Two things appear to be currently happening to the career of ace Nigerian comedian, Afamefuna Igwemba, popularly known as Klint da Drunk.
At a time when many comedians are flaunting jet-set lifestyles and living large, the funny man whose unique style of comedy earned him the affection of many Nigerians appears somewhat quiet. Little wonder, some of his fans felt if he had silently left the scene.
Secondly, a recent scandal involving the comedian and an Abuja-based church that had contracted him to perform in one of its programmes became an issue after he was accused of failing to show up.
In the face of it all, Klint remains calm and unfazed. He however says, “Everything that was written about the incident is false and yes there was a show that was held that I didn’t show up at all.”
He became popular after performing at the 2000 edition of Opa William’s Nite of a Thousand Laffs in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, admits he was invited to perform at a church programme by one-time Nollywood actor-turned pastor, Larry Koldsweat. He says it was scheduled to take place on March 23, 2014.
“Upon confirmation that the event was to take place on April 23, I put it down in my calendar. My initial arrangement was to arrive in Abuja a day before if I had no prior engagement. But I was later called upon by another actor, Diewait Ikpechukwu, for a golfers event holding in Owerri, Imo State, on March 22.
“I booked my flight to Owerri for March 22, Owerri to Abuja on the morning of March 23 and then Abuja back to Lagos on the 24. But the organisers texted me to come down to Abuja on the 22nd promising to pay for my flight and other exigencies. I told them I would try my best,” he explains.
Although he was unable to meet up with the event in Abuja on the newly proposed date, Klint says, he has since reached a resolution with the organisers.
“Contrary to reports making the rounds that I was paid N250, 000, I was paid N200,000, and it was an upfront fee . All comedians can attest that churches don’t pay that much but we do it for God, not church. I kept quiet because it is not moral to fight a church.”
The Institute of Management and technology, Enugu State, Fine and Applied Arts graduate says he is not pleased with some remarks alleged to have been made by his fellow comedians.
“Now they say I would have gone far in my career if not for my love for computer games. It is this same set of comedians that went around telling people that I live in Abuja so that I will not be getting Lagos shows.
“My colleagues want to run me down, let them feel free. It is because they are afraid of me; they feel that if they run me down I won’t survive it. I am a gadget lover, that is the truth. Everyone knows that whenever I walk into a gadget shop the people there want me to educate them about some of their gadgets. Isn’t it better that I am a sucker for video games than a sucker for smoking igbo marijuana?” he asks.
Noting that his continued relevance remains a threat to most of his colleagues, Klint says he has chosen to focus on moving his career to the next level.
On his relationship with other comedians, he explains that he is open minded and a friend to all.
But he adds, “They have cliques but that does not bother me because it doesn’t affect my career. God still chases away flies for a tailless cow. So, I am not complaining.
“There are times when things are slow and other times when they are good. It is like that for all the so-called cliques because some times they don’t even see shows. I love and respect God to the extent that I put my career in His hands and He has not disappointed me.”
After his musical prowess came to the fore when he sang the hook on Mr Raw’s hit track, Obodo , some years back, the comedian says he still intends to explore many options music-wise.
“I am proud to say I was part of the pioneers singing in native languages. I will do something musical soon but I don’t want to be compared to all musicians. Though my material will be related to music I am not coming to compete with Davido and Wizkid,’ he says laughing.
On the future of comedy in Nigeria, the soft-spoken comedian has just one desire. “I wish we had more original comedians. Just the way you have live band musicians who play the songs better than the original artistes themselves we also have some comedians who tell other people’s jokes better than the owners themselves.”