ENTERTAINERS SHOULD GO FOR HIV TEST EVERY MONTH – GANDOKI
News! The Law Students of Lagos State University, LASU, recently, crowned Gandoki, the Most Outstanding Comedian of The Year 2006, and that is because of his reality jokes…
More News… Gandoki is wrapping up plans for his show, The Best of Gandoki; Live & Raw.
The event would be handled by Phase 2 Entertainment and according to the tough talking comedian, “I will use the gate takings to help the African Child, and to support Motherless Babies, and The Less privileged.”
The October edition will take place in London but now the stand up comedian's eyes are on February 11, for a show “I'll have less comedian in action and more of me.”
Much more news... On the rise of standup comedian, Gandoki has urged all Nigerian entertainers to imbibe the voluntary habit of going for HIV/AIDS test every month to ascertain their HIV status. “This is because most artists are loose when it comes to girls, and it is just a “good thing for us to do the test every month. I do it every month…”
His name is Tony Mofe-Ereku, we call him Gandoki, and this is his interview…
What is this Kidney failure and Chain Smoking talk about you?
Whereever they got that from, I don't know. I am hale and hearty. I do medical check-up every month and my doctor has not told me that. But I don't want to join issues with anybody who is trying to make a living by spreading false rumors about me.
I am a respected comedian, if my lifestyle is as they say it, I don't think I will be where I am today. I am not bothered because many more people still see me as a role model. They don't see me as a chain smoker or as someone that has kidney problems. That makes me happy. One day, I will say this rumour in a joke and even the rumor mongers will laugh to it.
Is there anything like a hit joke for you?
I don't really have a hit joke that is why I am selling out my jokes. I am not boasting, it's a natural talent, but I found out that most people are using my jokes. So I decided to sell the jokes that is why I brought in the best of Gandoki, selling even up till now, so I am bringing out volumes three and four. When I sell out those jokes, I don't say it again. So I prefer selling them. What I am doing, I don't think any other comedian can do it, if they can do it, let them come out and sell their jokes.
I have discovered that most comedians are repeating themselves. We want to show them that not all of them are repeating themselves. There are some that have never repeated themselves before. But we are all in the system, we are all struggling together, we respect ourselves a lot. But I prefer climbing stage, talk anything I see, I talk reality, I don't really cram my jokes before I deliver them. That is me, so I can pick my hit joke.
Whack comedians are giving way
It is very easy to get to the top, but when you get there the task there is very, very high, so when you can't handle the task, people will see you repeating yourself. That's the problem most of the comedians experience when we get to the top. So it is better you switch as a full time MC, so most of them now they are switching over.
And if you watch the stand up comedians, now, they are shifting; most of them record music now. They say their jokes with music now. When they switch, they will now leave space for those that can say the jokes. And that will make room for others to come out and shine.
MC is very easy, they give you the programme and you go through it, but Stand Up is the most difficult aspect you can ever think of. It is not easy to make somebody laugh…
Why do you charge so much for your shows?
I will give an example. My show that came up on February 11 at the Muson Centre, and that place cannot contain 2000 people. If I collect N500 it won't cover the cost of organizing the show. And if you say the gate fee is N500, 'big men' will not come. So we prefer to call those 'big men' collect the money, and put it on CD for those who can't afford N2500 and above for a show. Then if you do free shows in Lagos, you are inviting Area Boys.
Do you think if you ever contest for a political post people will ever take you serious?
Why not? One day I will rule my people. And they will take me serious. I can come out as far as I have good plans to change things. Even our politicians are comedians. What they are doing now will make you laugh.
My kind of jokes
My jokes educate people. It educates the family that is why most of my fans are married women and kids. Kids understand my jokes. They call me, and say Gandoki I love you. And when they call me like that I like it, and appreciate it because they are the future leaders. That means for the next twenty years, I will still be relevant.
Monthly HIV test is good
As an entertainer at least every month you have to go for HIV test. It is good. Every month I do go for test because most entertainers are loose when it comes to girls. And Aids is real. So I will advice all entertainers, not just comedians to make it priority every month to go for HIV test to know their status.
So you went for a test last month?
And the result was…?
Negative. Next month again I will go for another test. I do that every month. That will keep you moving. So you have to be watchful because it will be very, very bad and disastrous if one of us is HIV positive. It won't do well to the image of entertainment in Nigeria. I am not trying to be discriminatory here; those that are living with HIV need our love and care. Entertainers should be the ones caring for those living with HIV, not the other way round.