By Lolade Sowoolu
When Afrotainment Productions introduced the comedy show, Stand Up Nigeria (SUN) two Novembers ago, many worried about its sustenance. Thirteen months down the line and still very much waxing strong, Bunmi Davies; CEO Afrotainment Productions and producer SUN, says itâ€™s been tough but worthwhile.
He said, â€œWe saw a vacuum in this line of entertainment and we decide to take the advantage. What weâ€™re trying to do with SUN is to raise a platform for showcasing comedy in Nigeria.â€
For a live monthly show recorded and packaged for Tv transmission across cities, SUN is the first and only 100 per cent comedy show in Nigeria, one devoid of musical performances. It parades a good crop of Nigeriaâ€™s comedians yet none of the participants are paid for their services or contributions.
â€œThere is an understanding between us and everyone that goes on the SUN stage. Iâ€™m fair in my dealings, thatâ€™s why comedians patronise us. We donâ€™t pay them. By extension, we help them get shows as a way of pay-backâ€, Bunmi explained on payment modalities.
The operational strategy of Afrotainment forbids sponsorship â€˜in order to have full control of creativityâ€™, says Bunmi, yet the show that began at the City Mall, Lagos with less than twelve people in attendance has grown to seating 400 to 500 people monthly, at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos .
Bunmi Davies started out by producing humour-laced stage plays and gradually narrowed into stand-up comedy production. SUN holds monthly, every last Sunday, and is later played on radio as fillers and transmitted on different television stations as a full-fledge programme.