On Saturday 26th September 2015, the Basakoli Choir hosted a Basokali Festival at the Global Kingdom Ministries Church on Markham Road, Scarborough. The word ‘Basakoli’ means ‘Messengers’ which identifies Christian members who belong to a choir or group from different African countries. On this particular evening, the members were primarily from Angola. The evening began with the sound of African drums with lots of energy and volume. The special guest was Dodo Miranda (vocal) who had been brought in from Angola for the evening. It was explained to the audience that Dodo was extremely well known in Angola and we were treated again to an exciting rhythmic African flavour of music which had the audience rocking.
The evening was guided along by Eddie Matondo who is an Angolan Salvationist living in Toronto. Eddie is a member of the Basakoli Choir that worship at Bloor central corps. The choir performed 3 songs in true African style, wearing very attractive Salvation Army African dress.
As the program began to take shape, some of the Heritage Brass members began to wonder how a Salvation Army Band would go over and would our music fit? But Eddie had invited the band and assured the band that they would be welcomed. The band kept to much of its traditional programming with Salvation Army marches and hymn tune arrangements and some classics like – ‘Jesus Joy of Man’s Desiring’ and ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ and the response was truly wonderful. The band also played the Angolan National Anthem and a Song arrangement of some African songs where we could clearly hear people singing along to the melodies. The highlight of the evening for the Heritage Brass members was when the band played the Hymn Setting – ‘On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss’ which is a lovely arrangement of ‘It is well with my soul.’ At the end of the final note, you could have heard a pin drop. It was some 10-15 seconds or so before some people wanted to applaud which expressed the highest tribute any Christian group would want and confirmed the Holy Spirit’s presence in the band’s attendance and music.
Truly this was an evening of praising God with a lesson for all, that as Christians we must respect and appreciate one another in our journey of faith considering culture and taste.