By Tony Ogaga & Amarachi Nwachukwu
Godwin Komone also known as Gordons has come a long way. Starting out as a musician, he rose to become a household name in Nigerian comedy.
In this chat, the Delta State University graduate of Integrated Science opens up on his childhood, career and saddest moments as a comedian.
You started with DC Envoys, a music group and you were able to move from music to comedy seamlessly. How did you pull it off?
Definitely, there is no human being born with one talent. God has blessed everyone with more than one talent. I can sing, do comedy and a couple of other things that I have not displayed yet. But when I was doing music, I was also doing music comedy. What I did was to filter the comedy from the music and have both running concurrently. I discovered that comedy took the better part of me, so I stuck with it. I can’t do two things at the same time. So, for now, I am concentrating on comedy. If God says go back to music, I will.
What is that thing about Warri comedy that Nigerians can’t get over?
If you go to the east, God has blessed them with the spirit of entrepreneurship. If you go to the west, God has given them the spirit of education; Yoruba are very knowledgeable. If you go to the south south, Warri to be precise, God has given us gifts, abilities and talents. Comedy is very unique and our Pidgin English is very attractive and dynamic. The thing is in the water we drink and the environment we live in, and God has blessed us with that abundantly. Warri has become a hub for entertainment generally. It is an oasis where talents are nurtured and brought to Lagos for refinement. As a Warri boy, the things you go through will make you naturally funny (laughter).
How has Ali Baba, the godfather of Nigerian comedy, influenced you?
Ali Baba is the grand patron of Nigerian comedy; he is our father and the ‘Pope’ of comedy in Nigeria. He gave many people a platform that put food on the tables. He came on board when Warri comedy was nothing and today, he has redefined and recreated comedy. Ali Baba did not fade but took comedy and developed it, and today we are all enjoying comedy. I am grateful to him and to God.
What are the lessons you have learnt from him?
Humility. If Ali Baba comes here you will never know he is the same Ali Baba that everyone is talking about. He is very humble, and humility promotes the individual. Ali Baba was on stage six hours straight; he is awesome! To whom much is given, much is expected. When you make yourself a river, things will flow out of you.
What’s the greatest decision you ever took?
It’s leaving my wife and kids to come and hustle in Lagos. On a normal day, no woman will agree to that. But then she saw my dream, vision and goal, and she was supportive.
I don’t regret the decision. Today, I am a household name, which might not have been possible if I didn’t make a move then. I came, I saw and I conquered, and I am still conquering
Let’s go back to your childhood years, what was growing up like?
I don’t know how my childhood was; I just discovered that I grew up living in a large family, a polygamous family. I was the first child; which was challenging. Everybody looks up to you as a messiah when they don’t know you are looking for a messiah yourself.
How many kids do you have?
Four kids, and I will like to have more.
What will you say has been your saddest moment in comedy?
I did a show at Nicon Hilton (Hotel) where ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and everybody were gathered, and I cracked a joke about electricity. I was embarrassed because in this country, they don’t want you to say the truth, but I am a comedian, I won’t shut up! I am a social commentator and I have gone beyond cracking mere jokes.
Were you thrown out of the stage?
No, I was asked to drop the microphone; and SSS men escorted me to my hotel room. But I am here today doing my thing…
How do you cope with female attention?
When you see women hanging around you, it is a sign that you are doing well; women don’t hang around failure. Some of these women come to you because you are a star. But I don’t want anybody dampening my star, so I deal with them intelligently because they are fans. As an entertainer, we need fans.
With all the ladies chasing Gordons, is your wife not jealous?
As an entertainer, you should educate your wife. I told my wife ‘don’t ever go to my phone because you would see what will break your heart. Just trust me because I do a job that is slippery, if I am not looking for them, they are looking for me. It is the nature of the job’.
Number two, ‘if my phone rings, give it to me, let me answer it’. We don’t go through each other’s phones. It is a line that we don’t cross. I also educated my wife that ‘whenever you see my pictures on instagram, it is nothing; this is all to make sure that there is food on the table. The only time when you will get alarmed is if you hear I am getting married to someone else’.
For how many years did you date her?
I dated her for seven years.
Was it love at first sight?
It wasn’t. If it were love at first sight we would have broken up at sight (laughter). We were in the same department at DELSU (Delta State University) studying Integrated Science. She was always coming to me for assignments and all those stuff; I was really brilliant back in school (laughter).
As a successful comedian, could you give us five success tips in comedy?
The five tips to success in comedy are number one, creativity. Number two, originality. You got to have your own niche and be recognised. Number three is to be spontaneous, which means as a comedian, you should be able to convert anything into laughter. Number four, you got to be humble and witty because comedy is wisdom, and number five, you should not forget the God factor. No man can do anything unless God is with him. So, even if you are creative and spontaneous, you should not forget the God factor.