• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Investor shows over N100bn resources in comedy that Niger Delta govts ignore

Investor shows over N100bn resources in comedy that Niger Delta govts ignore

…As ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’ comedy team eyes Lagos market

The annual value of business in the comedy industry is estimated at over N100bn but most states and local governments in the Niger Delta are said to ignore this.

This is as a force has come from Mayor of Housing to push the reigning comedy show in the oil region, ‘The Mayor of Pitakwa’ to become one of the leading shows in Nigeria.

The ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’, said to be the biggest comedy show in the Niger Delta, has attracted the biggest brand name in the region, ‘Mayor of Housing.’

Now, the Mayor of Housing, My-ACE China, has explained why he moved bigger behind the ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’ show to make it go bigger and maybe international as the laugh and hilarious centre in Nigeria.

The brand force has thus explained why he is pushing the ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’ show, saying it is not only the biggest comedy show in the Niger Delta, also because he (China) was once a comedian. “I know how their industry is under-utilized and under-appreciated. Many of the corporations in the region have not recognised the value of that industry-like endeavour as is done in Lagos and now in Abuja.

“We want to be the pioneers, not only to recognise that industry, but to bridge the gap of dichotomy between Lagos/Abuja and Port Harcourt zone.”

Another point, he stated, is that this show captures Nigeria’s biggest demography of about 70 percent of the population. Nigeria right now is over 235m people and 70 percent or 146m of this is huge that is underappreciated and underutilised.

“A lot of people have called for an industrial and agricultural revolution in Nigeria as a way out, but the people that can bring this about are the youths that we neglect. The future billionaires are these same youths that we are under-appreciating.”

So, he told BusinessDay, “If we can make an impression with and build bridges with them, we would be securing our future because by the time they are up there, they would not forget those who were there for them in the beginning.

“These are the three reasons why we are partnering with the ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’. On a lighter note, the country is going through a new wave of stress. So, without humour-therapy, the rate of depression and suicide would be very high.”

On why Nigeria is surviving the wave of what it is going through, he said it is because of the heavy presence of humour. “It has come in as a huge panacea for what people are going through. Over the years, because of the explosion of the humour industry, most Nigerians have come to fall back on humour to digest their problems.

“They simply turn their misery into jokes and find a way to live with it or overcome it. Songs and jokes abound in Nigeria on every single disaster or misery. Some comedians make cruel jokes on themselves so much that people see their own afflictions as jokes from nature. They no longer see these things as tragedy but as jokes from nature which they must overcome.”

He went on: “See how bad Nigeria has become. You can’t even attempt to look up the value of your Naira to Dollar. You can’t even compare the Naira to Cameroon Cefas because before now, one Naira was equal to almost 100 Cameroon cefas but right now, one Cameroon cefa is N4. That is how bad things have become.

“Part of what is shielding the populace from the wave of hardship in Nigeria is humour as captured by the comedy industry. That is why this industry should not be overlooked or downplayed. It is more important than any ant-depressants or pill that can be given for depression, heartbreak, or hardship.

“For us, it’s a huge thing and we are contributing and supporting with our all.

Finally, we are the only startup company in Nigeria that does corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a scaled project. As we grow, we make CSR impact. We do not believe that you should wait till you grow or make all the profit before you make CSR impact around you. We do as we grow, and as we grow bigger, we offer bigger. We make impact with our growth.”

Read also: Comedy is big business: As Mayor of Housing urges big boys, companies in Niger Delta to support comedians

He commended the Lagos State government for partnering with an international firm to build the Lagos Film Village. “Government can invest in these spaces.

“Before now, arts and culture got huge chunks in annual budgets but right now, it is the opposite. The sector is on its own; to either grow or die. What the government can do is to give some support which will definitely go a long way.

“Every location in Nigeria has a huge population of indigenous talents and every local council authority can easily support these talents. We no longer have cultural centres, comedy centres, halls, nor facilities or incentives to support art and culture. There are even no recognitions to the sector practitioners. Facility, financing, and recognition are needed urgently. Facility is the infrastructural support; financial support is the funding made available to the comedy industry, while recognition is the emotional support needed to boost the sector. Sometimes, if your son does well, a path on the back is all he needs.”

Read also: Creative industry key to Nigeria’s economic growth- AsiriComedy

He said the government is no longer sowing patriotism in the hearts of the youths, the largest demography in Africa. They have the risk of this huge demography turn against them.”

Earlier, the man behind the ‘Mayor of Pitakwa’, K.O. Baba Jornsen, said at the pre-event press briefing that unveiling the objective of the 2024 edition was important to show how big the annual show has become.

The event would be mounted on April 1, 2024, with the theme; ‘They like to fool us’. The objective, he said, is to create brand visibility of the sponsors and those that know the value behind comedy shows.

Jornsen said the event would feature comedy for almost all the hours allotted to it, though other spices such as dances and short remarks are lined up to create variety. “There will be one hour of open moment to allow any comedian outside the cast that wishes to make an entry.”