Wack. A perfect description of Ghanaian stand-up comedy in just some few years past. Bar the likes of KSM in recent times, and a couple from erstwhile Concert Party in the 90’s, the local comedians always performed under the shadows of their Nigerian counterparts.
In many instances, organisers of comedy shadows have to fly down comedians from Nigeria to come entertain Ghanaians. This wasn’t any bias as clearly this comedians always made sure they deliver to their maximum capability.
Hardly is there any Nigerian comedian who has not performed in Ghana. They came in their troves, entertained us, pocketing huge sums in the process. Much as we had our KSM, more of a satirist if you ask me, even if we can just come out with one, just a single comedian to take on these Nigerians, we would just manage it like that.
I quite remember somewhere in the mid-2000s when Charterhouse introduced Stars of the Future music reality show, there was comedy bit attached. From there came in the likes of David Oscar, Forster Romanus among others.
That was a long and hard journey though the project fell on rocks shortly before take off. But a clearly it emphasized on a need that needed to be met. Fast forward to some ten years later, you would be amazed to see how far our comedy industry has come, though the journey has only begun to take shape.
Before entering the Big Brother House in 2012, DKB regarded himself as a comedian though not many saw him as such. His comedy show with David Oscar on Viasat 1’s Laugh a Minute was rather the butt of many jokes, ironically.
I must confess following his disgraceful dismissal from the BBA, I thought his comedy career died even before it got off the ground. But slowly, DKB shook himself from the dust, worked hard on his craft and he’s now sharing the same stage with some of the notable names from Naija.
It is not for a want of our very own comedian that has seen DKB mount very big shows. Truth be told, DKB has truly learnt his trade well, though he may need a little polishing in certain aspects. I quite remember watching him at Citi FM’s Decemba2Rememba and he absolutely stunned the audience.
Mine oh mine that performance deserved a standing ovation. He held the audience spellbound. He’s entrance was solid and same can be said of his exit. But as I said, he’s still not the finished product. Some say he’s too keen on sex jokes and tribal stuff.
Though that may be permissible in the interim, it’s also important that he becomes versatile. Much as I admire his energy level on stage, I should say that he comes across as rather too aggressive on stage. It’s early days yet, but I feel he should focus on some of these areas.
And also, he should also make an effort to cut across the cosmopolitan audience that Accra offers. Most of his jokes are most often than not interspersed with vernacular, mostly Ga, which may alienate people who may not be native speakers.
Notwithstanding, so far he’s doing a good job and must be commended.
Definitely this year should see DKB cement his position as the headline Ghanaian act in the comedy scene. 2015 should bring some good fortunes to the Viasat 1 anchor.
The name Richard Asante, may not ring any bell. But surely Kalybos does. Burst onto the scene with comedy series Boys Kasa, Kalybos ingenuity brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the industry. His short comedy starring alongside Ahoufe Patri has had millions of views on social site YouTube.
Kalybos’ Airtel endorsement deal further gave him a huge mileage in his comedy career whilst pocketing a hefty sum in the process. The only boss with one “s” has become a household name and there’s no stopping him.
Once again his cameo appearance on Citi’s Decemba2Remember, was very hilarious and the audience loved every bit of it. This year, he would have to do more of his hit comedy series. There is no denying the fact that some of the episodes lacked originality.
He must up his game to maintain his relevance on the scene. It would be interesting to see Kalybos leverage on his newly found fame to pursue a career in standup comedy. It’s worth giving a shot as that will add yet another income stream to the ad revenue he receives from his channels on YouTube.
Benson Nana Yaw Oduro Boateng is very hardworking and has risen above the success he chalked in TV3’s hit comedy series Chorkor Trotro. Having become one of the most sought after comedians, it was only a matter of time for him to quit the series where he played Chemu.
Talk about Vodafone Red campaign and the obvious name that comes to mind is Funny Face. He certainly did a good job and was rewarded with a contract renewal to continue the Red campaign. Nevertheless he’s made sure his remains within the limelight as far as his comedy career is concerned.
He now co-hosts Morning Zoo on Starr FM with Nii Ayi Tagoe. The future definitely looks bright for Funny Face. He’s definitely one of the few holding the fort for the local comedians.
Very witty, cunning and no nonsense and above all very funny. Afia has shown that she’s also versatile when it comes to comedy. She has thrilled audience right from her debut with TV show Afia Schwarzenegger and still remains relevant on the comedy scene.
She’s loathe by many for her spar with Pastor Obinim and as well as loved in equal measure by a section of the public. Her show on UTV, KƆkƆƆkƆ is one of the most watched TV shows. She brings her wittiness to bear though occasionally she oversteps her boundaries, she does a good job at giving her audience a good laugh.
Bismark the Joke
Not much has been seen of Bismark the joke but his potential is never in doubt. Nii Odoi has starred in James Town Fisherman comedy series, he’s relatively an unknown act save some thousands of views on his channel on YouTube.
For my money, he’s an act that is waiting to explode. What he needs is a little coaching to enhance his delivery. The list of acts in Ghana comedy industry is quite a short one but it is definitely enough to turn the fortunes of the once dormant industry.
By Richard Annerquaye Abbey