Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has revealed that Unusual Praise will become the world’s biggest Catholic concert, come 2022. Ekeh made the assertion while speaking during the 2019 edition of Unusual Praise held in Lekki, Lagos on Friday, November 29th, 2019.
Widely regarded as the biggest praise concert in Nigeria, Unusual Praise is an annual event organised by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy.
“Our ambition is to make Unusual Praise the biggest Catholic concert in the world. By 2022, we want Unusual Praise to be the biggest Catholic concert in the world,” Ekeh said.
This year’s Unusual Praise was attended by high profile personalities, including the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr Ernest Ndukwe; former First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, actress Rita Dominic, among others.
The event also featured the award of N40m funding grants to the 2019 set of Unusual Entrepreneur, an entrepreneurship initiative, which rewarded 251 budding entrepreneurs across different walks of life for their business plans.
The entrepreneurship initiative was sponsored by e-commerce giants Konga, Ecobank, Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, Gino, Payvic, Itex and others. Meanwhile, recipients of the grants were selected from a poll of 650 applicants, mostly members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. Equally important, Christians from other denominations also numbered among the recipients.
The funding provided, ranging from N50,000 to N1m, followed a thorough review of the recipients’ business proposals by a select panel of judges. Winners of the fund are equally expected to be mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs, who will provide the required training to ensure the recipients’ businesses succeed in the long-term.
Explaining the rationale behind the entrepreneurship programme, Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu, said: “The Unusual Entrepreneur, being an arm of Unusual Praise, is intended to equip the young entrepreneurs with requisite skills, mentorship and spiritual backing, so that they could stand in business and through this, help the country in solving the unemployment problems”.
Furthermore, Programme Chairman, Valentine Ozigbo, commented saying, “the 2019 edition of Unusual Entrepreneur is focused on empowering as many entrepreneurs as we could afford, with the skill-set, funding, and mentorship they require to succeed in the world of business. The event is expected to bring our entrepreneurs up-to-date information regarding entrepreneurship in the 21st Century, solving funding challenges, sustainable business culture, among other things.”
A powerful, high-profile cast of gospel ministers, including Chioma Jesus, Nathaniel Bassey, Tope Alabi, Chinyere Udoma, Sir Jude Nnam, Bukola Bekes, Akanchawa and Mercy Chinwo delivered soul-lifting ministrations during the 2019 edition of Unusual Praise. Other gospel artistes who performed at the event included Panam Percy Paul, Joe Praize, Grace Eze, Osinachi Nwachukwu, BJ Sax, Big Bolaji, David and Chukwuemeka, Phillip Olumide Dada and a host of others.