More investment needed in the comedy space- Foster Romanus

BY: Edith Mensah
Foster Romanus

Stakeholders in the comedy industry believe Ghana would advance and gain global attention if the required financing and attention is committed.

Both seasoned and upcoming comedians have continually pushed to change the comedy business over the years but are of the opinion that, industry players must also step up their efforts to consolidate their efforts.

Ghanaian comedian Foster Romanus told Graphic Showbiz in an interview that the industry has a lot of potential but also needed appropriate funding to completely establish the comedy space and place the nation on the international map.

For him, Stand-up comedy in Ghana is not much to boast about compared to other countries like Nigeria because there has not been the necessary investment and deliberate effort to sustain the industry.

According to him, government and other relevant parties have not yet given the comedy industry their full attention, hence the inability of the industry to thrive and gain global recognition.

Read also: Comedy is the most difficult job — Foster Romanus

He said: "I do not think comedy has caught the eyes of government yet because the support has not been forthcoming."

"Investments should not only be in the form of funding but also making sure there are avenues for performers. But even in the area of having avenues for performances, we cannot say much about it. There is only one National Theatre for performers and when they have to look for space to perform, it becomes a problem," he added.

Foster emphasised that even though certain business institutions had provided some form of support, more could still be done.

"Currently, some corporate entities are investing in comedy, and we greatly appreciate them for doing so. But more is required. We require investors who can assist us promote Ghana Comedy throughout Africa and beyond."

Foster Romanus expressed optimism about the chances for up-and-coming artists, saying that they had a chance to refine their abilities and that the future is bright for fresh talents.

He said attempts were being made to even maintain the craft, and as a result, space has been made available for up-and-coming comedians to hone their skills and pick the brains of established comedians.

"There is the opportunity for young acts to hone their skills and so the likes of OB Amponsah, myself and other seasoned acts try our best to share stage with the upcoming ones to build them up for the bigger stage."

Additionally, he encouraged his industry peers to continually invest in their professional development in order to secure the necessary backing and funding from investors.

"I consider desire to be similar to an investment. We must work hard to maintain the consistency of our stagecraft. You should realise that investing in what one does yields rewards much beyond one's greatest expectations,” Foster Romanus reiterated.