Who still remembers the story of the popular Nigerian movie “Osuofia in London”?
Well, many were fascinated by the character in that comedy as he depicted a man who first comes to town, where he is met with bright lights, fast cars, many people, with the noise confusing the actor.
It was Osuofia’s dream come true to go to the Queen’s Land.
That is the real definition of comedy pays.
Now, Zimbabwe has a similar story, not far from Osuofia script.
This is the story of Nigel the Slick Pastor, also popularly known simply as Nijo.
He is a comedia just like Osuofia, with the same sense of humour, yet being humble.
Nijo is already making a wave locally – if he is not trending with his skits on social media – then he is busy with corporate endorsements.
But now, the social media sensation is reaping the rewards for his consistency,as he performs his skits effortlessly.
Although he started as one of those lousy comedians who are known for not lasting the distance, Nijo has listened to criticism and improved his act.
He wasn’t bad, but he simply needed to perfect his act a bit and now he has defied the odds.
Like the proverbial wine, that matures with age, Nijo has become a hit on social media where he made a big name for himself.
Perfection, focus and resilience have won him a number of corporate deals and thousands of fans on social media platforms.
His fairy tale is that of raw talent that has been refined, and being aided by resilience.
Currently, Nijo — as the entertainer is fondly known — is in the United Kingdom for a comedy show.
The Osuofia style if you want to compare.
For him, it’s a dream come true to be able to fly to the UK and manage to get a couple of shows under his belt.
Although he is targeting mainly the Zimbabwean communities, he deserves special mention for his exploits.
In an interview from the UK where he has been on tour for a week, Nijo said he has been living his dream.
“I have been here for only one week. I have only managed to hold the Comedy Show that we held in Birmingham on 9 September,” he said.
Being a new experience in his career, Nijo believes he started on a flier.
“It was okay. I learned that for UK shows you need to advertise well in advance in order for people to make arrangements to attend due to the busy schedules they have here,” he said.
To ensure that he managed to pull through on his first show, the shrewd comedian had loads of tricks in his bag.
“I have always told myself that an artist has got to improvise and be innovative. That’s what keeps the creativity flowing and also helps in remaining relevant to different scenarios instead of relying on one kind of setup,” said Nijo.
Like most Zimbabweans now in the diaspora, he should be missing something for the weeks he has been away.
“I miss the power cuts, I miss sadza,” jokes the entertainer. As a role model and mentor, Nijo shares what drives him to come up with his skits.
“I’m inspired by day-to-day events, observations in societies, and personal experiences,” he said.
As he continues to navigate a new terrain, Nijo has also a lesson to share with others back home. “We need to be more organised and always be determined to put on our best show,” he said. “The world is our oyster “Prior to my visit here, I did have a dream to be in London. I have always believed I would one day travel the world. I have already done some skits here.”
After his performance in Birmingham and the love he got from fans, is Nijo considering leaving Zimbabwe for good, as of late many artiste choose not to come back after performing or visiting the Queen’s land
“Not now, I am not considering relocating,” he said.
The uncrowned prince of humour opened up on some of his achievements so far.
“My biggest achievement so far ever since I started is to remain true to myself. My faith, my vision, and my background would always determine my future,” he said.
After the UK affair, Nijo won’t stop for a breather.
“I’m coming back home today. I have to get ready for another show in Cape Town on the 23rd of September. I have others lined up in the USA, France, Kenya and Nigeria,” he said.
An avid Chelsea fan, Nijo has an opportunity to visit London where his team is based.
“I am a strong Chelsea supporter. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to film any skits when we visited London,” he said.
Judging by the feedback on his social media handles, Nijo has proved to be a darling to many. His ability to adjust to stand-up comedy has made him a cut above the rest. Some of the comedians who are good behind the cameras have been finding it difficult to impress before a live audience.
In Africa, Ugandan comedienne Anne Kansiime is rated as one of the best who is comfortable before the cameras and live audiences.
Locally, Bhutisi, Doc Vickela and Carl Joshua Ncube are some of the comedians comfortable with both occasions. For Nijo, he started on the deep end, but managed to hold his own.
His ability to improvise and good stage communication and engagement with fans made his work lighter in the UK.
Just like in the typical Nollywood production Osuofia in London, it was a fairy tale for Nijo who managed to mesmerise hsi followers with his exploits.
The only thing he needs to do now is to broaden his fan base and not focus on Zimbabwean communities alone when he performs overseas.