Ladies and Gentlemen
It's Aki and Paw Paw!
If you want to do the crime without doing the time, you can't find a much better choice of wrongdoing than rioting. Rioting is a numbers game, the knowledge that 'they got the guns, but you got the numbers'. You have to be pretty wasted (or pretty darn unlucky) to get busted at a mid-sized riot. Also, belonging to a group crime carries a certain social cache, a night with the neighbors as it were.
Take Sierra Leone. Please. According to the AP
See, only 30 busted out of thousands of rioters, and most of these were people who were trying to steal the stadium seats. (No details available, but who wants to bet that the seats were concrete?)
Now. speaking in defense of the rioters, it would be unfair of me to ignore the fact that the act that was cancelled was the rib-tickling team of Nigerian funnymen Aki and Paw Paw. I would have to assume that these are very funny midgets indeed for the crowd to have gotten this riled up.
What can we learn from this? First, any fool knows that dwarf comedians are nowhere near as funny as midget comedians. It's those stubby little fingers - they can be very distracting.
Secondly, and more importantly, Sierra Leone is really hurting for celebrities. I mean, really - I googled 'Aki and Paw Paw' and got no hits at all. Then I searched for Sierra Leone celebrities with the same dismal result. This tells me even more - not only does Sierra Leone have no decent celebrities, they have no decent celebrity journalists.
As an American, I am fortunate
to live in a land where we have the greatest celebrities in the world. We
have more celebrities than we could shake a stick at. I call on the
leadership of this country to send some of our own fine celebrities to the
deprived people of Sierra Leone. What a difference a Baldwin brother could
make! Tina Yothers, you could be queen, baby. And Gary Coleman, what can I
say? I think they're gonna love you.
©2003, Mark Hoback
|The Return of Aki and Paw
Aki and Paw Paw first burst into my consciousness about four weeks ago. The miniature Nigerian Funnymen caused a heck of a riot in Sierra Leone by virtue of their absence, and I fully expected to be reading about their exploits for many days to come.
Alas, it was not to be. I searched for them, and could never find further information. Not even a picture, and lets face it, when you're writing about Nigerian midget comedians, you really have to have a picture. Was the story of the riot even true? I wrote it off, forgot about it. Until today, that is, when I discovered an amazing fact.
The little dudes aren't really named Aki and Paw Paw. Duh. Granted, Aki and Paw Paw is much easier to pronounce than Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze, but it does really complicate a search.
So, are Osita and Chinedu big time famous? I'll say. With 42 features available from Klub Afrika, they're on a pace to surpass even Michael Caine in the churning 'em out department. And hey my brother, these films are funny. Listen to this capsule review for 'Awilo Sharp-Sharp': "The added effect of the Comedy Twins Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze makes this an outstanding comedy... I wouldn't miss this comedy for anything. As if part 1 was not rib-cracking enough, they had to do part 2.... so therefore, rent both parts now."
I haven't seen the movies, but here a few of my favorite video covers.
'Lagos Boys', wherein Aki and Paw Paw really get on Dad's nerves with their crazy shenanigans. Dad (James Nelson) tells the boys that if they don't calm down he's going to break their little necks.
Uh-oh, looks like the jokes gonna be on Dad!
©2003, Mark Hoback
All the World's a Stage, and We Are But Aki and Paw Paw:
an opinion from
The following excerpts are from a column by Sheka Tarawallie that was posted in the OpEd section of AllAfrica.com. The piece was taken from Sierra Leone's Concord Times, and is titled 'The Day the Nigerian Midget Comedians Came'.
I am not a fan of Nigerian movies - I must state from the outset, unequivocally. Since they started filtering into this country in the early/mid nineties, I have been one of the few journalists that raised a voice in protest for caution. The initial films were, to me, preposterous: full of myth, horror, superstition, and underworld activities. After much criticism, there was a change to films dealing with social issues. Films of intrigue, subterfuge, deception, greed, lust, robbery, twisted love subsequently carried the day.
