Ghanaian comedian, OB Amponsah, known for his wit and humor, has recently found himself in a situation that’s anything but funny.
With a prestigious invitation to perform at the Bloemfontein Comedy Festival in South Africa, the comedian has been left bitterly disappointed as the visa application for himself and other comedians billed to perform at the show has been denied.
This unexpected setback has caused the talented comedian to spark a conversation about the challenges faced by Ghanaian comedians and other acts when it comes to international travel for performances.
In the post he made on his social media pages, OB Amponsah recounted the struggles he went through to finally allow Ghanaian comedians to explore the South African market, which appears to be quite friendly.
He added that despite all the efforts he put in after his two visits to South Africa for shows, his dreams are about to be shattered because some immigration officers are hell-bent on frustrating them.
OB Amponsah added that he was very sad that this was happening because it might end up destroying the opportunity for Ghanaian comedians in the South African market. After all, other event organizers might cite the stress they went through as a reason why there is no need to engage Ghanaian acts.
See his full post below…
‘In 2022, I decided to go check the comedy scene in South Africa, do a few clubs, and test my strength there. Pitched my tent with Nabil Alhassan and the event factory, and went and did a couple of of spots in different clubs. Then I came home to tell my colleagues about a rife market that is so cool to work in, where even our Ghana-made jokes work.
In May 2023, Lekzy DC, my partner in crime joined the trip to SA and we did more clubs and garnered the attention we needed from event organizers and comedian friends.
All of these two trips, personally funded. Gigs, personally sought.
Then our hard work pays off, we are booked for a comedy festival in Bloemfontein happening this Saturday but cannot go because we have not been able to secure visas.
I am not sure any event organizer will love to go through the stress we’ve put the organizer through. Dude is just waiting for confirmation so he can book our tickets. If this doesn’t happen, I doubt he will put us on anymore. “Those Ghanaians will stress you with visa acquisition”, will be their response in sure.
I’m sad, Charlie. You take a step forward and then some immigration policies or whatever pull you 3 steps back. What’s the point in sweating here? What’s the point if we cannot reap the benefits of our labor. Ebi hard for this side.