It took some time to light the fire.
Billed to commence at 7pm on the evening of March 10, Bovi Ugbomah’s one-man comedy show, ‘Man on fire’ did not start until at least two hours later. He mumbled a semblance of an apology, insisting he was primed and ready to go but had to delay because guests did not arrive early. It was no joke. While the regular seats were filling up considerably at the scheduled time, the exclusive-and expensive tables section was mostly a blank slate as the VIP took their sweet time arriving. Of course this is Nigeria. Everyone waits for the VIPs.
Banky W sauntered in just as Bovi was opening and paid the price for it. He instantly found himself at the receiving end of Bovi’s false wrath and for what must be the umpteenth time had to smile through those pesky head jokes. By the time Mr W had settled down though, the Expo centre was in near full capacity. The man was in business.
The humdrum opening music acts were quickly dispatched off and Basket Mouth kicked off proceedings with a stellar opening monologue that saw him dressed in an outfit similar (albeit better-fitting) to actor Jim Iyke’s at the AMVCAs the night before . He tastefully kept it brief though and brought on musical guests Eva Alordiah (luke warm)and Chydnma who gave a confident rendition of Alicia Key’s ‘Girl on fire’, substituting ‘’This man is on fire’’ generously.
The big guy came on and it was roughly an hour of side-splitting humor. All was forgiven as Bovi proved himself every bit a superstar worthy of headlining his own gigs. The jokes came in torrents, the laughter followed generously. Nothing was sacred as he took on usual punch bags like 2face Idibia and President Jonathan, zeroed in on Darey Art Alade and the Kim Kardashian hosting debacle and had a lot of fun turning a game Basket mouth to his errand boy. There were jokes on dumb boyfriends, errant girlfriends and hapless losers. Some of his material (the joke on last year’s Colorado massacre in the U.S) bordered on the edge of bad taste but name one successful comedian who played it safe. Bovi pulled it all off, and effortlessly it seemed. The time flew by so fast, he wasn’t on stage long enough.
The second part of the show felt like a separate music concert as he brought out guest after guest for a lively party. Seyi Shey was a scantily-clad vision, shaking and whining to the pulsating beats of ‘No Lele’, Phyno stomped his way through ‘Shut down’ before being joined by a seemingly plastered Olamide for their rousing ‘Ghost mode’. M.I delivered a couple of favourites and promised new music soonest. With his endless bag of hit singles, you really cannot go wrong with a Wizkid performance and his closing act was a huge hit with the audience.
Comedy is a big big deal and Bovi received his baptism of fire on the way to being ushered into the big leagues. He emerged red hot and burning bright. Watch him burn.