So for those of us who didn’t make the mountain trip to Kwahu nor drive out of Accra with family and friends for Easter, the Accra International Conference Centre seemed the appropriate venue to be for the First National Bank sponsored, and annual Event Factory comedy gig, Easter Comedy Show. I have attended the show whenever I have been in Accra on the Easter weekend and I must say this year’s was one of the most memorable ones for me. I will tell you why.
OB as Host was insane
I have followed the new torch bearers of Ghanaian Comedy for sometime now and I know they are good. I have seen a number of them on various stages and they have continually delivered and improved as well. OB has been one of the consistent performers and he showed his prowess yesterday as the host.
From his opening act where he and another big star of GH Comedy (despite his Presidential height), Lekzy De Comic, renacted the very comical resurrection story from a church somewhere on the continent where a pastor apparently woke a dead man up. The dead man that was resurrected was OB Amponsah, the eye doctor who combines the work in the consulting room with the stage.
From that moment on, it was one flawless joke after another. OB has sharpened his observational abilities and picks on those every day things around us that we may or may not consciously notice. When he tells you about the very things you have seen or done before, it simply strengthens your ribs for the laughter that comes. Each time he stepped on stage, he had the audience laugh out so loud it appeared he didn’t realise he was dropping countless punchlines all over the place.
He clearly was prepared for the night and it showed in what he wore, what he said, how he said it, his connection with the audience and the confidence with which he owned the stage and the evening. It was reminiscent of Foster Romanus, Khemikal last time I saw them, and Lekzy De Comic as well. Brilliant and heartwarming stuff all through.
Comedian Waris is a great talent
This was my first time watching Waris. It probably was the biggest stage he ever performed on as well. He did brilliantly. He came on looking relaxed and delivered his jokes with the swag of a veteran. It was a night where he probably felt he had to let others who had never experienced him before, do so. Knowing what keys to press and to elicit a certain response is key to a comedian’s act and Waris seemed to know how to do this. He was awesome and I believe there is more to expect from him.
Permit me for focusing a more on the Ghanaian acts. Sometimes being bias is not that bad. Let me take a brief look at the others.
Is he even Nigerian anymore? He has lived in Ghana so long it is hard calling him a Nigerian comedian but that’s who he is. Hogan tries, really he does. He isn’t the funniest Nigerian there is but he has his moments and he did drop some good jokes last night. The one about how we introduce our ‘ugly’ friends was a very good one for example.When your friend is good-looking, “Meet Eli”, when you friend is nice, and when he is not, we try to explain, “Meet my talented friend…in fact, you’ll like him…”
Senator combined a bit of some of his old jokes with new ones and with his signature beat breaks, he did get the audience laughing. The usual Nigerian troubles and how Ghana is similar to Nigeria came out as loudly as always.
I think going forward, we should not have comedians who have recently featured on big stages in Ghana to feature in other big shows in the country. Patrons who were at the Laughs in December may have noticed that Akpororo literally repeated the same jokes. He seemed unprepared and that was very obvious when he decided to use about 10 minutes to dance.
This was the South African’s first time in Ghana and he clearly came to have a good time. His joke on the comparison with travelling on Business Class and Economy was well executed, same as the differences in societal classes and all. What I found unique about him was the brief moment he took to give what seemed like genuine advice on life. I surely look forward to seeing him soon.
Akwaboah the Musical Genuis
I have some deep respect for artists who play some form of musical instruments. In Akwaboah’s case, he has one of the best vocalists there is, and he adds playing the keyboard and other instruments as well as ability to write music to his talent. Now, there are not many like that. He was awesome on the night and his linkage with the magnificent Patch Bay Band was simply beautiful.
Akwaboah is yet to explode. He has so much potential and I can’t wait to see him hit that high. It is just a matter of time. Yes, he also needs to work a bit more on his stagecraft as well. He dances as though he were shy and does seem to hold himself back a bit. He is the Higjlife King waiting to be crowned.
What can I say about this guy that I haven’t said before. He keeps dropping very good songs and has learned a lot on playing live and connecting with audiences. The many gigs he has had since he broke through have helped in building his confidence. He was fantastic on the night and is always a pleasure watching Kidi.
Event Organisation and Support for Industry
This show is traditionally not the type which has a choked auditorium with organisers scrambling for seats for patrons. That said, all that the audience needed to enjoy a Holy Saturday was in place. Kudos to the Event Factory crew led by my brother Nabil Alhassan for a good show.
A few issues of note:
It is worth noting that First National Bank, Rwandair, Accra City Hotel and others offered to support the show. The support directly meant support for the comedy industry and music as well. They most likely got their monies worth I believe.
We never seem to get filming right when it comes to events in this country. There is always that cameraman who is in the face of the audience and prevents the artist from seeing his audience and vice versa. It was probably worse last night when the video guy whose feed was projected on the screens in the auditorium at some point literally stood in front of Akwaboah completely preventing us from seeing him and he, us. There surely must be a better way to shoot for TV without inhibiting the audience from enjoying what they paid for.