THE inaugural Lesotho Gospel Festival at Setsoto Stadium lived up to its billing as Christians and other revellers braved the chilly conditions to turn the Saturday evening into a memorable night of praise and worship.
Organised by Cube Events, the event was tailored for Gospel music lovers as they are often neglected by promoters who often organise secular shows during the festive season.
The ladies had their blankets and fleeces while the men had their heavy jackets to ensure that no weather fashioned against them would stop them from attending the show.
Due to the rain showers and windy weather, the show start slightly later than the scheduled 5pm time there were minor hiccups with the sound as each act took its time to tune the settings to their convenience when it was their time to perform.
If this was a concern, it certainly did not show on the part of the audience, thanks to the comedy duo of Lilaphalapha and South Africa hailing, Tieho Khakhau, who kept them tickled with their Christian-themed jokes in between performances.
They also made fun of those who had just performed.
Locals, Rorisang Motsamai and Tsie were the first to perform in succession before Jerry Madubela and Living Waters also wowed the audiences.
The Semphethenyane ensemble, Tehilla Africa, also gave a super-charged performance which led many to mistake them for one of the top South African groups.
Sentṧo also came on stage and belted out his hit single, Mohau, to an appreciative audience.
The South African performances were opened by former Joyous Celebration member Ntokozo Mbambo who defied the cold breeze with her blouse.
Even before her performance as she mounted the stage, the crowd gathered at the edge of the stage and jostled to take selfies with the Jehova is Your Name hit-maker.
The crowd joined in her midnight performance by singing along and waving in the air, very much like congregants do in worship sessions in church.
Fellow South Africans, Dr Tumi and Lebo Sekgobela played their part in making the whole show a truly memorable Gospel experience with their touching hymns.
The performances were preceded by an address by the Minister of Small Businesses, Cooperatives and Marketing, Chalale Phori, who described Christianity as one of the pillars of Basotho hence the government presence which also included Education and Training minister, Mokhele Moletsane and Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Mpaiphele Maqutu.
“It is with great honour that I stand here on behalf of the government to say that we are happy to support the show which does not entertain naked performers,” Mr Phori said.
“The founder of this nation, King Moshoeshoe I, allowed missionaries into Lesotho to introduce Christianity and we believe he is happy where he is watching that we are still holding on to (Jesus) Christ through events of this nature,” he said.