View Full Version : Kojo, The King of UK Black Comedy

8th October 2010, 03:02 PM
Kojo Akoto has gradually emerged as one of the biggest talents to come out of the UK black comedy circuit. The London-born Ghanian comedian came onto the comedy scene some seven years ago and has since left an impressive imprint on the business.

He schooled at The Comedy School in UK where he learnt to perfect the art of stage performance as well as the different aspects of comedy. He performed at his first ever show at Middlesex University just after two months on the course and became an instant hit with the crowd. In 2005, Kojo performed his first one-man-show entitled “The Truth Hurts” at the Catford Theatre and it was a complete sell out. He steadily became a household name among comedy lovers and is now the toast of many comic performances, radio and TV programmes; music events and concerts.

Kojo has worked on BBC radio and TV, MTV and Channel U. His credits include: “Malai Presents”; “Malai Monologue”; “No Bling Comedy”; “Raymond is Late” among many others. He has received several awards in the UK including The Black Entertainment Comedy Awards for: “Best Newcomer” 2001, “Best Male Comedian” 2005 and 2006. He also has a Young Achievement Award from GPA Awards 2005. Kojo recently had his first ever comic performance in Ghana where Jamati caught up with him for this interview.

When did you start doing comedy?
I started in 2000 and basically, it has been going very well. I have been all over the world; I have been in L.A, Atlanta, Miami, and New York. I have been to Nigeria, Holland, Germany, and Italy.

Were you born in Ghana?
No I was born in London.

Why did you choose to do comedy?
I was in America, working with some kids as a teacher. We used to write plays for the kids to perform and my plays always had jokes in them. At a point, I saw Martin Lawrence doing comedy and I said to myself that I could do it, because I have always been confident talking in front of people. In 2000, I went to a drama school that was based on stand-up comedy; did my first show and the rest is history.

That was in the Comedy School?
Yes, it is based in the UK and was founded by fellow comedian, Rudi Lickwood and a guy called Keith Palmer. Basically, it is a drama school that teaches you about acting, comedy and everything else. It is pretty cool.

You learnt drama, comedy and acting. Why did you branch more into stand-up?
At the end of the course, that was where it got to. I never wanted to be a comedian; I never knew anything about it. It was just something I saw and I knew how to do it. So basically that’s it, and I have been travelling all over the world, performing.

You must be enjoying it
Oh yea!

When did you get your lucky break as a comedian?
I am not really sure. I am from Hackney, in East London and we have a theatre there as big as the Apollo in New York, called the Hackney Empire. So I think the first time I performed there was my biggest break. There were about 1,500 people there and even though I only performed for about 5 minutes, I blew the house up that day. And from that day, my name has been getting around and I started performing at several events. So I’d say my first break was at Hackney Empire.

What was your first performance like?
It was really good. I was crazily nervous but I had been practising at the drama school for two months so I was able to handle it. To me, I was bored because I was writing the same jokes over and over again and they kept telling me to write the same jokes over and over at the school. I was getting frustrated because I was saying to myself, why do they keep telling me to do the same jokes? But when I performed it for the first time to a fresh audience, they were laughing and enjoying it. I looked confident, because I knew it backwards. So I think that discipline of repeating and repeating it allowed me to get more comfortable.

You have won a couple of awards down the years. How does that make you feel?
Basically, I have won four awards; I have won “Young Achievement Award” at the 2003 Ghana Professionals Awards organised by the Ghana Association in London. I won best newcomer in my first year doing comedy, 2001. And I have won Best Comedian for the last two years. So it’s gone pretty well and I am really pleased about it.

What else do you do aside stand-up?
In seven years, I have worked for the BBC Radio and I have had two shows on BBC television. I am currently doing a show on MTV in London as well, and that is basically a comedy show based on improvisation and other sketches. I also have a comedy club in London which is on every Sunday, and it is the only black comedy club in the UK. We find new talents and I host.

You also had a program on CBBC.
Yes it was a Saturday children’s programme but we have finished that now and we are currently working on the MTV project at the moment. It was called the “Mighty Truck of Stuff” and it was basically a kid’s show I hosted with another Ghanaian guy called Reggie Yates. It was a big truck that we spent the whole week filling with prizes and then on Saturday, the kids would call in and we would ask questions based on the show that day. There would be three callers and the lucky one gets all the stuff that we put in the truck.

Why did you take so long before performing in your home country Ghana?
I guess I was waiting to be invited I. I have been to Nigeria and it doesn’t make sense to go to Nigeria and not come to my own country. Now was the right time because I was available as well. At other times, I wasn’t available due to filming and doing other shows. I am happy that I finally did, it was a great show.

How different was the Ghanaian audience?
I didn’t know what to expect and I think that was the best because if I expected something then it would make it either easier or harder. But I think not knowing, being thrown in the deep end is how to get the best out of me. I adapted to the situation and they enjoyed the show like any other audience I have had anywhere in the world. I thought that I may go in there and maybe they would not understand or they may think I was talking too fast but I easily adapted. I like performing to new and different audiences because it makes my jokes fresh.

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
8th October 2010, 03:10 PM

8th October 2010, 03:24 PM
lol funny. now i see why you put the link instead of the embed. Kojo is cool

8th October 2010, 04:49 PM
This guy is good. He should come make a name in the USA.

8th October 2010, 07:38 PM

funny dude