From music to comedy
I am still doing music and as a matter of fact, my second album is in the studio right now, and will be released between now and March, by Gods grace. I was doing music first and it was music mixed with comedy. When I came over to Lagos, I decided to separate comedy from music so I could have both of them run side by side and so I can get income from the two of them.
Being in comedy
Being in comedy has been very lucrative, though challenging. I have come this far by the grace of God and with the gift of comedy I have been able to travel around the world. Comedy is taking me far beyond music, for now. It is beautiful and I have met the highs, middles and lows of the society. Comedy is very profiting for me.
One of the major challenges I have faced is what we call joke piracy, where you tell a joke at an event and someone else takes that same joke and tells it at another event, then when you come to that place to perform and you tell the joke, people will think you are repeating someone else’s joke.
How did you get into comedy?
It is something that we used to do while growing up as young boys. It was while making the jokes and making friends laugh that they told me I could do that and make money, like the Basket Mouths and the Ali Babas.
Inspiration for your jokes
God gives me the greatest inspiration, then reading articles as well as watching other comedians.
It is not an easy thing being a comedian because you have to be creative and learn from anything that you see around you. Sometimes I wake up very early in the morning and sit outside, waiting for the inspiration, or sometimes I go to the beach and just sit down and inspiration comes.
What makes a good comedian?
So many things make a good comedian, but most importantly, are these three – spontaneity, humility and intelligence.
A comedian has to be spontaneous. Sometimes you prepare to go for a show and only to get there and you find out that the crowd you had prepared for are not the ones at the show, you have to be spontaneous and get jokes right from the environment.
Intelligence in the sense that a good comedian should know when to tell certain jokes. If one is at a political event, you tell political jokes, if you are in a social gathering, you need to know the kind of jokes to tell. And if you are intelligent, then you should also know that if a politician lost an election and he is at an event, you should know what to say so that he doesn’t take it as an offence.
Humility is important because when you raise your self up and think you are something, you will be surprised that you will soon discover you are nothing. When one is humble, he can eat and dine with kings.
Do we have a comedy industry in Nigeria
No, I don’t want to call it an industry, I can only say that we have a comedy community but we are growing and we will get to a stage where things will be in the right perspective and we can now say we have an industry, a time when we won’t need to have five or six comedians in one show just to make people laugh, a time when just one comedian is what is required to thrill people at a show.
Are you married?
Yes, I am very married to a woman, who understands me and supports me all the way.
I have three sons, who I call my principalities.
Being a father, husband and pursuing your career
I make sure that I appropriate time to everything. When I need to be with my kids, I try to spend quality time with them and when I am supposed to be playing my role as a husband, I do so. Then when it comes to my career, I also pursue it.
So it is not really a problem, it is a situation of knowing what time to allocate to each of my responsibilities.
If your son decides to be a comedian will you support him?
That will be a good thing, it will make me happy and I will support him. If I notice that he is already displaying his ability to make people laugh from a young age, I teach him one or two things, encourage him to pursue it by getting him to study Theatre Arts, which will give him the degree he needs and will teach him the fundamentals of being a comedian.
After school, I will then teach him prosperity at home because that can’t be taught in school. I will teach him how to prosper in his chosen career.
How do you handle female admirers?
Is it only the females? What about the men? There are so many gay guys around and they are not scared to let people know they admire them, I have seen some.
But as for the females, who admire me because they like what I do and how I do it, then I appreciate their admiration because that makes them my fans. But any one who wants anything more, I start up front to let them know that I am very married and as such, not interested.
I can’t stop any one from admiring me, but I can stop them from expecting more from me.
I love stepping out in corporate wears with my suit and tie, all put together. This is because I am trying to build a brand that people will use to forever identify me with. This has cost me a job because people have a preconceived opinion about how comedians should look and I want to change that.
I was invited for an interview before a job was given to me and I got there, the lady in charge asked that the comedian should come in and when I went in, she asked if I was the comedian I said yes, but she didn’t believe me, saying I didn’t look like one and of course I lost the job.
But when I traveled out of the country for a show in Italy, I was a bit late getting to the venue because of the busy roads, so I decided to enter the show dressed in jeans and T-shirt, but the people said it was not me, that they will only recognize me if I go and put on my suit and I had to go and do that.
So for me, my dress sense is simple but then all corporate.
What is your most expensive item of clothing or accessory?
My Dolce and Gabana wrist watch, I bought it about $1,500 and I like it so much because it even tells me when it is about to rain or when it will be very sunny. It has the ability to forecast the weather.
I have other things that are expensive like my suits and shoes because I make money, so I take good care of myself. But the wristwatch is my best.
Growing up was hell because we were the poorest of the poor and even the people considered as poor used to call us poor people, it was that bad. I used to trek to school bare foot because we didn’t have money to buy shoes and even when patch trousers had not started reigning, I had already started wearing patch patch trousers to school because the uniform was torn but no money to replace it so I had to patch and wear it.
It got to a point that my dad lost what little job he had then and at the age of 12, I had to start being the breadwinner. I would go out and fish all mourning so that we could have something to eat and sell.
I could not go out, maybe to a party organized by friends if I didn’t borrow what I would wear and I had to be very careful where I wore it to so they won’t say it’s somebody else’s shirt I was wearing.
But thank God I found favour in the sight of my friends in school and the teachers. My friends would ask me to teach them what was taught because I was very intelligent and in return, they would buy food for me or give me money.
It was hell growing up, but it taught me a lesson in life that it is only God that lifts a man up.
I am Godwin Komone. I come from Delta State and an Urhobo by tribe. I attended Ighogbadu Primary School, when I finished there, I attended Nana College, all in Delta state. I am a graduate of Integrated Science from Delta State University. I am the first born of my parents.
Advice to upcoming comedians
Mediocrity is no longer allowed, just be yourself and be creative, that is all I have to tell them. If you think you want to be a comedian because the comedians you see are making money, then you are not in the right profession. Be sure that this is what you want to do and be hardworking because hard work pays.
Philosophy of life
The way up is down, meaning that if you want to get up, you have to be down first so you can appreciate it better when you get up.