“Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas is here again!”

These words signaled the kick-off of the maiden edition of the concert organized by STO Global Concept, aptly tagged ‘Praise Explosion’. And indeed it was an explosion, as the different gospel ministers invited to minister to us virtually, truly led the people into God’s very Presence.

It started with Minister Alabba who led us in a set of slow, spirit-lifting songs before ushering us into a set of fast songs as we began to groove joyfully in God’s Presence. Distance and social distancing proved to pose no barrier as the people indeed exploded in praise from various parts of the world.

Next up was the delectable Bunmipraise and her amazing team who further led us into another atmosphere of soul-lifting, distance-defying worship, after which her team, beautifully combining black and Africa-print outfits, dazzled us with some Christmas praise songs, sung the African way. It couldn’t have been done any better than they did it. The session ended on a high note.

Nenye Mensah, the vocal powerhouse, took things to the next level with her rendition of her song ‘I See Jesus’, and this preceded a short speech by Mr. Gbolahan Oduntan where he talked about the main reason for the virtual gathering – STO – and  what it is really all about. It is a lot more work than can be captured in a few words, but it is a worthy cause.

Jedimz brought his reggae A-game taking us through a couple of songs using the reggae style. It was such a beautiful sound, enjoyably different. A spoken-word piece by Esther captured the essence and purpose of Christ’s birth, His lifetime on earth and what these divinely ordained happenings brought to us humans.

The icing on the cake was the return of Bunmi-praise and her energetic team leading us through another explosive praise session, and rounding off the virtual meeting with a beautiful rendition of ‘The Blessing’. It was a glorious time and the people were already anticipating the passing of COVID so that a physical edition of the Praise Explosion would take place.