The writer here is apparently a journalist who knows a great bit about cinema. A search for Sheka Tarawallie would suggest that he is the editor of Torchlight, an independent Sierra Leone newspaper that has been shut down from time to time by the government. World Press Review puts it like this:
This goes a long way towards explaining why Sheka is now writing about Aki and Paw Paw instead of human rights issues.
Eventually, Nigerian films (to the chagrin of Chinese and Indian or even American films) became a sine qua non in the daily existence of our nation. <Yes, we Americans have made many great films, but we cannot hold a candle to the artistry of Nigeria.> The various posters, scattered around town and even upcountry in mostly makeshift buildings, are often surrounded by on-lookers. In Sierra Leone's various homes, Nigerian actors and actresses have gained extra prominence popularity: Omotola, Ramsey, Emeka, and Genevieve are, to put it mildly, household names. And by coming to Sierra Leone, they have now become personal names - as parents name their children after these artists.
But two names (perpetually jointly called since we came to know them), Aki and Paw Paw, have risen above the household and the personal to enter into our national life, bringing a whole nation to a state of self-scrutiny and self-penury.
You know, I just don't think, at this point, that Sheka is gonna apologize for helping tear down the nice stadium that China built for Sierra Leone. You think they're coming back and building it again, Sheka? I dunno...
I am absolutely positive that I have stated my opinion on this many times before. I F*ING hate rhetorical questions. Don't hand me a goddamn rhetorical question or I'm liable to rip your head off... Maybe you would like to explain this all as a sports thing. You know, we have riots in this country after sports events. Just look at LA or Philly, after a big loss or a big win.
This is starting to look serious, isn't it? The stadium is alive, disastrously overloaded. People want to see the fucking Nigerian midgets. Funny sunofabitches, those two. Goddamn. Even though they're pushing forty, they still look like little kids. So cute in those shorts...
All breakables bore the brunt. Say it three times. Sounds fifty percent better than twice. It's a hit baby it's a smash. Did you expect anything less?
No longer human beings? Damn, that's strong. I kind of feel that you're piling on, you know?
Goddamn, dude... You seem to be getting awfully upset about a couple of, uhh, very talented midgets. You know, we've got midgets over here in the states... Mini Me, and uh, there was Billy Barty, and all those other midgets, shitloads, yeah, Gary Coleman, that's one. And even though you rambled on a bit, I believe that was another rhetorical question.
You're an angry guy, aren't you Sheka? I dunno. You guys destroyed a stadium that provided at least a little bit of entertainment for the people. Okay. They tried to fool you with some native midgets. But aren't all midgets equally funny?
Metaphysically, huh? I'll bet that everyone in Sierra Leone is pissed as shit at those little guys now.
Are you guilty? Did you destroy your stadium? Are you a moron? Do you really think that the people of Sierra Leone should adapt the rambunctious antics of Aki and Paw Paw? Should we tell the DPP?
Thanks for the ganja, Sheka! Look, a little advice. Toss in an incendiary but incomprehensible remark about terrorism. I'll edit it for you - just leave that bag on the counter.
That is truly a lot of leones!
©2004, Mark Hoback
Police cornered Jaya, who was described as a 'starving disability pensioner', as he was finishing the last pieces of the fruit.
It gets worse.
Caught with the meat in his mouth! Ain't no mollycoddling of your ne're do wells in Brisbane. And what sort of lame ass excuse do you think this dyslexic, ADH disorder having, barefoot, broke, disabled, and thieving motherfucker tried to pass off in an effort to gain sympathy from the bleeding hearts?
"I have been really hungry before and you go a bit scattered." Oh boo hoo. I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for someone who would abscond with a paw paw just because it fell out of a tree. "I have been so hungry I have felt like stabbing someone." Violent as well as a bum. I say lock the cell and throw away the key.
"Everyone has got to eat because you can't
walk around with nothing in your guts.
The paw paw really fixed me up and they weren't even ripe."
Tell it to the hand, Orwin.
©2004, Mark Hoback