Interview: Short Form Comedy in Africa
I basically choose topics more so in past experiences or in the situation at that particular time. I like to observe and watch how people mingle day in day out therefore in the long run, I extract some information or ideas from their mingling.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22, 2020/-- This beautiful Friday we get the perspective of an aspiring comedian who is carving out a niche for himself in the African Short Comedy Scene. An observation comic who is keen on his material, Barry Oscar takes us through his process among other issues.
Let Kikao begin...
[Question 1] Welcome to Kikao. Oscar, introduce yourself.
My name is Barry Oscar, studying Land Resource Planning and Management at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) main campus. Third Year to be precise. I am also an entertainer and a digital content creator.
[Question 2] Most African creatives have leveraged on the internet to build their careers; in dramatic work such as comedy, short form has been the preferred way to build an audience. Give us your perspective on this.
I think this is a great step made by online platforms in providing a vast area where people can showcase their talents that range from a wide array not only in comedy. The internet has a great advantage that enables the world to become smaller and at least it also enables one to build a career out of it. We have noticed that during this pandemic, a larger percentage depend on the internet to communicate and make a living.
[Question 3] Soliciting for Laughs. Is it worthwhile?
I would say yes. But to me I don't value the money so much. I just love to entertain and get to see people smile upon watching my videos. That's what makes me happy, although making money is an aspect. The passion for the craft is so high.
[Question 4] Take us through the process of long hours of filming and editing for an entertaining few minutes clip.
First of all, the whole process needs psyche. You cannot just shoot a clip and yet you ain't in the mood. I normally scribble some few lines, not exactly a script, but an idea that I can execute. Then before shooting, I randomly start to sing and picture how funny the clip is going to be. Then I start shooting. After shooting, the editing takes time. I usually do them late at night because it needs concentration in the whole process.
[Question 5] What have been the ups and downs of integrating social media in your work?
Obstacles are always there in every path that one follows. So before I started this craft, I was already prepared for such obstacles. Some of the obstacles that I have experienced so far is the internet failure. A wide range of my audience basically complain about the high charges rate of the internet in Kenya, therefore this may reduce the ability of my skits to reach a wider audience.
[Question 6] You have a touch on ordinary life. How do you pick topics and what are your no-go-zone?
I basically choose topics more so in past experiences or in the situation at that particular time. I like to observe and watch how people mingle day in day out therefore in the long run, I extract some information or ideas from their mingling. The no-go-zones include the descrimination, tribalism, gender discrimation and many other negative issues.
[Question 7] Is this a stepping stone to something big in the future?
Of course, everyone should have a vision in everything that they indulge in. I just started this skits on October last year and I can notice the rise and the steps that I have taken, to which I can say that they are incredible. Building a brand is my top most goal.
The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for Barry Oscar – of Barry Oscar
Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of Barry Oscar