A special reception and dinner was held on Thursday, July 18, 2019 for five finalists of the debut season of Hymnodia at the Parkview Astoria Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The event turned out to be a reunion of some sort with nine of the 12 hymntestants of the Hymnodia Season 1 present at the event and taking turns to regale the audience with tales from the Hymnstitute and reminder hymns from their time in the show.
The dinner was hosted by Rainoil Limited, the integrated downstream oil and gas company, which commended Hymnodia for reigniting the almost-forgotten hymn culture among young Nigerians.
Hymnodia, which climaxed its first season last April witnessed four other hymntestants (contestants) demonstrate strong resolve to outwit themselves in a keenly contested grand finale dubbed the Hymncert with Kenneth Ekhuemelo, the bassofundo, adjudged the winner and first custodian of the ASAPH.
The other hymntestants who made it to the grand final of the 14-week show were Olumide Dada, the baritone singer and first runner-up, Mobolanle Oladimeji, the architect-baker-hymn writer who came third, Abigael Nnadi and Rachael Darley.
Group Executive Director, Rainoil Limited, Mrs Godrey Ogbechie said Philosoville Limited, the initiators of Hymnodia, have successfully demonstrated that a reality TV show on hymns and church music could be well structured and produced to the admiration of a wide-ranging audience. She noted that Hymnodia has created the desired impact which could change the perception of young Nigerians in the art of worship.
“Hymnodia has promoted the culture of hymns which gives in-depth knowledge and understanding to hymns, which are not fashionable among young Nigerians. Hymnodia has captured the interest of Christians and its worth celebrating for redefining hymns which inspire and inculcate ethical values. I believe we should be able to sing hymns everyday of our lives, and this has been reinforced through Hymnodia,” she said.
The Rainoil boss therefore urged the initiator to continue in the same stride which made Season1 successful, as interest for the show has heightened. She invited other corporate organisations to support the show while pledging further backing for the programme going forward.
According to her “all the twelve hymntestants took hymns rendition to new dimensions throughout the competition which is worth emulating by young Nigerians. I commend the five finalists for making it to the final out of such an intense talent pool. The excitement and potential that Hymnodia has ignited in the worship of God is enormous and deserves to be supported”.
While applauding Rainoil for the reception, the initiator of Hymnodia and Managing Director of Philosoville Limited, Kufre Ekanem commended the five finalists and the collective efforts of all the hymntestants which led to the creation of 62 new hymns in the course of Season 1. He urged the hymntestants to utilise their talents for gainful purposes to justify the enormous investments made to groom them while at the Hymnstitute.
Ekanem praised the goodwill shown by Rainoil in hosting the reception/dinner and disclosed that though Hymnodia Season 1 may have ended, the hymn rebirth journey still continues between the seasons. He promised an even better dimension of Triple-E benefits (entertainment, education and edification) in Season 2 and thereafter.
Ekhuemelo, the winner of Season 1, said the reception has helped to reunite the hymntestants after the show. As first recipient of the ASAPH, a trophy specially designed and named after King David’s chief musician, Ekhuemelo disclosed that after Hymnodia Season 1, he has been more engaged in writing hymns which would soon be recorded and released.
Hymnodia, the fast-growing reality programme created around hymns and worship, commenced last December 30 with a flash mob flag-off and a triple-E (entertainment, education and edification) promise that lasted through weekly performance shows on hymns till the grand finale, the Hymncert, which held at the Shell Hall of MUSON Centre, Lagos on April 24, 2019.
Hymnodia was broadcast on 10 television channels across the country with a dedicated YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/hymnodiahq), which remains available. Recently, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria endorsed Hymnodia, and wished it many more life impacting seasons.