Godwin Komone, popularly known as Gordons, is one comic who has contributed significantly to the comedy industry in Nigeria. This Urhobo-born Integrated Science graduate from Delta State University (DELSU) has performed at many A-list events. Senior Reporter, Anthonia Soyingbe spoke with this gifted humour merchant recently. He spoke on issues ranging from his foray into comedy, his life and other issues pertaining to his career as a comedian. Excerpts:
You are one stand up comedian with enormous ambition. What does comedy mean to you?
Comedy is what prophecy is to a prophet and what Jesus Christ is to a Christian. Comedy is far beyond telling a story with a happy ending, it goes beyond cracking a joke. Comedy is all about being funny and it goes beyond a joke.
What does it take to make a frustrated person laugh?
First, you need to understand the mindset of the person, the reason for his or her disposition to be able to identify with the person. From that point, it becomes easy to build a joke around the situation that is frustrating the person and for the person to see the funny side of life.
You have a unique way of presenting your jokes
Thanks for the compliment, but the truth of the matter is that you must learn the rule of every game before you play. No man builds a house without first counting the cost. When I came into the industry, I realised that people were doing comedy in a particular way so I said to myself that I must make an impact by doing something different to create a niche for myself. I realised that comedy then was all about entertainment without education so I decided to bring a little bit of education into entertainment thereby creating psycho-comedy. It will make you laugh and it will also make you think.
You studied Integrated Science in DELSU and here you are doing comedy, how do you reflect on your training in your comedies?
I strongly believe that in terms of education there is nothing that is lost. I don’t apply it directly but education undoubtedly has positive effect on my career. I am not just a comedian I am also a compere and I learnt that during my undergraduate days. One would have expected that I would end up as a teacher in the classroom or work in any other company, but the truth of the matter is that I have always loved entertainment.
You are no longer part of the popular Made-in-Warri show. Why?
It wasn’t my brand, it was RMD (Richard Mofe-Damijo) but he said I should run it for sometimes before he withdrew it. He (RMD) took his brand back for reasons best known to him. I achieved a lot in fact I was the first entertainer to have brought a foreign comedian to perform in Nigeria. I brought Chaka Demus. I also discovered young talents that featured in the show. I was doing well but he felt he wanted to take the brand maybe because he wasn’t expecting the success and probably he was afraid of losing the brand.
Was there no rancour in the cause of him taking back his brand from you?
There was nothing like that.
How did you come about your slogan ‘Hallelu, Halleluyah’?
I am a Christian who is also a comedian. Saying that is just for people to know the kingdom I belong to.
Can you let us into your growing up days?
There was no growing up for me. I just existed. I grew up in Warri because my parents were from there. I am the first child, I don’t even know the number of my siblings because we are many and it has been a while since I saw my father I don’t know if he has added more (laughs).
There was this controversy about the original writer of the popular ‘welu welu’ song which many believed was composed by Sammie Okposo.
Yes I started as a musician but for the purpose of this interview I don’t want to discuss the owner of the song, because much water has passed under the bridge. When I was singing, I was doing music-comedy but in 2005 I separated music from comedy.
Looking at the number of people parading themselves as comedians, don’t you think that the profession is now an all-comers affair?
Though we don’t have a regulatory body in the industry it is certain that if you are not gifted it will be obvious. We have those who are gifted naturally and those ones make their mark in the industry. Many people are into comedy because they think it is a lucrative profession but it goes beyond that. You can’t survive in the industry if you don’t have what it takes to be a good comedian.
Have you ever been harassed because of your jokes?
That has happened to me times without number, because some people don’t find such joke funny. The fact remains that not too many Nigerians have sense of humour. Sometimes back in 2005 while performing at the Presidency, the event had in attendance notable personalities within and outside the shore of Nigeria. I didn’t know that Minister of Power was in the auditorium and I cracked a joke about the epileptic power supply in Nigeria. The Minister ordered that I should leave the stage because he felt I shouldn’t have cracked a joke about our power supply, which everybody knows is terrible. The most interesting thing was that people laughed about the joke, but he felt bad. A former governor felt bad about the Minister’s action because he knew I said the truth and our power supply is embarrassing. Overtime I have been harassed and embarrassed, but it doesn’t bother me because I enjoy doing what I am doing.
Some of your colleagues in the industry are Brand Ambassadors, are you also hoping to be one?
I am but not to a telecommunications, but I am hoping and wishing to be one because that is something we are all scheming for. Not just because of the money but because of the opportunities that comes with it. The money is not as much as the opportunities that come with it.
What are some of the prices you paid before you get to this height?
Notting is simple not even prostitution. Don’t get it twisted it is not easy to crack a joke and to make people laugh. It is not a joke to make Nigerians laugh. I wasn’t this busy and big when I started but I was hopeful then. When I started we weren’t much but now we have a trailer load of comedians in the country. Despite all these I still consider myself as an up and coming comedian who is trying to grow in the industry. I believe that there are several things a comedian ought to have done that I have not done. Aside comedy I am also into event planning.
How is your home?
My family is doing well to the glory of God. I met my wife when we both were in school and we have been married for a decade.
As a showbiz practitioner, how do you treat your female fans?
For everything you do there must be admirers and some admirers will want to take it to the next level that is where maturity and understanding comes to play. You need the maturity to know that you need your fans and you mustn’t be rude to people. You must find a way of relating to your fans because they are very important. I have lots of female fans and some of them tend to take it to the next level, but I am a principled man. I often tell them that I am married but some of them don’t care what I do in such situation is to ask if such person will be happy if I were her husband and I am having extra-marital affair.
Does that imply that Gordons doesn’t cheat on his wife?
I can’t tell you yes or no but I know I had temptations in the past. It is left to you to tell me if temptations amount to cheating.
Do you intend to leave comedy for any other business?
Comedy, for me, is not a career; comedy is life. Asking me that is just like asking a prophet if he will stop prophesying. I may stop doing major comedy but I can’t stop being funny. People don’t take me serious when I am trying to express myself, but I understand the job I do.