The entertainment industry is divided into various genres and comedy is a very important and significant aspect, ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM takes a look at the Nigerian comedy scene and those who have been able to keep the tempo to date
The name Ali Baba was not just given to a comedian who feels he could fit into the shoes of a popular actor in a movie, Ali Baba and the forty thieves, but on the contrary, it was given to a well deserved comic personality who though lampoons but passes across vital information to the general public.
This is the father of all comedians in Nigeria which brought notable "comedians and comediennes" to limelight today. The faces you see on screen on national television, CDs and posters started from with a little pulp. Basket Mouth, I Go Die, Gordons, I Go Save, Mr Klint and others tested their perfection and professionalism on stage at these events.
Though their materials were not as strong as they are today, they kept on working towards upgrading.
In a recent interview with Godwin Omoneh aka Gordons in Abuja, the Warri born song writer, singer, comedian, tailor and Integrated Science graduate of the Delta State University has since stepped up his profile both as a musician and as a comedian.
He said the act of making the people laugh is tougher than studying engineering in the university. Psychologist would tell you that comedy is the most difficult job on the earth.
"I read a lot of motivational books, newspapers and I watch a lot of foreign programme like CNN, because we are social commentators and not just a bunch of clowns. We are able to address national issues humorously. That way, somebody might learn something. Do you know what it takes to make frustrated people laugh? Comedy is not a joke at all," he stressed.
Comedy is a noble career
"Yes, we have plenty of people coming into the business because they think there is money there. Well, that may be true. We have two types of comedians: the natural comedians and those who learnt to be comedians. If you are in the last category, then it simply means you are in it because of the money. And it also means you will not last long in the business."
Comedy and its worth
There are people who think they could earn as much as N5-N10 million per show but that is not so as majority get between 400 and 600 thousand Naira per show while few get 1million. And these few are no others like Bright Okpocha (MC Basket mouth), I Go Die.
The fact that more people are coming into comedy is a thing of concern. Most of the jokes are dry and it has now become a phenomenon that a particular joke told by one person will be repeated by different persons.
Comedy is one of the worthy things that Nigerian entertainment is exporting right now.
"I have received calls from all over the world, especially from those who watched Nite of A thousand Laughs, Xmas Made in Warri, Crack Your Ribs, etc,"a comedian said."
Your favourite Comedian: What do you think makes him / her tick?
According to popular opinion, there are just few people believed to be good in the comedy business. These people have carved a niche for themselves and are ready to upgrade as the day goes by.
According to a fan, Benjamin Ugochukwu, he stated that as a comedian, you are seen as someone who is ready to take responsibilities, but when you now decide to be serious, slanting from what people know you as, then it's a problem.
"Julius Agwu released a rap song recently and I looked at him as confused because you can't do everything. Nigerians know him with his kind of style where he passes across vital information in a comic way which brought him a huge fan base. Personally I got to know him by his kind of song. If he is trying to tell people that he knows how to rap and comes up with something that is not in line with his career, then it is confusion. It's just like Mr Klint who is known for his drunken style of comedy deviating from that and wanting to be serious looking. That emotion he has presented to the public will diminish and it won't be worthwhile. So Julius should go back to what he knows because we know him," he begged.
But Linda Yakubu, a well known entertainer, stated that there's need for people to continue working on their abilities. With the comedy as one aspect of entertainment, Nicolas Bibiem aka Nick B, the creator of Abuja best monthly comedy show that has come to stay,Comedy assembly, at 3Js Hotel Utako, stated that his best comedian in Nigeria is Bovi, a young looking energetic comedian who has worked with big acts in the industry and also rendered good jokes. While Musa Abdul said comedy is the best way he keeps himself entertained.