A pandemic struck and created significant upheaval on every facet of the economy with the entertainment industry being no exception. The COVID-19, its associated lockdown and other stringent measures by the government to contain the spread, left stakeholders stranded as major avenues of income generation were affected.
Prior to the outbreak, entertainment events, including musical concerts, theatre, movie premiers, standup comedy shows, street art festivals received massive patronage which consequently benefited the ecosystem. And so, the closure of cinemas, theatres and other event venues as well as the strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols disrupted livelihoods and crippled the industry.
People in the arts, as creative as they are, had to map up strategies to adjust to the situation by going digital considering that consumers were left with no option but to embrace online content.
In fact, there have been social media sensations whose breakthroughs were during the peak of caseloads. The likes of Dr Likee, AY Poyoo earned spotlights during this period with their respective crafts which enthralled the public. On the other side of the ladder were already established personalities including but not limited to OB Amponsah and Lekzy Decomic who designed witty radio and television content to serve their audiences and perhaps avoid being rusted away.
While the world seeks to win the fight against the pandemic with the aid of vaccines, restrictions are being eased, paving the way for event organizers to lace up their boots. Indeed, stakeholders can now heave sighs of relief!
One sector of the entertainment industry whose comeback is worth highlighting is standup comedy. From all indications, the comedians are back with a bang.
“The return of stage comedy is a plus to the entertainment industry. Among the genres of the performing arts, stand-up comedy has proven vital in the renaissance of the industry after the pandemic”, said entertainment pundit Kelly Nii Lartey Mensah in an interview with GhanaWeb.
Though not crowned the ‘Lord of Drips’, OB Amponsah, looking dapper in a three-piece suit and a stylish Taqiyah, on a simple yet catchy poster announces his comedy show ‘Popular But Broke’, scheduled for December.
Resorting to symbolism, Lekzy Decomic who prefers to be referred to as ‘cute’ instead of ‘short’, grabs a megaphone in artwork to promulgate his ‘Too Cute To Be Mute’ comedy show slated for November 6.
Before these two shows is Comedian Waris who after gathering experience for the past six years stages his first one-man comedy show ‘Seriously Unserious’ on October 16. While Waris and Lekzy’s events would be held at Snap Cinemas, Accra, venue for OB Amponsah’s is yet to be announced.
Arguably, the names of these comedians have been etched in style in the Ghanaian comedy circles, not for a singular act but for the numerous content they have shared at events, on radio and TV; and on social media that have elicit boisterous hilarity. Comedy show patrons, therefore, look forward to having a rib-cracking night.
“I’m very hopeful. We have grown more taste for GH comedy than previously thought. And my honest expectation is that the comedy actors will deliver and the Ghanaians will be there in their numbers to enjoy the laughter”, Kelly noted.
For Nana Yaw Wiredu, director of oneplayafrica.com who is also into events, content creation and artiste management, the toil of comedians would be crowned with success if they get maximum support.
“I think our comedians are doing what they can. Maybe a concert vehicle like the good old Keysoap Concert Party kind of events will help these boys. If the National Theatre through its entertainment and engagement activities will give these boys support like how GHone and Pluzz FM are giving them for their weekly comedy shows, then maybe we can get people loving it more.
“We need to merge, partner companies to be able to produce bigger shows. That is what I think the sector needs.”