Interviews

Julius Agwu kicks off Crack Ya Ribs Live UK Tour with Phyno, Patoranking, Akpororo…

‘We’re invading Queensland’

THE ninth edition of Crack Ya Ribs, the annual comedy show organized by high-flying entertainer, Julius Agwu, would rock the United Kingdom this week.

Tagged Crack Ya Ribs, Julius D’Genius Agwu Live UK Tour, the show would kick off on Friday, August 22 at 02 ABC, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Londoners would revel with Julius Agwu on Sunday, August 24 at the Hackney Empire while the UK tour would be rounded off in Aberdeen, Scotland on Saturday, August 30.

In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, August 15, 2014, the brain behind the popular musi-comedy show, Julius D’Genius Agwu unveiled the artistes he is touring the UK with.  He also took us through the journey so far, among other issues…

Julius Agwu

Julius Agwu

How are you preparing for Crack Ya Ribs Live UK Tour?

In fact, the preparations are in top gear.  By the time people are reading this, the show would be this week.  The Crack Ya Ribs UK Tour actually starts on August 22, in Glasgow.  It’s at O2 ABC, the train moves to London on August 24, the eve of Nottingham Carnival at the Hackney Empire.  Our first time there was when I brought 9ice and 2Face together to perform Street Credibility.  The train moves again from London to Manchester on August 25.  On August 30, we hit Aberdeen, Scotland.

What has sustained Crack Ya Ribs in the last nine years especially when it’s the longest running comedy show outside our shores?

I would say the grace of God.  When you are doing what you are doing and God is with you, it would surely be a success.  There were times I wanted to give up because it had not been easy.  The challenges have been much.  I produce the show, market the show, source sponsors and I also perform.

Are we not looking at the future when you would just stay at the background?

People are already asking for franchise.  That’s what we are talking about.  It’s a brand already.  Even in Nigeria, some university students are asking for my permission to host the show on campus.  We are looking at that around October.

In terms of commercial benefit, have you had any cause to complain?

Yes, you win some, you lose some.  That’s business.  At times when you have sponsors, it helps you take care of certain costs which help you make some financial gains.

Who has been most supportive over the years?

That’s a tough one because over the years, especially with the London shows, we started with Virgin Nigeria.  Right now, Arik is our official carrier.  Diamond Bank Plc is also supporting us.  For the Lagos shows, it has also been one of our supporters too.

A lot of people who want to attend the UK show want to know where to get their tickets?

We have ticket outlets in mainly African shops in the UK.  People also buy online.  But if they log on to Hackney Empire, they would be told how to get tickets for the show.  We also have phone numbers that people call to get their tickets.

jul-001Who are the artistes you are touring the UK with?

Phyno, Patoranking and DJ Abass.  There is also DJ Osa Jatt (he was trained by Jimmy Jatt.  So, he adopted his name).  For comedy, we have Akpororo, Osama, Monkals, Romeo without Juliet (a Port Harcourt based comedian), then there is Pencil.  We try to give opportunity to up and coming ones.

Does it mean Senator, Funny Bone and Daniel D’Humorous are not attending the UK show?

They have done several shows with us.  We had to give others the opportunity to equally exhibit their talent.

What makes this year’s Crack ya Ribs UK special?

What makes it unique is that it’s a tour.  It was last year we did Manchester for the first time.  It used to be London alone, now Aberdeen has been added.  I have not done any show there before but because I now have fans there, we had to consider them. It’s not always all about money.  They are already expectant.

So, the response so far has been very encouraging?

Yes, it has been quite encouraging.

So, how is this show properly branded?

Crack Ya Ribs, Julius D’Genius Agwu Live UK Tour.

You would then join your family in Texas, US, after the tour?

Yes. I miss my family.  They have been there for weeks. They are the reason for the struggle and hustling.  I just want to rest after the tour.  When I come back, I will now disclose my agenda for the people of Rivers State.

Phyno

Phyno

A lot of comments have been trailing your declaration for Rivers governorship race?

It makes me feel elated.  As a matter of fact, I have begun to see that people really love me. It has been mixed reactions, so to speak.  Some erroneously think because you are a comedian or largely an entertainer, you can’t function well outside the sector.  That is a false assumption.  Let our skeptics just wait and see, we would see how it goes.

We also learnt that Rivers youths have even started mobilizing support for you?

That’s true because I have been getting calls from Rivers State.  The social media has also been abuzz with positive comments.  It is quite exciting.  It goes to show that the youths (this generation) now understand they are part of the change we are pledging.

So, we would definitely hear from you after the UK show?

That’s the whole idea.  After the tour, we would come back and unveil our plan for Rivers State.

-UCHE OLEHI

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