An atmosphere of praise and worship filled Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London on Saturday when crowds gathered to witness gospel sensation Dr Tumi Makweya live in the Eastern Cape for the first time.
Makweya, who broke ground as the first gospel artist to fill the 20000-seater Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg in August, stuck to tradition when he filled the East London venue to capacity.
Rainy skies and an hours’ delay at the start were no damper as people flocked, some from as far as Port Elizabeth, to see and hear the charismatic star.
Makweya was in East London as part of his “10 Cities” tour.
The artist has made a name for himself with his fresh, contemporary gospel music.
Everyone, young and old, danced and sang along to his songs like No Other God, Someone Like Me, Forgiven, and Speak A Word.
The Dispatch reported on Friday that Makweya had promised to bring spiritual healing to his East London audience, and judging by the rave reviews he received from the crowds, he kept true to his word.
He had his audience on their feet throughout the two-and-a-half hour show.
The crowd begged Makweya for more when the night came to an end, before hoarding him for another hour for selfies and live interactions.
Sibulele and Zama Robby said hearing the artist live was a special moment for them.
“No Other God was our wedding song, so it was very special to hear it live. Dr Tumi ministered to us. We really felt the presence of God in this place,” said the couple.
Event organiser, Nokulunga “Blaq” Maci said she was excited that the show finally became a reality.
Initially scheduled to take place in December, the show was postponed to this past weekend.
“We are ecstatic about how everything went. There were glitches, but we’re grateful for the entire show,” Maci said.
She said all 2400 tickets were sold out a few minutes into the show.
“We are grateful for how everyone came out to support. Two hours before it started, people were still buying tickets.
“We had a lot of negativity around bringing Dr Tumi down to East London because his contemporary sound is quite unique to the province, but the turnout was amazing. We’re happy we finally brought him here,” Maci said.
Speaking to the Dispatch after his performance, Makweya said he had been blown away by the reception he received.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming down here, but I’ve been received with such love and warmth. It was a great pleasure to lead people in worship, and precious to see worshippers gathered together. We’ll definitely be back in the near future,” he said. — firstname.lastname@example.org