By Waliu Adeyeri
Most people look down on ‘Style Clowns’ and consider the job unattractive and not lucrative. But it is fast becoming one of the several informal jobs providing escape to many youths from the hash realities of Nigeria’s unemployment level of 33%.
Though not considered lucrative, working as a ‘Style Clown’ can provide you with income enough to feed your family and even build a house. Yes. And that is the story of Tanimola Joshua, who spoke to TheNewsBeam on the lows and highs of being a ‘Nigerian Style Clown’.
My name is Tanimola Joshua, popularly known as Gba Feeder. I am from Ogbomosho.
How did you get the name “Gba Feeder”?
It was due to my style. You know baby feeder is one of the funny props I use to attract attention to myself.
Please describe your job to us:
As a Nigerian Style clown, what I do at events is that I try to make people laugh. The work does not really require the stage. I only go to the party guests individually, wherever they are sitting, to display some funny postures. The postures may include putting a feeder in my mouth in a funny way, stand in a ridiculous manner, and many more.
I do not need to ask for money, if I am able to make the person happy and laugh, he/she might give me money.
Are you always invited by the organizers of the event?
No. I get to know about events through my colleagues.
Is your family in support of this job?
My Father was not in support of the job. He called this job a lazy man’s work. But My wife and children are not against the job.
Why did you choose these props and how did you get them?
There was a day, I sat down and thought of what style to use, then I came across a baby being fed with a feeder. That sight got my attention and I decided to start using it.
For the video camera I hold. Before now, I made use of bottles as my video camera. It was someone who I entertained at an event that gave me the ancient video camera. I am glad the person did because it has been a useful props that beautifies my work.
Since when have you been in the ‘Party Clown’ business?
I have been doing this job since I was in Primary School. I started in my hometown, Ogbomosho. And continued when I arrived in Lagos.
What interests you about being a party clown?
A lot of things got my interest. One of them is my love for theatre arts. I started theatre from my childhood days. Then, I went to theatrical outings with professionals.
Also, the fame involved in the work makes me develop interest in the job. Sometimes, people hail me whenever I walk around.
Another reason I developed interest in this job is because I like to make people happy and laugh.
Do you work whenever you are not in a good mood?
Yes, I do. But, I do ensure that my mood does not affect my performance. Sometimes I consume little alcohol to make me feel tipsy before I start the job.
Also, I get motivated by the amount of money involved and the number of people I made to laugh.
What is the least amount you have earned at events?
Sometimes, I make about N7,000 and above.
What have you achieved with the Job so far?
With the help of God I have built myself a little apartment with this job.
Have you ever been shunned by a guest on the job?
You know it’s normal. You will not be loved by everyone. Sometimes we just have to accept the disgrace and move on.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
I had a lot of experiences, the one I can never forget is the time I had an accident. I had this accident on Shagamu road about 3 years ago. I was returning from a show then, so I still had my costumes on me. No one came to my rescue. I don’t know why, but I think it’s because of my dressing which does not portray me as a normal being. I managed to leave the scene. Fortunately I found someone who knows me, he was the one that took me to the hospital.