Ghana is gradually registering her name in the book of giant African comedy acts with the introduction of some young but highly creative comedians. TheAfricanDream.net interviews a young but talented Ghanaian comedian who is breaking grounds in the Ghanaian comedy industry, Abdul Waris Umaru, popularly known as Comedian Waris.
Comedian Waris attended Kingsway 3 primary and Junior High school from where he continued his education at Odorgonno Senior High, all in Accra, Ghana’s capital. In 2014, he attended a media school and graduated in 2015 as a radio and TV sound engineer. All this while he was still finding himself and didn’t realize down the line he would make a career of getting others to laugh despite telling the occasional jokes growing up.
Comedian Waris told TheAfricanDream.net that he only became a full-blown professional comedian from 2015. His first major performance was at A&C Mall in East Legon, Accra. It was at a show called ‘Comedy Express‘ which was organized by DKB, another celebrated Ghanaian comedian.
Losing his dad lets the past energize his future
“‘Comedy Express’ is one of the big stages I have performed on in Ghana, but I have also performed on other platforms in other African countries like Nigeria and Togo. Thanks to COVID19 however, I get to go to the United States (US) when I virtually perform at the Ghana Music Awards US edition which kicks off on Saturday, October 10, 2020, in Atlantic City, New Jersey,” an excited Comedian Waris quipped.
The comedian who derives inspiration from his past life told TheAfricanDream.net, “the hard situations I faced in the past with my family gives me the vim and vigor to work harder.” The man who has today carved a stable life for himself with just his talent to make people laugh had a difficult upbringing.
“I lost my dad at age 11 and mom had to single-handedly raise me and my brother by doing menial jobs. Those were indeed hard times and daily survival wasn’t an easy task. One of the ways I got through it all was to find the bright spots in all the difficulty and laugh through it or at myself. So, the fact that I don’t want to go back to where I came from [at least financially] is a big inspiration for me to work harder.“
Going on about his past, Comedian Waris said he also picked up many lessons from it to help make his comic style less hebetudinous in Ghana. “I love to make people laugh but I also try to drop a gem or two in the process because life becomes funny only when we make sense of it,” he eloquently explained.
As the youngest standup comedian who is gaining heights in the Ghanaian and African comedy industry, Comedian Waris told TheAfricanDream.net that the peculiar thing about his art was that he explores other mediums of the creative arts like acting, scriptwriting and that lets him create more original contents for comedy skits.
He added that this makes him different from other Ghanaian standup comedians who have not ventured into those areas. His contents are also centered on everyday life. His fluency also makes him stand out among others. He recounted ‘I have performed virtually on U.S.A and London shows during the COVID-19 season with fluency and the reliance on audience presence’
“For now I want to be the best me I can be first”
Like most creatives, Comedian Waris also faced difficulties before he was accepted as a comedian even by his family and before breaking through the Ghana comedy industry. The hardest moment in his journey to stardom was when his mother first got to know that his son whom she had wished to become probably an engineer, was now doing comedy.
Comedian Waris says “she didn’t accept it easily, she wanted me to quit and pursue other jobs and it was the hardest point of my career, I had to push harder for my mother to know how dedicated I was to this cause. She finally accepted my career. Now she laughs and feels proud when people call to tell her how excellent I performed on shows.“
“Today I’ve been blessed to have shared the stage with some big names in the African comedy industry like Basketmouth of Nigeria, Funnybone, Akpororo, OB Amponsah, Mphopops, Salvador, and among others Ghana’s Clemento Suarez, and mama is proud of her boy,” the funnyman said.
When TheAfricanDream.net asked whom he would love to work with, the man whom Ghanaians call the most creative comedian mentioned names amidst shy smiles when he said “I am looking forward to working with South Africa’s Trevor Noah, and Americans like Jammie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ghanaian-America Micheal Blankson. Maybe if I work harder folks behind me will in the future want to be like me, but for now, I want to be the best me I can be first.“
The Comedian Waris philosophy
He believes an artist should always try to attain higher heights in their respective crafts, and he has no doubt working with such top guns will mean so much to him as a comedian, but to finally make a mark in worldwide comedy, he will spend every day working to better himself, because “the minute you become complacent, the next new kid on the blog will relegate you.”
“I believe people who commit themselves to comedy must be ready to put people out of stress and depression, including themselves” Comedian Waris declared. He said people should expect new and entertaining materials on and off stage that will educate, inform, and entertain them and also relieve them of their stress and depressions of life while teaching great life lessons.
When called upon to share tips with emerging comedians, he poetically left TheAfricanDream with the saying “do your madness till it becomes everyone’s favorite madness, that brings out the real you in style, but you must believe in it and always upgrade — always.”
You can release stress too by following Comedian Waris’ respective social media portals like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube where he is Comedianwaris.
Written by Oral Ofori