Kenneth Ekhuemelo, the inaugural winner of Hymnodia, was recently presented with a brand new car.
As promised by the organisers, the winner of the reality TV show that centres on hymns and songs will be rewarded with a brand new car, in addition to the ASAPH, the main prize specially designed and named after King David’s chief musician, as well as N5 million.
The presentation, which attracted jubilant worshippers, took place at the All Saints (Army Headquarter) Cathedral, Abalti Barracks, Surulere, Lagos, where Ekhuemelo is an organist.
Hymnodia was a keenly contested show as Ekhuemelo battled with Olumide Dada, another brilliant and leading performer at the grand finale.
The show ended after a 14-week run that was aimed at reigniting the almost-forgotten hymn culture among young Nigerians.
Explaining the rationale for the presentation at the church, Kufre Ekanem, the initiator of Hymnodia said the reality show redefined the art of worship and that since hymn has its foundation in the church, it was wise to bring the car to worship with Ekhuemelo.
“Ekhuemelo is an organist in All Saints Cathedral, and this also shows that the members are part of his success story,” he explained.
Commending Hymnodia for the novel initiative, Rev. (Col.) Bante Kauche, Director, Chaplain Services, Nigerian Army, eulogised Ekanem for the initiative which was thoroughly planned and executed to an appreciable standard.
He said Hymnodia has tremendously enhanced the talent of the 14 hymntestants, including Ekhuemelo, as well as young Nigerians who watched the programme.
Also, Rev. (Major) Baba David, Vicar General of All Saints (Army Headquarter) Cathedral, said Ekanem has taken hymns rendition beyond the ordinary and prayed God to strengthen him in order to sustain the programme. “I am highly elated because a member of this church emerged the winner. We pray for him to be fortified with the Grace to continue in this stride,” he said.
Receiving the car prize with joy written all over him, the bassofundo thanked the initiator of Hymnodia for the opportunity to learn new skills on hymns writing and rendition at the Hymnstitute and for the fulfilment of the prize.
“I am very delighted to receive the car and it came as a surprise to me to see it being delivered at the church today. I see this as a divine blessing from God and I really appreciate Hymnodia. At the Hymnstitute, I boosted my talent through teachings on the fundamentals of hymns writing and singing,” he further said.
Hymnodia was flagged-off at a colourful event with a 30-member choir last December at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos. Live audition for over 200 shortlisted candidates from over 1,500 applications was held at the Lagos Television (LTV8), where 14 hymntestants (contestants) were selected to the Hymnstitute for a 14-week show.
It culminated on April 24 with the grand finale at the MUSON centre where Ekhuemelo was declared the winner via a combination of public votes and a panel of credible judges.
The judges included legendary musician, Onyeka Onwenu; singer, songwriter and voice coach, Dupe Ige Kachi (popularly known as Ige Sings);Sunday Olawuwo the Music Director of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja and Nigeria Country Director of the Royal School of Church Music; and Seun Owoaje, the Music Director of Hymnodia.