Despite the negatives stereotype about Nigeria and its people, the world acknowledges certain virtues and sterling qualities that have become synonymous with Nigerians. Virtues such as hard work, resourcefulness, creativity and success––these are qualities that have been roundly projected by Kristen Dawodu who is making waves in Maryland, USA, as an entertainer extraordinaire with demonstrable versatility as a compere, a comedian and a showbiz impresario.
According to the 25-year-old, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State born Oluwagbenga Oluwafemi Dawodu, he said his love for entertainment is what has brought him this far. “I fell in love with being entertained and entertaining people from childhood, so it’s an in born thing for me,” he says.
The ember of passion in him, he avowed, was fanned into a flame by iconic Nigerian comedians such as AY, Basket Mouth and Ali Baba whom he adopted as his mentors. “Those days, I looked forward to being a successful and great entertainer like them,” he concedes. So far, success has not eluded him.
However, at the moment, he is going through the Covid-19 blues like every other professional in his industry.
“I have bigger plans for the year, but the pandemic has truncated some of these plans,” he laments.
With the coronavirus pandemic upending the old order in the world and impacting the entertainment industry negatively, professional entertainers of all stripes have in the past few months put on their thinking cap to come up with creative ways of keeping their act going.
“It’s no more a news that the pandemic has really eaten deep in to so many things especially the entertainment industry, as we need to practice social distancing,” he notes. “There is no way we can go out to do the usual things. We just reach out to our fans through our social media platforms either by doing a live video, giveaway or a question-and-answer session.”
Personally, he also tries to adapt to the novel reality. “I entertain my fans by posting short African quotes just to keep up with them. What I post are basically African quotes and as such, it takes you to be an African to understand them,” he affirms.
Entertainment is not all Kristen Dawodu is about. He also wears the hat of a philanthropist. And in this wise, the Convid-19 pandemic could not stop him from showing the milk of human kindness in him. “I have been taking my time to provide and bless people through my social platform,” he avowed. “Giving to people is another part of me that I love most. If not for the restraint of the pandemic, I already planned to visit some orphanages these past months.”
Although, he may not have founded a foundation, his altruism is rooted in past activities working with a charity organisation, Little Saint Orphanage Home. “I hope to do more,” he promised.
Speaking on his trajectory, it has been a good experience, says the all-round entertainer. “The initial challenge I faced was having to convince people to get used to my entertainment life. I think it’s one of the things most entertainer faced while coming up. But I never gave up. I continued doing what I know how to do best and I didn’t allow anything or anybody to weigh me down.”
Otherwise, he didn’t really experience any dramatic moment, claiming, “I paid no price, the grace of God has been sustaining me.”
Still on his rise to fame and fortune, he willingly explains the factors responsible for his success in God’s Own Land: “In the United States, there are lots of job opportunities. Secondly, Americans appreciate talents, so you would found yourself appreciated even if you have a small talent, unlike Nigeria where you will work and work tirelessly to make ends meet.”
Nonetheless, he has no misgiving whenever he reviews his humble beginning back in Nigeria, noting that his career actually started in his home country before he travelled out of the country in search of greener pasture.
With benefit of experience, he offered nuggets of advice to those who are still struggling but aspiring to make it big in the entertainment circuit: “Stay focused, never be discouraged and always think ahead. This has always been my advice.”
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