Harriet Tubman once said, ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer’’.These words in marble quoted above fits perfectly to the aspirations of the budding comedian in Osogbo- the ‘Pentigor’
The TheinterviewsNigeria in its roving beat in search of talented youths, caught up with a group of young talents, pseudo-named ‘’Pentigor College Connection’’ rehearsing at their corridor home in Agunbelewo=Okinni area, Osogbo, State of Osun which temporarily chosen as their location.
A simple introduction of one another was made and phone numbers exchanged and subsequent invitation to a chat with them in our office. The arrangement took about three weeks of on and off until last week when they finally surfaced for audition and interview.
In this impressive interview conducted with the’’Pentigor’’, the head of the group, Master Erinfolami Abiodun,22 years old, a Senior Secondary School student of Osogbo Grammar School, Osun State bares his mind on how the journey of becoming a comedian came as hunch three years ago in the company of others- Oguntoye Tunde,18, Hammad Sodiq Abayomi-18, Abdulahi Erinfolami, 17, and Niyi Posh,18. Excerps:
TIN- Can we meet you young man?
PENTIGOR- My name is Erinfolami Abdul Qawiyu Abiodun. I’m from Ilobu, Osun State, born 22 years ago.
TIN- Why Comedy? Why have you chosen comedy as your pastime?
PENTIGOR- Comedy is in my blood, so also every member of our group. We sing and breathe comedy. This is the talent God has given us and we realized this about three years ago when we made people laughed and made them rolled on the floor in our environments. People were giving us attention anytime we engage them in undiluted jokes which thereafter the elders and youths in our environments began to see us as ‘jesters’ and encouraging us to keep it up.
TIN- As comedians, you are still in college with a load of academic work; don’t you think you are biting off more than you can chew because combining comedy with your academics can be distractive?
PENTIGOR- Yes, we know that it may be distractive to an unwilling and unfocused mind. Where there is a will, people say, there is way’’. The younger comedian, Emmanuela started young and she has risen to stardom.We are focused and we don’t joke with our studies which we have taken as our priority without prejudice to comedy. We rehearse and perform at weekends and hate wasting our productive hours.
TIN- What about your parents? Are they in support of what you are doing?
PENTIGOR-Our parents are okay with our chosen career. All they do is counseling us to be up and doing in our studies in School. Their usual slogan is’’ be prayerful and focused on your studies which will help you in your comedy in future’’.
TIN- You mentioned ‘’our chosen career’’, so you have made up your mind to be a professional comedian? Are you thinking of studying Theatre Arts in the University after your secondary school education?
PENTIGOR-Yes. We have chosen comedy as our career and we are going for it in the university. Even if we read another course in the university, we shall still be involved in comedy. We have seen many examples of medical doctors becoming another thing after graduating from the university. Funke Akindele of JENIFER fame is a lawyer by profession so also Dr. Seed, becoming a musician after graduation, We have the talents and we don’t want to waste them.
TIN-Many people with talents of your type go into their chosen fields with the primary motive of making quick money. What is your opinion about this?
PENTIGOR- Making money is good but we are not in a hurry to make money. For instance, at times, we perform for people in our environments for free. We are in comedy to showcase our talents. We want people to know that comedy is life. Comedy reduces tensions of life and discourages people from reckless living. With our determination to succeed, by God’s grace, we would make our money legitimately.
TIN-Which type of comedy do you make?
PENTIGOR-We are youths and we understand the chemistry of our country. Our country is saturated with all kinds of challenges, ups and downs. We make a comedy to correct what is not good in our immediate environment and the nation at large. We also praise whoever is doing good in our society for people to emulate. We want to see the end to Boko –Haram insurgency, kidnapping, laziness among the youths, herdsmen palaver with our farmers, the economy, and of course politics. We try to offer likely solutions in a comic way. We are into comedy of manners like that of the late icon Baba Sala-Awada-Kerikeri, Jacob and Aderupoko-Papilolo, and a host of others living or dead.
TIN- Are you noticed in your school as comedians?
PENTIGOR-We make our classmates laugh when the occasion warrants it. There is no dull moments when at school’s break and they commend us for our jokes.
TIN-Huge Miller, once said,’’ Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them’’.What are your problems or challenges on this journey of destiny?
PENTIGOR- We are students and youths. We depend sorely now on meager pocket money from our parents or any gift from our uncles, elder brothers and sisters, and well-wishers but all these are not adequate for us. So finance is the number one challenge. We also need to buy some equipment to make the business productive. We need a professional camera and Microphones. Most importantly, we are soliciting patronage from people for shows. We also want the support of philanthropists who can sponsor us in our chosen career. We will not disappoint them.
TIN-What are your future plans in this group?
PENTIGOR-We hope to become one of the leading comedians in Nigeria in the like of Ali-Baba, Basket- Mouth, Late Baba-Sala-Awada-Kerikeri, and of course work harder to be like the international comedians like Charlie Chaplin and Mr. Bean among others.
TIN-What advice can you give to your mates that are gifted but strangely diverting their God-given talents to crimes?
PENTIGOR- Our advice to them is that crime does not pay. They should use their talents well. If they cannot be in comedy, should look for a viable and legitimate vocation that is dignified directed towards improving themselves, their families, society, and the nation. ‘An idle hand is the devil’s workshop, goes an adage’’.
TIN-We need abounding faith that will cut all the t’s off, all the ‘’can’ts’’ off, and make them into ‘’cans’’. Do you agree with me?
PENTIGOR- Yes. We should not allow discouragement to come in.
TIN- Thank you Abiodun. Wishing Your group Pentigor the best of luck
PENTIGOR-You are welcome Sir. Thank you very much for granting us the audience.