo, who has been herald as the new face of leadership in the country following a phenomenal race for governor in which he came second in a keenly contested election this month.
The Chairman of Unusual Praise 2021, Mr George Agu, said it was an easy partnership to strike because the VCO Foundation has built a reputation for championing initiatives that have uplifted Christians in Anambra.
Agu also added that Mr Ozigbo has always been a part of the Unusual Praise family and showed readiness to contribute to the event’s success in his home state.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Mr Ozigbo said the Unusual Praise event will help spread the message of love, community, and upliftment, which the VCO Foundation has always stood for.
“The Unusual Praise brand reflects love, community, and upliftment. These qualities embody the true essence of what the VCO Foundation stands for, so we are excited to partner with Africa’s biggest Catholic gospel music brand.
“Unusual Praise is a worthy platform to touch the lives of Ndi Anambra, and we are proud to be part of this historic project,” Ozigbo added.
One of the most recognisable philanthropists in the country, Ozigbo was the Chair of the 2018 edition of Unusual Praise and Unusual Entrepreneur, a youth business development initiative of the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki. This year’s Unusual Enterpreneur is led by Mr Ted Ngu.