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HUMOUR AS A TOOL FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth and the origin of some of the world’s most accomplished people but the nation’s vessels appears to be anchored at a state of rest, so that our best is yet to be expressed within our borders. Youth unemployment rate in Nigeria has hit 41.6 per cent, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, has said.According to him, in gender-specific terms, the rate is 23.3 per cent for males and 17 per cent for females within the age of 15 and 24 years. He stated that such a high unemployment rate, among other social indicators, is one of the major causes of social menace and poverty in the country. The governor said the country’s current economic efforts will only be a snapshot if the real economic agents who are the youths are not part of the transformation.
These stated all hope is not lost concerning the Nigeria of our dreams, as there is a new breed of young Nigerians using the tool of humour to empower themselves to maximum productivity and achievement.

Thanks to the progenitors , the likes of Mohammed Danjuma, Atunyota Akpoborieme(Ali Baba),who have made stand up comedy a craft young Nigerians are making a living from.The visible growth of this industry is a pointer to the fact that the talents of youngsters discovered and honed can become an economic lifeline that will shelter them from poverty.Who would have thought that the hilarious Holymallam once sold pure water on the streets, or Seyilaw once did menial jobs like bricklaying and used to be a business centre telephone operator .These humour merchants are telling a different story today, living in palatial mansions , driving posh cars ,clothed in glamorous outfits, and commanding huge performing fees, plus getting the buy in of corporate organisations.Jokes apaprt, humour is a serious business in Nigeria.With little or no support from the government and absence of requisite resources, these enterprising youngsters have built an incredible money spinning venture they even refer to as an industry, exporting their shows to Europe, America,and the entire African continent.Every once in a while destiny sends humanity some men and women who can only be defined as phenomenal .Ayo Makun popularly known as A.y is one of that species of human beings, as he has been able to empower fresh comic talents through his Open Mic Nite Comedy Challenge, and has helped taken these youngsters off the streets.Seyilaw, Elenu,Emeka smith, and a host of other comedians have been turned into young superstars and models thanks to this comedy titan.Thus in this piece I will be unveiling to you a crop of young comedians who are living their dreams one joke at a time.

HEAVYMAN FRANCIS

This Imo state born , is a gifted stand-up comedian who doubles as an On Air Personality with INSPIRATION FM after emerging winner of the first ever radio reality show tagged: THE NEXT RADIO SUPERSTAR put together by INSPIRATION FM.Heavyman is a specialist in script writing, programming, jingle production, voice over,actor, and public speaker. An OND holder in mass communication, and presently a student of Public Administration at Olabisi Onabanjo University. As a comedian, he has distinguished himself with his brand of jokes and the originality of his materials, performing in high profile events like PRAISE JAM, LOTTO NIGERIA MEGA DRAW, NIGERIA COMEDY CARNIVAL , STAND UP NIGERIA, JAZZ PRAISE MUSON CENTER, SEASON BREAK JAM; just to mention a few. He has equally stood as the comedian/compeer to several corporate functions organized by the likes of Unilever NIG PLC, MTN NIGERIA, ZTE CORPORATION, FIDELITY BANK PLC, INTERCONTINENTAL BANK, BENLOCK GROUP, CLEAN SHIELD, TOUCHING LIVES SHOW, COUPLES NIGHT OUT etc.. He is the CEO of laffobia Entertainment, an entertainment and event management company .

CHIMA RAPHAEL A.K.A CHIMARAPH
Chimaraph as he is fondly called by his fans uses his joke as a therapeutic tool for sadness and depression.Chimaraph armed with an O.N.D from Lagos State polytechnic has always had this humour talent even right from his childhood days.As a youngster who believes in menthorship he cut his teeth with Julius Agwu as an office assistant which provided him the opportunity to learn the basics of the comedy business.According to him,’I was paid 2,000 naira for the first show I ever did.Today, my level is fast changing’.Chimaraph was the winner Comedy Face off competition and also the first runner up for Open mic night comedy challenge.His passion for delivering hilarious jokes has seen him perform at THE MTN ROAD SHOW TOUR, ELEVATION CHURCH, LEAD YOUTHS SUMMIT e.t.c..He is currently working on his radio show soon to hit the airwaves and one of the few comedians chosen for the JOKE TO FAME COMPETITION.In his words:’don’t follow the crowd to make the money, discover your path and stick to it’
HENRY ADERIBIGBE(Henry Long)Henry long is a gospel comedian,event compeer and a fashion designer. Henry 27, attended The Federal Polytechnic Offa where he discovered his passion for humour.As a result of his height, he was called henry long for his unusual stature.Based in ibadan, Henry has anchored high profile concerts,weddings, and also the host of his own monthly comedy gig called LAFF IN THE LORD.Henry has his eyes firmly on the future ready to make his mark on the comedy terrain.

SAMSON OKUNDARE(M.C SAPEH 1)Arguably Nigeria’s gap toothed comedian , his stage performances could be described as breathtaking.Known basically as a classy comedian, sapeh 1 possesses a mind blowing performance routine be it stand up comedy, acting e.t.c For the Lagos State University undergraduate of Microbiology , humour is his second nature.His comic talent has seen him perform at DAVID’S STREET CONCERT,THE DANIELS GIG, AY’S OPEN MIC NITE COMEDY CHALLENGE e.t.c.He also doubles as the publisher of HUMOURTIVATION,a humour and motivational newsletter.

According to Nelson Mandela:’ A society that cut itself from its youth severe its lifeline, but a society that engage their interests, enlists their talents , and liberates their energies brings hope to the entire world.
‘Kehinde Ajose is a Renowned talent development coach, Motivational speaker and publicist who helps individuals to create wealth from their talents .He is reachable @ splendidkenny01@yahoo.com, kehindeajose.blogspot.co

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