Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Champ Is Humbled

I’m sure every single one of us has had a bad day at one point in our lives. No matter your regular good fortune or talent, there must have been a time when things just didn’t go your way.Admittedly, there are those who, to us, seem to be as consistent as traffic in Lagos. As far as consistency is concerned, there are two Nigerian comedians who I strongly feel easily rank as the best & most reliable comedians in Nigeria. Who are they, you wonder? Yes, you may have guessed it: Julius Agwu & Basket Mouth. However, for the latter, yesterday was a horrible experience he would pray he could forget for the rest of his days. The occasion was the hugely successful, Xmas-season music/comedy show, Rhythm Unplugged. After a typical delayed start, the show got into its full flow with infectious music, great dance performances & extremely funny comedians. This was till it was time for Basket Mouth to take the stage for his routine. Although this top comedian started out with an unusually low tone, I had thought it was just a different way of starting his performance this time around. I was sure that in no time we would all get to hear the normal rib-cracking jokes the Edo-Born young man is best known and respected for. Sadly, it didn’t come. His jokes were astonishingly dry (save for one or two moments) and the crowd, many of whom were amongst his huge admirers, were merciless. They kept booing and, at a point, were asking him to leave the stage. Understandably, Basket Mouth (real name: Bright Okpocha) refused to. Simply because that’s one of the worst things a stand-up comedian should do. Especially for one as successful & cherished as Bright. So he resorted to insulting some members of the public. At a point, when someone in the crowd screamed out that he was messing up due to the obvious wealth he’s accrued in recent years, he tried to convince us of his down-to-earth nature by informing us of his regular visits to a popular amala joint in Yaba.Truly sad. The boos only got more consistent & louder. He seemed confused, seeking support by asking those who truly loved him to shout out loud, a desperate wish they duly obliged (probably out of pity). This was like an ‘I’m still one of the best out there’ taunt. When it became apparent that he had undoubtedly overstayed his welcome, he humbly made his way off stage. I was shocked and deeply saddened. My Basket Mouth. The man who can crack people up at a funeral.Humbled.Embarassed.Well, if this is still one of the undisputed Kings of naija comedy I know, then we look forward to him coming back with a huge bang. He has to, as there’s no other choice. The whole incident was made all the more humiliating as his fellow colleague, Julius Agwu was at his trademark best(at times assisted by his partner-in-crime, Okey Bakassi).
Basket Mouth, I know yesterday night must have been hard to swallow. Like you said, you’ve never been booed off by your fans before. Only God knows what really went wrong, but I’m confident you’ll prove to your dear fans that yesterday’s disaster was simply a one-off which would never re-occur.Please, I beg you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jingle Bells

It's that time of year again,guys.The Christmas season.The period of time each December when kids get all excited and most workers are at their most buoyant.I vividly remember the excitement i used to feel as a kid this time of year.The presents,the turkey,peppersoup,my dad's extra-generosity,the numerous hampers & goats we received from family friends and fairweather associates of my father's.Those were really fun times,but i guess nostalgia works that way.Anything that happened many years ago seemed like the best of times.So i guess if that nostalgic theory is consistently accurate,we'll all be reminiscing in the year 2040 of how wonderful power supply was in 2007.Hahaha.I rebuke that in Jesus' name,as that simply means we'll probably have electricity 5 minutes a day or something then.I'm digressing,so back to the feel good moments of the xmas season.These days,December is a period for shows,concerts,weddings & temporary nightclubs(i.e. arranged by sharp dudes who briefly rent & convert someone's home or office to make quick cash from those who treat every day in december like it's friday).On the not so pleasant side,the season is also the time when the men of the underworld are at their most alert & industrious.Afterall,everybody wan enjoy christmas.Business is also brisk for venue owners,bars,airlines,hotels,makers of hampers,sellers of rice,goats and so on.If only we had a proper data collation system in this country,i would have loved to know the amount spent by nigerians in December yearly.Must be in the billions.
After all the fun is over,things change really fast.The month of joy quickly passes the baton to the month of financial sorrow for most a.k.a January.The month when the pockets have dried up due to the early payday most employees receive in December as well as the extreme partying,drinking & reckless spending indulged by many.It's all so routine each time that it seems like a scene from Bill Murray's Groundhog Day,a movie where the actor's life follows the same sequence every single day from the moment he wakes up.However,it's truly a period to be merry,grateful to the Almighty for all the blessings received during the year and most especially for our lives being spared to see the final month of the year.
Whatever your views on xmas and it's associated season,it's undoubtedly the time of the year with the most activity.Especially for one's seemingly leaking wallet.
Happy & safe holidays,everyone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It Promises To Be 'Sick'

According to Websters dictionary,one of the definitions of the word 'Sick' is:'Dwelling on or obsessed with that which is gruesome,sadistic,ghoulish or the like'.However,when it comes to black people-speak,sick means any of the following: 'hot','too hard','lovely','special','daammmn'.For those who still find this difficult to understand,i'll give some examples of what sick is,as far as street-talk is concerned:'Buy U a Drank' by Tpain is a sick joint.The Range Rover Sport is a sick ride.Beyonce Knowles is a sick chick.Get it now?Well.i'm sure you do.So,you know what else is sick?Simple.This upcoming friday & saturday i.e Dec 14th & 15th.The reason is clear as one those 2 days,Lagos would be rocked by a huge array of hot artistes from the States.At Friday's Star Mega Jam,8 time-2008 Grammy nominee Kanye West & America's hottest singer of the moment,T-Pain would thrill fans at Ikoyi's Polo Ground.T-Pain is so popular currently that he was featured in 4 singles on the US Top 10 Chart last week.
On the next day at the Thisday Centre in Lekki,music fans would be treated to performances by Lil Kim,super-rapper Lil Wayne,Amerie,Brick & Lace,Ying Yang Twins & recently debuted Jamaican star,Sean Kingston.
Nigeria has impressively seen a vast amount of popular singers/rappers grace our soil over the last couple of years, unarguably highlighted by the appearance of celebrity couple,Jay Z & Beyonce last year.I was chatting with a friend in England just last week and he was quite envious of the fact that many in Nigeria had seen more stars perform over here than he has in the UK.
Understandably for many,security seems to be a big concern for those interested in attending the upcoming shows in Lekki & Ikoyi.As such,i hope that the organisers & authorities rise up to this challenge & pass in flying colors.
To steal a phrase from a chart-topping song by two of this weekend's performers i.e Kanye West & Tpain,all i'll say to the true music fans attending the concerts is 'Welcome to the Good Life'.