By Ayo Onikoyi
It has been 16 weeks of undiluted fun across Nigeria as the mega comedy show, Glo Laffta Fest, organised by Globacom, Nigeria’s foremost telecom company, continues its tour around the country.
Glo Laffta Fest is Nigeria’s biggest comedy concert, currently on a 27-city tour. It has already been to Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Owerri, Warri, Yenegoa, Calabar, Uyo, Ibadan, Benin, Ijebu Ode, Kaduna, Abeokuta, Victoria Island, Kubwa and Ikeja. It will still berth in a total of 11 locations before it terminates in October.
Everywhere the show has berthed, Globacom subscribers have been treated to the best of comedy from the continent’s best stand up comedians with no distraction of musical performances. Many comedy shows in Nigeria incorporate music stars in their programmes. Glo Laffta Fest is purely comedy from the blast of the whistle to the end of the show, with a DJ providing music before and after the show. DJs also put in some sound effects during the comedians’ performances to create more excitement for the audience.
In Port Harcourt, the show was held at the ultra modern Aztech Arcum on Easter Sunday in April, spicing up the Easter celebrations of the residents of the city.
Home-grown talent, Arinze Baba was the star of the night as he tore the hall apart with inventive stories and incredible punch lines.
Arinze Baba made jokes about his childhood, harping on the financial deprivation his family endured, as a result of which he tended to live on the extreme end of luxury.
He finished his routine to an uproarious applause from the audience most of whom were on their feet and were either whistling loudly or hollering on top of their voices.
More established stand up acts, Acapella and Bash sustained the tempo, with Bash getting massive appreciation from the audience for his routine around Nigerians’ behaviour at Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). The masters, Basketmouth, Bovi, Gordons and Salvador from Uganda, vividly demonstrated why they have remained enduring stars on the continent’s entertainment firmament.
Salvador’s routine hit a crescendo with his humorous description of his experience in the labour room when his wife delivered a baby girl. Bovi on his part got the audience in stitches for most of his performance, dwelling extensively on the relationship between the men and women, especially how women can very easily manipulate men by pressing their (the men’s) ‘mumu’ button.
Basketmouth rounded off the show with a repertoire of jokes around a variety of issues. The high point of his routine was a humorous jab at the dullness of funeral services across the world. He would want his own funeral, when he dies at over 90, to be infused with more razzmatazz.
In the female category, Mercy Igboanugo and Joy Boniface, both students, and Faith ‘Dizzbaby’ Kwelle (entertainer), emerged joint winners as the audience could not decide who was the best of the three.
In the male category, the trio of Emmanuel Odiase, a corper, King Birabi, a comedian, and Ojinmaduka Divine, a student, outlasted the legion of men who jumped on the stage to try their luck. They went home with Glo-branded gift packs.
Nollywood legend, Richard Mofe-Damijo, ace actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, accomplished comedian, Victor Osuagwu and the goddess of Nollywood, Patience Ozokwor brightened the night with their presence.
In Abuja, the venue of the show was the Old Parade Ground one of the most notable historical landmarks in Abuja.
Show opener was the Jos-based comedian, Osama, who sent the audience reeling in laughter as he shared funny anecdotes about life in the militarised city of Jos.
MC Tagwaye, the comedian who mimics President Muhammadu Buhari picked the baton and raised the tempo even higher as he made jokes around the socio-political condition of the country.
Dan the Humorous picked the baton and treated the audience to fast-paced jokes mostly centering on health and care-giving institutions, especially teaching hospitals. Then it was the turn of Salvador from Uganda. Other heavy weight comedians who thrilled the audience to no end included I Go Dye, Gordons, Bovi and Basketmouth.
The Victoria Island edition of the show was hosted at the posh Eko Hotel and Suites and was attended by an A-class audience. In the hall were the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohamed, and the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, among other Very Important Personalities.
Alhaji Mohammed attended the event with an entourage and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Also in the audience to the delight of the fans were Nollywood stars like Funke Akindele, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Adekola Odunlade. Songster, honey-voiced Omawumi Megbele, also graced the event.
Up-and-coming comedians such as Kemex, MC Medical, Koye from Rock City and the duet act called British Pastors opened the show, and they did quite well to impress the sophisticated audience that filled the Convention Centre of the Hotel.
All the budding comedians dished out very mature and funny jokes that kept the crowd laughing all through their time on stage. They were so impressive that they could pass for the main acts if not for their names.
The show is still billed to hit Makurdi, FESTAC, Ajah, Suleja, Ibadan, Kano, Port Harcourt, Lokoja, and Anyigba.