Abuja Body of Comedians (ABC) on Monday said that it would organise training for stand-up comedians in the FCT to ensure proficiency and best practices as professional entertainers.
ABC’s President, Mr Sosthenes Ayuba made said this in an interview in Abuja. “Training is very important in any profession, and this is what we are set to do for comedians in Abuja to make them more competent as professionals.
“Besides being a talent, there is the need for periodic self-development to ensure one does well wherever he or she goes.
“Comedy is a business that deals with people of different age and class, there is need to know how to handle people well while you remain relevant as an artiste,” Ayuba said.
According to him, stand-up comedy as a genre of entertainment is already very popular and competitive; therefore, there is the need for comedians to uphold best practices.
“There are common moral and ethical values that a comedian should observe both on and off the stage while relating with people. “The training will address issues on how the artiste can balance both his public and private life and remain relevant within and beyond his environment.”
He said that since the comedian goes to perform in places with diverse and peculiar cultural orientation and lifestyles, there was the need to know what to say and what not to say during shows.
“A comedian who is from the south should be able to understand the orientation of the people in the North, to guide him on what not to joke about.
“A Christian comedian for example, who is performing in a Muslim-dominated environment, should show need to be cautious in making religious remarks.
“These are some of the dynamics that the 21st century comedian should know, and that is why we want to start this periodic capacity building.
“We are set to develop anyone with the interest and passion, so that the entertainment industry in Abuja will be better than it is now,’’ he said.
He, however, noted that only comedians who had identified with the body would benefit from such training. Ayuba, whose popular stage name is Dr Ayuba, said that many young talents were leaving the FCT to other places because they felt there were no opportunities for growth.
He said that the trend could only be stopped if upcoming comedians and other entertainers were motivated. “We decided to create a platform called Abuja Talent Hunt for upcoming artistes to express themselves.
“It is a weekly show that holds every Thursday evening. “If you say you have talent and you can perform, then come display it at the show.’’
According to him, young artistes with exceptional performances are then recommended by the body for events within and outside the FCT.
Ayuba also urged event organisers and other entertainment stakeholders in the FCT to always encourage artistes in the territory by hiring them for events.