Agam Agam, a gospel comedian and blogger from Ogoja, Cross River State. He shared his experiences as a comedian who is interested in drawing people to God in this interview with ROSE IDO, in Calabar
Why do you choose to be a gospel comedian when you can make more money from being a secular comedian?
I grew up in an environment where controlling children is difficult-the Calabar prison barracks. My parents were the busy type of parents who leave the house very early in the morning to return late in the evening. So, we rarely had them around. Then in that environment, we take vulgar words as a normal thing, without knowing that those words are actually bad and unaccepted of children of our age at that time. It was very easy to hear us walk up to anyone and say ‘God punish you, your father this, your mother that.’ We could use the F words freely including talking about someone’s mother’s private part as normal. As a bad boy then, we were naturally funny. So when we were in secondary school, I heard of night of a thousand laugh. So, I introduced the idea of a show during our break period and I was the only one hosting the show in our class then.
While growing up in Assemblies of God, the church made us leaders, not because of what we could offer, but because of our parents’ positions in church. My father is a deacon in the church. So, because of that they said to me ‘come na deacon pikin make dem give am position.’ So when eventually they gave us that position, we were just acting, not because we were born again but for the zeal we have to serve the Lord. My work for the teenage department also exposed me to the knowledge of my gift as a motivational speaker and how I can put it into work to grow Christians and how I can be religiously funny for Christ.
My discovery of who Christ is changed my utterances and brought out the real me. So I try to be real without using those odd words; then I decided to put God in all I do, which includes my comedy work. I ventured and have remained a gospel comedian because this is the only platform where I can be me and still win souls for God.
As a member of Assemblies of God church with all the rules and regulations on social event, is the church fully in support of what you do?
Hahahahah. Presently (sic), I am still battling that with the church. It was initially not easy and even now, they’re still certain people who are yet to accept it but because of my personality, they are beginning to buy into it. A pastor of mine once posted on Facebook that bringing comedy into the church is a sin and some friends invited me to the post because I do comedy in church. It is true that most comedians do speak ill of the body of Christ through their jokes, but I have proven to a large extent that you can have fun in church without speaking down on the Holy Spirit or those ministers of Christ.
Did your pastor react positively or negatively to your career?
My father, Theodore Effiong is a man vast in knowledge. So when I met him and introduced my event to him and the plan to win souls with the programme being that he is a man who also loves soul winning, he quickly bought the idea, but his wife is against comedy in church and has preached against it, not once, not twice. I am not against her; that is the level of understanding she has of comedy.
So how is it like being a gospel comedian? Does the church encourage you?
My kind of comedy is somehow new and I believe that they have not seen this kind before. Like some comedians, when the support and encouragement is not forthcoming, they tend to go off the church to the secular comedy which is not peculiar to those in comedy industry, it also happens in the musical forum too. Terry G was a choir director in Redeemed Christian Church. Because the church is not encouraging and the market is not there, they all left. But you see I’m not looking at the market structure but on how I can pull souls to God.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done? Hahahahah. What is even the craziest thing that I have ever done? I have so many crazy things that I do every day, because I am crazy myself, though I don’t take alcohol, I don’t smoke. But I get high than those who smoke and all that. My craziest moment is when I am in a birthday party, I rock babes a lot; though is not expected of me, but I rock them and it ends there in the party.