Todd Dulaney’s maiden visit and concert in Kenya had everything. He brought energy, passion and authenticity that is so hard to find in a gospel musician. As we left CITAM Karen, one thing was clear in my mind. What Todd Dulaney did after his concert in Nairobi was classic. Here it is.
There was hardly an empty seat at CITAM Karen on Friday 27th May 2018. Even the pouring rain, muddy running water and biting cold could not deter live gospel concert enthusiasts who came in their thousands to attend Todd Dulaney’s ‘Your Great Name’ concert organized by Praise Fest.
Praise Fest is a Christian music festival that aims to offer a platform for repentance and spiritual maturity through praise and worship songs. While CITAM Karen is becoming known for excellent live performances that seldom disappoint. And neither did Todd Dulaney and team disappoint.
But if you left without waiting till the very end, then you missed a good opportunity, not only to meet and greet, but to capture beautiful moments and memories that lasted past midnight.
Todd Anthony Dulaney embodies the character of a dynamic leader, husband, dad and versatile songwriter. He is married to Kenyetta Stone-Dulaney who accompanied him during this tour. The couple has four children; Taylor, Tyler, Todd Jr. and Tenley. Todd came to the limelight after doing his rendition of ‘The Anthem’ as well as what has become most Kenya’s anthem: ‘Victory Belongs to Jesus’.
Todd Dulaney is a Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award nominee who has recorded 3 albums so far. His first album, Pulling Me Through was released on May 31, 2011 while A Worshipper’s Heart was released on April 15, 2016. His latest album, Your Great Name was released three months ago.
Todd’s personal desire whose desire is to strengthen believers to have a vertical personal relationship with God. That night, he did just that. Everything he did and every word he uttered was presented to God as a sacrifice.
What Todd Dulaney did after his concert in Nairobi was classic
As usual, Anthony Ndiema who was the main MC, kept the crowd on their toes with several twists and turns that made the experience rich. The concert kicked off at 8:00 pm with a brief introduction of Kanji Mbugua, Alice Kimanzi, Bethu and Pastor Nikko as curtain raisers.
As the slides of Kenya’s favourite gospel artists rolled on the screen, the audience held its collective breath, waiting. However, by the time Kanji and his peers finished singing, it turned out that none of them were going to sing their own song. Instead they led praise and worship session.
This was followed by Mercy Masika, who as usual, lit the both the stage and the whole auditorium. And just before Todd came to stage at 9:35 pm, the crowd was treated to the ‘cover challenge’ final where Manasseh, Rita and Martin Luther battled for the ultimate prize.
Since Rita wasn’t in the audience, the crowd shouted ‘wote, wote, wote’ as Martin and Manasseh ended up sharing the top prize. Those who are able to follow instructions and take risks, also ended up winning Safaricom airtime, which is becoming synonymous with Praise Fest events.
Here's a review of the concert
It was 9:35 pm when Todd and his team finally took to the stage. It was evident that the sound was as clear as it had been during Sinach’s concert at the same venue. As a result, Todd and his team were left shouting to be heard. The sound was so worse, the pouring rains muffled Dance in the Rain, his first song. Thankfully, the sound was rectified and all was well.
Despite the fact only a handful of people know Todd’s songs, Todd created a perfect atmosphere for worship. Todd’s genuine humility, excellent leadership skills and love for people was evident. Todd beckoned to Njoki and another member of Worship Factory to join in singing ‘Victory belongs to Jesus’.
In the end, those leaving CITAM Karen left feeling fulfilled. In the end, Todd’s Your Great Name tour wasn’t built on quantity in terms of songs. His infectious laughter, style of praise and worship pointed everyone to God’s greatness, goodness and mercy. It was a characteristic that was to flow towards midnight.
The signing of autographs, hugs and photo sessions
While buying Todd’s album, I was promised Todd would sign autographs after the concert. Because I had seen gospel artists getting whisked away at the end of previous concerts, I doubted. I thought this was mere sales talk. Instead, Todd and his team delivered and did more than merely deliver.
Todd signed autographs, took photos and hugged everyone who stopped by. Even those who were not buying his album got an opportunity to take selfies with him. Meanwhile, his team gathered around, taking pictures and sharing their stories.
James Anderson and his wife shared how the team often emphasizes on being real.
A concert to remember
“What makes your team unique?” I asked.
“We have to connect with people at a deeper level,” he explained. “That what we believe in and that’s why we take time off to mix and mingle after the concert. We’re going to leave for Johannesburg after this….”
“Our flight jets out at 4 am,” his wife added and half joking, “I wanna go back home!”
We discussed ministry, family and our wives’ peculiar obsession with shopping! When the clock struck midnight and there was no one left on the queue waiting for an autograph, Todd called it a night. He still had the grace to take one more photo before he waved goodbye. As we drove home, we all agreed that the trip to CITAM Karen was well worth it. We counted the flooding road and pouring rain as a blessing.
I have been attending Praise Fest organized gospel concerts since last year. However, this was the first time that I personally connected to an artist. This was the first time I had connected with an artist after watching and listening to their music online. That connection is going stay with me for the many years to come. Well, as for the contacts we shared, our children will know there was a night when the extraordinary happened.
Did you attend the concert and have a personal memorable moment to share? Feel free to share it below the comment section below. You can also email photos of the event to be included in our gallery.
James Ouma is a CTI Clarity Coach, Cyclist and Writer. He is passionate about positive masculinity and helping incarcerated male teens to reconcile with their families and their communities. He loves staring at his bicycle, flipping through movies without watching them, and playing ‘tap out’ with his wife.