August Worship 2016; Disappointments On The Faces Of Patrons . . . Jeshurun & His Crew Could've Done Better!

To every event, organization is key!

If you fail to organize well, you organize to fail.

A poor organization is like running a 100-metre race on the Olympic track and going on a false start.

This is enough grounds to disqualify the athlete.

"August worship", a gospel event fused with powerful ministrations and performances from spirit-filled minstrels across the country and beyond, has indeed come to stay.

Iconic gospel artiste, Jeshurun Okyere has over the years become a force to reckon with in the gospel circles.

He is the brain behind August Worship, which is aimed at empowering the youth to overcome all addictions.

The event is powered by the Jeshurun Okyere Global Outreach (JOGO).

This year's edition could be crowned as one of the best worship events I have attended. Sound, ministrations, performances and timing were all on point. August Worship 2016 was held on Sunday at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) and the auditorium was fully packed and charged for the glory of God to fall on the patrons.

But how can a big programme as August Worship miss a key point to successful event? Organization!

My first time attending August Worship was on Sunday when I had a very bizarre experience.

I've been to different events but I must say this year's August Worship which is my maiden edition really disappointed me. Let me put it correctly - the organizers of the programme really disappointed me and the hundreds of patrons who found their way to the AICC to witness the worship experience.

The event was set to start at 4 pm. So, naturally, someone like me and the others who decided to join the programme would like to be at such a great event as early as possible to find a seat and to also avoid any kind of stress.

I set off earlier and got to the venue around 2:20 pm. Now, this is supposed to mean that I was eager to partake in this wonderful experience just like the other people I met at the venue that had also come earlier.

Upon reaching the venue, I realized the patrons are supposed to register there first before being allowed to enter the auditorium. In my mind, I thought this was in the right direction because the organizers can keep records of the attendees to the programme.

No hassle at all; I registered and entered the auditorium, found a good spot and comfortably sat down in one of the seats provided for us.

When I entered the auditorium, I was a bit surprised to see the band and choir now having their sound check and rehearsals. My surprise was not that I haven't been to programmes earlier to meet such a thing but I was thinking Jeshurun Okyere and his crew would be different.

Let just say, I placed this behind me because it isn't my event and I'm also not part of the organizers to cry out loud. I found several people also comfortably seated in the auditorium with others trickling in, in their numbers.

Sitting in the auditorium for over 40 minutes and still watching the choir continue with their rehearsals, I heard one of the strangest news and trust me I was absolutely gobsmacked.

That the patrons come early which should be the joy of every event organizer, that the organizers have the patrons seated for over 40 minutes, that the ushers directed these patrons to their seats and then the same ushers together with the security personnel for the programme approach the patrons and ask each person to run out of the auditorium was in fact the strangest thing ever!!

The security personnel and the protocol members announced that every person seated in the auditorium should walk out for their own apparent reasons.

This courted controversy as in fact not only me but the entire audience argued vehemently with the organizers, expressing their displeasure and resentments over the obvious maltreatment meted out to them.

There were confrontations between the organizers and the patrons which lasted for about 10 minutes; before we all decided to walk out in peace and wait outside till 4 pm when the programme is set to begin.

After waiting for an hour outside, the time was up for the programme as scheduled. It was now 4 pm and hundreds more had arrived and waiting outside together as the doors were locked with the security personnel having taken their positions in front of the locked doors to prevent anybody from entering the auditorium.

It was 4 pm and still doors were locked. The people had crammed outside and there was little or no space for some people to breathe.

Tempers began to flare up, people's hearts began to boil and the arguments started as the attendees were bored with how they were being treated.

I was also among the people gathered outside and observing critically what was going on outside while the organizers, protocol members, the choir, instrumentalists and the host of the programme, Jeshurun Okyere; were still inside the auditorium for whatever reason best known to them.

It is obvious somebody might be thinking they are praying inside but that wasn't the case. They were as at 4 pm (time for the programme to begin) still finding their chords and vocal ranges amidst other very unnecessary excuses.

Since this was my first time to the programme, I thought we could give them the benefit of the doubt. So, I decided to interrogate some of the patrons who have been to the programme from day 1 to this year's edition and I found out that the poor treatment was not limited to "August Worship 2016" alone.

It has been going on and on, and the patrons have been complaining bitterly but the organizers have not learnt any lesson. Maybe they are living with the Ghanaian mentality that whether the attendees complain or not, they will still attend the programme nonetheless.

As it's taken this long for me to conclude this report, it's just the same way it took us very [very] long to stand outside, losing our breath and crying on the organizers to allow us into the auditorium.

It took another 40 minutes outside before the organizers thought well of the audience and finally decided to allow them in. So, a programme that was scheduled at 4 pm had to start about 10 minutes to 5 pm late since as at 4:40 pm, the audience were still struggling and rushing in like a mighty wind to find their seats.

This means the audience was kept waiting outside till when our bones had worn out before the organizers decided to open the doors. Obviously, the programme was free for all but I don’t want to think it was cheap and valueless for any person to waste his or her energy attending.

I really feared there would be a stampede which could end in disaster because the audience had to rush inside like this was the 2016 Olympics or the latest version of the American war movie "Troy".

Jeshurun and his team could have indeed done better and not treat their audience as poor as they did.

Building a corporate brand demands you building a mutual relationship with your audience. It demands that you create goodwill between your brand and the brand buyers.

I believe the Jeshurun Okyere Global Outreach will take cues from these lapses and not repeat their actions in subsequent editions.

"No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are, how you treat people ultimately tells all. Integrity is everything,” a wise one once said.