One name that comes up when we talk about comedy in Ghana is Bishop Bob Okala. His real name is Samuel Kwadwo Boaben.
Speaking exclusively to Entertainment Today, Bishop Bob Okala, who is noted for his sense of humour, minced no words in asserting that he is the Father of Comedy in Ghana.
Who is Bishop Bob Okala?
Bishop Bob Okala is an actor and a comedian.
How did you come by the name Bishop Bob Okala?
I was once a football player and a goalkeeper as well. I was given the name Bishop when I stopped my team from going for ‘charm and using it against our opponent. Instead I urged my team at the time to pray to the Almighty God for victory. And from that day onwards anytime we come onto the field to play football my colleague players would say: “Bishop pray for us.”
But for Okala, I took the name after the then popular and fantastic Nigerian goalkeeper, Emmnuel Okala because I was equally as good as him.
Why did you choose comedy as your career?
As I said earlier, I was actively playing football but things changed after I got seriously injured in my ribs which situation compelled me to stop playing football.
I stayed afterwards with my Aunty (Aunty Afua) and fortunately for me, there was this group called; “Kusum Agoromma” a drama group who organises rehearsals towards the a concert party show in Dzorwulu in Accra.
After watching them rehearse for some time, I became motivated and joined them.
In 1990, I started performing for the Key Soap Concert Party. My outstanding performances encouraged Senior Eddy Donkor and Obuoba J.A. Adofo who included me in their group. With this new we performed at the National Theatre. And that is how I entered into comedy.
So far have you received any award?
Yes. I won the Who is Who Best Comedian in Ghana” on four consecutive times. The first time I won this award was in 1986. And anytime I won this award I was sent to Canada to study and it really helped me a lot in my career.
Aside from comedy, what else do you do?
Besides comedy, I act.
Mention any of your movies?
“Koti Academy.” In this movie I played the role of a policeman.
What can you say about stage performance and movie shooting?
Stage performance is very difficult than movie shooting. This is because people are watching you live so you have to make sure you get everything right on stage unlike movie shooting where if you get it wrong they will cut you and go over again until you get it right.
Do you perform at functions?
Yes, aside from stage performance, I also perform at funerals, out-dooring, churches, weddings and many other events.
Have you travelled outside to perform before?
I have performed in Holland, Germany and Canada.
You have been off from the screen, what is the problem?
No I have not stopped it is because Key Soap Concert Party is off. That explains why, but I am very happy that Chocho Industries have taken over and is now the sponsor of the concert party which is now known as Chocho Concert Party.
My fans and Ghanaians who patronise comedy are going to see me again. This time around I am coming out with a new song for all my fans.
Do you still have the energy to act on stage?
Yes all my skills are there. And I must say that I am still the Father of Comedy as people used to know.
Your final words to your fans
I thank all my fans for their support and I will say God richly bless them. I want to say that I am back with a new formula so everyone should make it a point to watch me on Chocho Concert Party at the National Theatre.