Read part one here
In as much as we have established the place of Opa Williams and his Nite of a Thousand Laugh show in their rightful position, it is important to also point out that the proliferation of comedy shows by stars like Julius Agwu, Basket Mouth, AY, Bovi, Akpororo, Ajebo, Ushbebe, and a host of others, was a necessary step towards the growth we have today because, as at then, it was difficult to be a comedian, it was tough to get noticed, it was almost impossible to blow even after several appearances. This was because of the monopoly I talked about in the earlier essay.
Before some of these comedians got on the platform, they had to undergo a series of auditions to sift out the very best for the main day. This saw many dreams die, even when it helped many to survive. Auditions, as far as I am concerned, are not the best ways to fish out talents because there are many talented dudes that are so introverted to the extent that they find it difficult to display on the spot in front of an entertainment-hungry audience who are impatient with upcoming entertainers. So going through such a process then, saw many would be stars fall back because they couldn’t survive the harsh judgments that come with our styles of auditions here.
What social media did was to liberalise the platform, creating wider avenues for more and more talented people to get noticed. So in the roll call of comedians who exploited the agency of social media to get to stardom or fired up their dawdling fame are Seyi Law, Akpororo, Mr Patrick, Charles Okocha, AY, Basket Mouth, Bovi, I Go Save, Elenu and all other older guys in the industry who couldn’t stand aside and watch newbies like Mark Angel and Emmanuella (the impeccable sensation), Klintoncod, Chief Obi, Crazy Clown and his errant son Ade, Xploit Comedy, Williams Uchemba Broda Shaggy, I Go Tuk, Maraji, Lasisi, Mama Tao, Nedu Wazobia, Yawa, Josh 2 Funny, Oluwa Dollarz, Nasty Blaq, Syneytalker, MC Lively, Kbusa Oriental Choir etc, take over the scene without them.
What social media, especially Instagram, did was to move comedy away from the limiting walls of a raised stage and placed it on the face of millions of viewers through their phones, by so doing, millions of subscribers can enjoy comedy, visual comedy, without having to pay too much ticket to access the venue. Stage comedy still plies, but it is no longer our primary source, neither are those Alaba CDs, Instagram has opened the doors for millions of comedians and consumers by putting them on the same space.
There’s no telling how much social media has helped millions of voices to be heard, and when we thought we have heard the best of our jokes, our Instagram guys came around with raw, crunchy and refined jokes from Nigeria natural comedy reserve.
The future just began.
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike