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WHY DELTA IS HOME OF MOST COMEDIANS

29 Dec 2012

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COMEDIAN, D DON (REAL NAME IRUEWE OKEREMUTE) IS ONE OF NIGERIA’S MOST QUINTESSENTIAL COMIC CHARACTERS. HE HAS PERFORMED IN MANY HIGH PROFILE COMEDY SHOWS AND ALSO RUNS A RADIO COMEDY SHOW ON RAINBOW FM, LAGOS. D DON TALKS TO LANRE ODUKOYA ABOUT HIS LIFE AND CAREER

THE ‘DON’ IN MY NAME…

Funny enough, my real name is Don. My Father gave me the name ‘Don.’ My name is Iruewe Okeremute Don and I’m from Delta state. Some might look at the name as a mafia name, but actually, if you look at the dictionary, you will find out that Don is a name given to those who are very good at their jobs. That is why professors are called dons.

COMEDIANS AND THE DELTA

CONNECTION…

The thing is that, just like Raggae is synonymous with people from Jamaica, comedy is our way of life in Delta State. Funny enough, we are really not funny to each other over there. But when we come to Lagos, Abuja and some other places, people usually find us funny, so we decided to do business out of it. I started comedy in 2002 and I have appeared on a lot of big comedy shows since then. I was part of the 14th edition of Night of a Thousand laughs. It’s just that I don’t make noise about my performances. I was on Ali Baba Live in 2006 and also in 2008, Unleash the Comedy, Basket Mouth Uncensored, Glo Lord of the Ribs and so on. I have also done some corporate events.

MY PRESENT PROJECT…

Right now, I’m just fixing my radio show which is called Comedy Hour on Rainbow FM. It is actually the first stand-up comedy show on radio in Nigeria. It has never happened in this part of the world before. It is a 50 minutes programme from 5pm-5:50pm. Basically, we tell jokes. I invite other comedians, record their jokes and play it.

MY FRESH JOKES…

It is not every time I actually tell a joke, but I just try to bring humour. I could bring up issues. I talk about serious issue from a funny perspective and definitely, serious issues would always come up. Issues like Boko Haram, the strike, incessant kidnap and so on. We just bring humour to these issues. It is a live show. People call in from all over Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and other places in Nigeria, sometimes even outside Nigeria. I got three calls from Netherlands recently. Apparently, they tune to the radio station’s online version.

THEFT OF JOKES…

Well, I see it as a challenge. The only serious challenge I see in the industry is the issue of piracy. You do a brand new material, pick an issue and explore its funny side. Then another comedian who has a better platform does this same joke and is recognised. Then, when people see the original owner of the joke doing it, they would believe he/she copied the joke. This is one of the reasons why I went on radio. That way, you hear the jokes from me live. I also call a lot of other comedians to come and record their jokes and I would play them. I tell the audience who the original writer of the joke is, so that when they hear it from someone else, they won’t be deceived.

SURVIVING THE COMEDY WORLD…

The only way I feel one can save oneself and career is by being more creative; come up with fresh materials and create a platform for yourself. Make sure you are being seen and heard. I meet my fans at least once a month. I really don’t know how we can stop piracy unless we are going to create copyright registration body for jokes, so when you write jokes, you go there and register it.

INFLUX OF BUDDING COMEDIANS…

Sincerely, I like it. If you look at Lagos, only Lagos, you will find over 50 weddings going on, on Saturdays and that is excluding other states. So I believe the market is big enough for everyone. The only problem I have is that some people only get into comedy because of the money and not because they have passion for it. If the passion and love is not there, you would not work hard and do research to improve on your materials. You would rather just sit down, when a new CD comes out, you go to Alaba, buy it, watch it and repeat the joke then people would pay you. I thank God that Nigerians now know what is good, when a comedian is funny and creative.

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