Television of Friday, 4 January 2013

Source: Chuks Ineh-Adentan

Where are the comedians in Ghana?

Comedy is that necessary part of existence that eliminates the tragedies of life while filling the soul with joy.

Almost any time a comedy show is organized in Ghana, Nigerian comedians dominate to the extent that sometimes the stage has no room for a Ghanaian.

Are Nigerian comedians funnier than Ghana counterparts? Why is it so? Are there no comedians from Ghana?

Last December 2012, MTN sponsored the Night of 1015 Laughs; the Dome was filled to full capacity that we even wonder if it was not over filled. So there is no way that one won’t recoup from such investment.

There is however one thing that baffles us. All the comedians were from Nigeria. No single Ghanaian comedian was on board. Some of the Nigerian comedians admitted coming to Ghana for the first time, others were visiting for the second time.

If you are always watching Nigerian comedians on YouTube, one will discover that most of the jokes are now being recycled. This is not an issue of no idea is original but at least understanding the pattern of these comedians one will sense a common ground for all.

Most of these Nigerian comedians did not come from wealthy backgrounds, they confess it themselves. Such circumstances prepared them to be humorous, but what happens when a comedian is now so comfortable (rich)?

Simply his mental capacity to access jokes is blocked due to pride associated with wealth, and he is compelled to recycle jokes both originally from him and from others. He hardly mingles among environments where confusion and humor are mixed to survive. He will not detect humorous opportunities because reaction to issues will differ.

Thus the time is near when the Nigerian comedians will seize to be funny except new ones are discovered and brought on board to replace the so called old experts among them. When people get used to a joke, there is no way to be amused again since the price of laughter has been paid.

The way forward is since apparently CharterHouse and MTN are championing the course of comedy of such huge platform in Ghana, the following recommendations are imperative for future comedy shows.

1. Discover Ghana Talents: It is not true that comedians are hard to be discovered in Ghana. We know and understand that circumstances in Nigeria helped shaped her people to become funny but not all comedians emerged from such circumstance. A platform for comedy talent hunt should be introduced not only music talent hunt. This will go a long way to help interested and talented comedians come out of obscurity and promoters and managers equally identify them and work with them. The time will come when Ghana will even export this human capital and resources but as comedians.

2. Patronize New Nigerian Comedians: Many comedians from Nigeria were not known in Ghana before their first stage appearances but were equally seen as new folks. So if an upcoming Nigerian comedian is giving the opportunity to do something new or think outside the box, the audience will not get tired of old jokes.

3. Organize Data Base: The organizers of comedy shows do have a recording of it, simply go through it and identify each joke. When anyone is being giving the chance to perform, he or she will add upon the database by releasing new jokes. The database will help track and monitor performances while retaining originality and innovation in the comedy industry. It will help the comedians understand the challenge to think more not simply work on another’s. Jokes might be similar but it must differ. So during screening of comedians and the time allotted for their performance, if it is expected that one is performing for 30 minutes then the preparation or planning or the rote play will enable him put together the new jokes in such a humorous manner people will seek for more.

So in the year 2013, we expect to see a revamp in the comedy industry in Ghana by giving Ghanaians the chance to entertain her people and equally be exported outside. The jokes must not resemble the Nigerian jokes but using the circumstances around here a talented comedian will be able to crack the ribs of the audience set before him or her.

Have fun with Comedian PENCIL cracking ribs