Everybody calls him by his stage name, Ajoss, ignoring his real name, Kingsley Kofi Kyeremanteng. Again, almost everybody sees him as a clown, a silly character who should not be taken seriously.
That is the situation Ajoss finds himself as one of the prominent comedians in Ghana, the people who put smiles on the faces of many people, and yet suffer public ridicule and disrespect for what they do.
This public attitude, according to the ace comedian, has discouraged many young talents from hitting the limelight with comedy.
In an interview with Showbiz on Tuesday, Ajoss who shot to fame for his role in the popular Akan Television series, Osofo Dadzie, said that in his hey day, he had had to deal with taunts especially from children because for them, “you are only silly in their eyes”.
Relating the work of a comedian to that of a preacher, Ajoss said that even though comedians are mostly disregarded, their roles in bringing change in the society cannot be underestimated.
“Let me tell you, comedians play very important roles in the society. The only difference between us and preachers is that we don’t use the bible but we educate, inform and admonish people through our plays.
“But the problem is that, because we are only regarded as an item for fun, this important aspect of our work is ignored. People just take what will make us laugh and forget about the important message being delivered".
But despite the challenges that come with his job as a comedian, Ajoss said that he has no regrets for joining the comedy scene since he has the “right medicine to feed the souls of people.”
Known as the African Monkey back in Juaben Area in the Ashanti region where he hails from, Ajoss said he discovered his talent at an early stage when he used to catch bananas thrown in mid air by people.
He said that even though many people in the village encouraged him to take comedy as a serious business then, he could only hope for the right opportunity to step into public with his talent.
It took a while for luck to smile on him when, through the request of his elder sister to come and live with her, he came to Accra to seek greener pastures.
In his words, “God had his own plans” and his sojourn to Accra will start off his climb to fame when he met the likes of Kohwe and Super OD of Osofo Dadzie group who came to his uncle’s house for a private party.
His first role in one of the series, Abyssinia, gave him some recognition and since then, Ajoss has climbed the ladder of fame with his funny nature.
Recounting how he came to earn the popular Ajoss name, the man whose spectacular style of dressing has raised eyebrows for many years said he was given the name by S.K Oppong.
“It was during one of the series when I played the role of a houseboy. In the drama, my master’s wife was cheating on her husband so he instructed me to accost any man who comes to visit her. But it turned out that my master was caught in his own trap.
“He was the one I accosted that day because he changed his dressing when he came back home when I couldn’t make him out. The way I ‘joss’ him, he asked me if I was Ajoss. That was how I came to be known as Ajoss and the name has stayed with me till now,” he stated.
In his late fifties, Ajoss believes he has led a good life worthy of emulation to the younger comedians and had a caution for them. Comparing the life of a popular figure to sweet nectar, Ajoss said that fame brings many fortunes but it has also become a bane for the downfall of many.
“Everybody wants to have you especially the women. But I have always advised my younger brothers and sisters to look beyond the immediate benefits they make. The future is what is important.
“Today, you will be hailed for your good works but the same people who hail you like Jesus Christ will be the ones to crucify you when you are in trouble. Know the right steps to take as a celebrity to prevent your downfall,” he cautioned.
When asked what inspires his way of dressing, he remarked, “I’m a comedian and as such, I should create suspense in whatever I do. My dressing is just one of the ways I get people to be curious about my nature. If not, who will look at me when I pass by?
Ajoss, who currently features in the television series, Pay Day, On UTV said what his worst fear in life is “die a pauper after all the fame I have earned over the years”.
Apart from comedy, he is also a musician and a professional MC. He is married with four children.
“I’m still alive and very strong and can play any role if my services are needed. They shouldn’t abandon us in our old age,” was Ajoss’s plea to producers.