There are jokes I no longer laugh at.
I am at a stage in my life where I am choosy and do not just double over guffawing at lazy jokes. I have a sense of humour and good comedic timing (if I may say so myself) and my biggest weakness is my lack of seriousness. So this is not about someone with a face set in cement that cannot crack a smile.
I was listening to a comedian tell a joke about how women turn desperate for marriage as they leave their 20s, then into their 30s and 40s. He transitioned a single woman from when she is being picky, till she turns born again to find a good man and finally to when any man would just do. The audience were in stitches with laughter. For me, it was one joke too many.
I do not think that the desire of a woman to want to get married and start a family at any point in her life should make her the butt of jokes. I despise men that take advantage of this desire to exploit the women.
Right from when we are young, we women are programmed, primped and primed for the day we will fulfill the ‘singular’ aim of being women which is to get married and put those ovaries to work. Marriage seemed to be the only goal and the earlier the better.
Of all the things women have to contend with, biology is amongst the toughest. Our fertility is timed. A woman in her late 30s that desires to have biological children may have moments of panic if she isn’t married and having children already. Society is worse than biology. Especially our country, Nigeria. A mature single woman no matter her accomplishments becomes sub-woman and the object of pity, disrespect and gossip simply because she is not married. Suddenly even a riffraff that ordinarily would have to sign forms to have an audience with her would disdainfully talk about her single status. And then the worst part is enduring all kinds of speculation “na yanga cause am”, “she played life too much” and if she so much as smiles at a man, he will bolt as though she was proposing marriage to him. Women, decades younger than her, begin to feel like queens and console their lack of ambition with “at least I get husband” and “she fit no born sef”. All these things create an atmosphere that could push even an amazon to settle for some charlatan in a bid to silence all the talk.
And the men that take advantage of the fact that women have an honourable desire to marry are in a class of their own. Why would you date a woman in her 30s for years and not marry her? What do you think she is hanging around for (Unless of course she has no intention of marrying)? Date for a while and move on if it is not working. Do not keep her year after year with a hope that you created and then dash it by marrying a girl a decade younger than her. You may feel like the most wanted Don right now but watch it happen to your daughter and you will see the douche bag that you actually are.
Ladies, place a cap on how long a relationship goes. Do not let any man steal your fertile years just because he said he will marry you. Because fertility is timed, dating should be as well.
Back to the Nigerian comedians, there is a reason why you will never be considered to host “The Late Night show” or “Colbert Report” or “The Tonight show” no matter how much you pray. It is time to put some intelligence into your natural ability to make people laugh. Kill the rape jokes, stammer jokes, old maiden jokes… they will not work beyond the wedding receptions and occasional local shows. Do you watch stand ups around the world? People are actually there researching material and putting together cerebral acts. They are writing for sitcoms, writing for shows like SNL and putting ‘brain’ into their funny to produce blockbusters e.g Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Kevin Hart is so hot, he is a brand. And Trevor Noah, I literally get goose bumps thinking about him. Forget that he is delicious, think of how much of a big deal it is for him to replace THE Jon Stewart. Even the average American comedian can only dream about this. Amy Schumer is hot as well. You cannot turn around without her name being mentioned. She is actually fighting gun control issues. Take my advice, there is a pool of Nigerians on instagram redefining funny. Hire them as writers or collaborate or even just follow them to rejuvenate.
Funny will soon change hands if you don’t (CC: Thefoxhimself, iamkanmi, chiefobi, wowoboyz, Apricanape, Iamdulo, Crazeclown, Skitzo, therealfemi, twyse, klintoncod, westafricanman ogbeni_adan1… search for them on instagram)
Nedu on Wazobia Fm is making waves with his landlord and Nkechi character. Nkechi says practical things in a funny manner. It is so obvious that she does not speak off the cuff. She has a signature opening, a precise pattern and her signature closure. Nkechi is not random, she is a character developed just like the specific characters on SNL. Falz the Bahd guy is cashing in on his natural funny. I like what AY the comedian is doing (even though 30days in Atlanta was plain silly with jokes we have been hearing for ages but apparently a whole lot of you enjoyed it, hian!!!), but AY is far ahead of most of the comedians and I sincerely believe that a decade from now, he will still be relevant with tighter acts. Also, I could listen to a 2hour standup by Ali Baba alone because he balances funny with maturity and intelligence and still has indigenous appeal.
Comedy is so much more than cheap laughs. It can be an effective tool to make cultural statements and fight establishments. Comedy is the perfect cover to irreverently create a stir against oppression. You can make people laugh and think at the same time.