Imagine 50,000 people in a space, singing and screaming their hearts out. They are led by one singer, who is in charge of proceedings. That’s what is happening every night in Nigeria now.
Gospel singer Nathaniel Bassey is killing it. He is doing what no other Nigerian musician has done at his level of success with his trending Hallelujah Challenge.
The Hallelujah Challenge, a 30-day prayer and praise time from 12 am to 1 am throughout the month of June 2017. It is led by Nigerian gospel artiste, Nathaniel Bassey.
It is a live Instagram session where followers tune in to worship God in fellowship. #HallelujahChallenge is currently the most widely circulated praise and worship movement on social media.
What started as a speculative and inventive way to utilize social media for praising God via music, has become a growing movement changing the face of worship. Starting off at less than 5k people, the event has grown rapidly. In 10 days, it racked up an impressive 32,000 participants who logged in for the one-hour session.
“The Challenge is a mandate from God, and I am just a vessel,” said Nathaniel Bassey, convener of the Session during a Live Brief. “Beyond all the miracles and testimonies, God is doing something eternal – something that will outlive generations.”
On June 11, 2017, the Hallelujah Challenge recorded its highest numbers. Over 50,000 people came together to make it a reality and give Nigeria its largest online praise worship session. That’s outstanding.
And seeing how much people are hyped about it, it can only grow. Popular Nigerian celebrities joined in, as musicians and actors including Funke Akindele, Kcee, Don Jazzy, Chioma Akpotha and many more joined in. D’banj in complete D’banj fashion registered his presence with a comment which read: “Suddenly”.
There is a lesson in there for Nigerian musicians. The main attraction here is spirituality. Nigerians are gathering to join an online worship praise session for God. Gospel music is the leading tool here and forms the medium with which the people offer up these praises.
Secular artists can learn from this. They have enough star-power, influence and fan base to make this a thing. Social media continues to provide more tools for endless connections between fans and their idols. These tools are underutilized by mainstream Nigerian artist.
Imagine a daily 30-minute show by Psquare for an hour on Instagram or Facebook for one month. The Okoye twins show up, choose one song from their catalogue, talk about the entire song, sample opinions and get people to comment. If well-organized, the brothers will successfully inject new life into their profile.
With the advent of live streams on social media, the possibilities of fan interaction just got broadened. There’s a spectrum of activities and activations that can happen. Our artists need to employ people to generate inventive ways to utilize them for profit.
What’s next? The first live stream-only mega concert on Facebook?