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EXCLUSIVE: There Are No Cabals In Comedy Industry—Koffi

Source: Nathan Nathaniel Ekpo/Nigeriafilms.com
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One of Nigeria's most versatile comedians, Koffi Idowu Nuel, is not in anytime soon ready to give up on entertainment neither is he planning on venturing into other business. Rather, Koffi is making serious preparations to spread his tentacles in the entertainment industry with the introduction of his magazine programme which will soon hit the airwaves anytime soon.

The comedian was held to several hours by Nollywoodgists.com amidst his busy schedule and he tried to explain some of his works and the things that needs to be done in the entertainment industry to help make it grow.

So, what has comedian Koffi been up to?

Up to work as usual. Set to release my new album on May 15th, Been on set my new TV sitcom Pidgin Street which will be hitting the airwaves by July. My annual comedy event, 'Koffi OUTofCoNTroL' is also set for Nov.8 at Muson. Plans are underway for a new movie as well since The Nanny got awarded best comedy movie of the year in 2013 we decided to chill for a bit. Comedy sketch/Magazine programme 'FunnyMoments with Koffi'Tha guru' also will be airing soon.

Truly you have been busy. Don't you think all this will affect other schedules? I mean how will you be able to balance your time?

None interferes with the other. Album drops in may, sitcom premieres july, movie shoot is August, show is November. Music video shoots are in April and June. I run a production company, 'workerman' entertainment. So it goes beyond the koffi brand as a comedian, the company and my team (splufikteam) run a lot of activations. My staff work like everyone else resumes to their offices daily. So different departments handle different projects. It also helps me keep the brand alive. Rather than get stuck with a prototype brand identity. I am known as Nigeria's most versatile entertainer so why dull my fans and audience.

OK, what is your take about the rising of many people coming into comedy; do you think many of them deserve to be called comedians?

Not so many are talented enough to carry that tag but as it is every blooming profession attracts quacks. That's the dilemma we are facing right now coupled with the rate of unemployment in the country young people will always look for a way out. Better this than armed robbery or thuggery anyway.

With the entertainment industry now accommodating everyone, what do you thing the government can do to help the industry better?

The government doesn't need to help entertainment; its entertainment that can help the government alleviate the burden of unemployment in the country, government just needs to see what they are losing out on. Without government Nigerian entertainment came this far, got global. It is government that is losing. They should bring in distribution structures and legit means for entertainers to get revenue for their hard work and in the process get their own commissions, tax etc. If government fails to see the power and push and take advantage like America revolutionised the world through Television and hip hop then entertainers will just continuously barrage our public space with junk and juice.

President Jonathan did come up with an idea that the entertainment Industry will be merged with ministry of culture and tourism, do you support the idea and why?

Someone advised him wrongly.

How do you mean because it was a sudden suggestion by Sir Victor Uwaifo?

Culture is too huge to even be considered as sharing functions. These mergers are the reason some ministries don't function properly. Entertainment is huge, very huge. If you look into the different spheres of entertainment, then disciplines within that sphere, then genres you will realise that it needs not be merged. More so, even if merged what precisely would they be doing with entertainment. What are the principles in place? What is their modus operandi? What do they plan to achieve. What is the immediate and long term goal? For a ministry of entertainment to even work you first have to empower the present practitioners, then initiate an academic angle to it. Nollywood is churning out junk movies because there's no curriculum vitae in any higher institution that encourages any young person to go to school and study script writing. There's no school offering disc jockeying, there's no citadel where you learn music video directing. Until there's structure entertainment will stay the same

What is your stand about comedians always trying jibes at some audience rather than entertain them?

Only a lazy comedian will do that. I totally snub the habit. It's quite unhealthy to the trade.

Are you saying you have never thrown jibes at any of your audience or high profile personality?

No I don't. I even ignore hecklers who throw jibes just to get attention. It's not my flow and pattern. I go with a purpose to serve at functions not to inconvenience my client.
Fine, you said Nollywood chunk out junks, who should be blamed because they give it what people

want to see and money needs to be made because of the high rate of piracy?

No Sir. People see what you continuously make available to them to see. Nollywood is not making what everyone wants to see. People love quality but in the process of managing costs most churn out junk, my complain is not in picture quality rather the content and writing. If you say that junk is what people want to see how come the cinemas are full when furious 7 premieres yet Nigerian movies don't sell out. 30 days in Atlanta sold out without compromising on quality. Which means some elements in their die hard greedy and make money quick schemes are not ready to sacrifice and take the necessary steps for a movie to be done properly. Once there's structure and learned people are the helms of affairs such people will withdraw into the background for progress to take the front seat

Have you ever been embarrassed on stage and how did you manage the situation?

Never, and I pray not to be thus embarrassed.

What is your take about the electoral process of the country and which party did you canvass for?
Am not involved in nor discuss politics. It adds no value to my brand.

But entertainers have been showing support for one party or the other, which means their account, is being credited and you are not among?

And how do you think a brand should be, driven by political exploits or integrity. I don't believe in parties rather individuals. I supported Buhari and Osinbajo all the way but didn't mean I should move into camp with them. Most of those entertainers right now cannot buy back their pedigree and integrity from a disappointed fan base.

Would you say entertainment has gotten you to where you actually want to be an aside entertainment, what other line of business are you working on?

Entertainment is a job I do as an entertainer just like an average person does their work. I feel fulfilled with all I do. Till date I have produced 3 movies. Released 10 music albums. Hosted my annual comedy shows for 6 years. Travelled in the line of duty. Met people. Impacted in lives. Inspired a generation. Nothing more brings me joy above these exploits. I don't do any other thing but entertain.

You are rarely seen gracing other comedians show, would you say there are cabals in entertainment too. Like Basketmouth show, AY Live and few others, why?

If invited I am. Was on all of AY's shows for his first 3 editions. This does not have cabal implications. Close affiliations naturally carry into professional outlook. Basketmouth is closer to Bovi and Buchi so most naturally he would work closely with them more. Same with myself and Owen Gee and others. We all collaborate with one another at one point or the other.

We know that entertainment varies but you are popular with comedy why the choice of music?

Brand extension. I have always done music alongside my humour. 10th album drops in May. It's my other medium of expression not choice. Value added to reach my fans farther than comedy can reach.