By Ayo Alonge
MY name is Kenneth Agberia, popularly known as MC Shakara, a comedian. These years of plying my trade as a comedian have been a very sweet moment for me. When I was growing up, I dreamt of standing in front of people and making them happy and it happened for me. I won’t want to count the obstacles along the way but let me just say it has been a wonderful experience being a comedian.
I never to be a comedian, as a child. I wanted to be a lawyer because I loved the fact that one person would just make a decision binding on many others. I also wanted to be a pastor because my dad was a deacon in church and I was very close to him. I was the talking type and people thought I would make a good lawyer. My eyes later opened to reality when I stated seeing the reality of the Nigerian econony.
I started as a comedian a long time ago in Jos before relocating to Lagos. Today, comedians are needed everywhere, even at seminars and offical events where you expect everything to be formally done.
I have had a lot of embarrassing moment, on the job. I can recall one of them. It was some years ago when I was asked to come and compere a typical Yoruba wedding. They asked me if I could do it since I am not a Yoruba man and I said a big yes. I couldn’t have rejected the offer t because that weekend, my pocket was very dry. You know that in a typical Yoruba wedding, all items are item one. They sharing food, giving gifts and souvenirs, dancing, acknowledging cheers, all at the same time and I had to still entertain them. The next thing I saw was that one woman just came, dragged the microphone from my hand and took it from me, just like that. I was very embarrassed that day, despite that I already got the money. I no send.
I love my job because it is a happy one. My job is play to me. Whenever I am on stage, I am having fun. We also tend to get recognition from the high-class people. A lot of people would rather want you to come and hang out with them, as a comedian. A lot of things come with my job. During the fuel scarcity, I was on a queue when the manager of the filing station saw me. He just called a staff to get my car from me, drive it to the back of the filing station and fill my tank for me.
You must know that there are some ugly sides of the job. One is that people don’t take you serious when you are serious. They are always expecting you to be active. You must never be dull. You must never be seen frowning, else, they would say you are forming. One day, I was at a galleria to see a movie and the next thing I saw was that a lady just came behind me, spanked me on the head and said “see your head, Shakara, so you sef dey come here?” Another was that I was at an event one day. When I raised my hand to ask a question that really bothers me about my relationship, everyone just shouted me down. Meanwhile, I actually had an issue bothering me.
Making money on my job is all about building your brand. You don’t think comedians make big money as most people think. One thing that makes my own brand different from other brands is simplicity. The brand accommodates all. If I tell you where I hope to be soon, on the job, you will be shocked. You sef go tell me say my dream too big. This is just five years of being in Lagos and another five years would be very big for me. Let me say I would have a been a husband, a father and a bigger brand. In fact, I go don be like rice. You know that everywhere you go, you see rice.
If any of my children decides to be a comedian, very good! Let him or her go ahead. I have met some rich people who asked me to work on their kids who have been displaying skills of potential comedians.