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Comedy Interviews

In this podcast, special guests pop round to visit parent, comedian and writer Athena Kugblenu



Whilst in the capital of Ghana I had to connect with my sis Sylvia Arthur. Writer, journalist, communications guru and now librarian of Libreria, a small library that makes a big difference in the country we are both from. 

We talk about working in a different country, how being in Africa doesn't mean you are free from Euro-centric thinking and how to survive without saveloys.

Keep up with Sylvia by following her on Facebook and Instagram (@liberiagh) and find out more by checking out all her juicy press:

More about Sylvia:

Sylvia Arthur is a British-Ghanaian narrative nonfiction writer whose work explores identity, diaspora, politics, and place. Her work has been published in The Guardian, the BBC, and The British Journalism Review and her essay, Britain’s Invisible Black Middle Class appears in the anthology, Know Your Place: Essays by the Working Class for the Working Class.

She has been awarded fellowships to Hedgebrook and Santa Fe Art Institute and received a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation via 516 Arts to produce a publication on immigration and art produced in and about the US-Mexico border region. Her short play, Haze, had a six-night run at The Vaults theatre in London and her one-woman show, Obama & Me, was performed in London, Brussels, and San Francisco to a sold-out audience. She holds an MA in Narrative Nonfiction Writing and has worked as a consultant to the European Commission on communicating Freedom of Movement. Much of this experience of living and working in mainland Europe informs her writing.

She's currently working on a collection of interconnected narrative essays called African, & Other Curse Words. She lives in Accra where she has turned her vast collection of books into Ghana's first private lending library.

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In this episode I talk panto, history, improv and Great British comedy with the uber talent that is Ben Van Der Velde. This was an absolute pleasure to hear Ben share his vast knowledge, curiosity and his most favourite fact.

More about Ben:

Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter. He is a regular host and act for respected British comedy clubs such as The Comedy Store, Komedia, The Backyard, The Glee, Covent Garden Comedy Club, The Stand, Comedy Loft, Top Secret Comedy, Outside the Box, the Frog & Bucket and Comedy Club 4 Kids, as well as hosting stages for Bestival, Festival No.6, End of the Road and Sunday Papers Live. 


On top of that, he has taken commissions to perform a voodoo re-marriage ceremony, founded the Church of the Holy Kazoo with comedy legend Mark Thomas, walked the entire London Underground network to raise money for The Refugee Council, hosted a comedy tour of the FIFA Museum in Zurich and even took part in experiments at The Royal Society that revealed him to have the most infectious laugh of any human, rat or monkey.

What more do you need to know? Press play!
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In this episode I am joined by someone with a PHD in economics and if you you listen you will learn about the following:

Why anti capitalists are really just anti imperialists because capitalism as it is intended to be doesn't really exist

Why financiers want to leave the EU

Why left wing politics has up until this point been imperialist 

Why the City of London might note be as sinister as you think.

This was recorded on the Sunday after the Thursday before so this is also your last word on the 2019 General Election! I promise this has plenty of food for thought.

Susie reads all the books so you don't have to and it was a pleasure to get her intellect on wax, so to speak.

More about Susie:

Susie Steed is a writer and comedian who has written for publications such as The Guardian, HuffPost and appeared on the TEDx TalksLSE Podcast and Institute of Ideas. She has appeared in several documentaries including The Spiders Web and In Transition 2.0. She has performed several times at the Edinburgh Festival, last year in a show called ‘Gold Diggers’ and the year before on a walking tour exploring the hidden history of Capitalism which was featured on Al Jazeera in this clip. She runs economics walking tours around the City of London. She also co-runs a comedy night in Brixton.

She writes excellent blogs at: http://susiesteed.com/




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In this episode I am joined by the epically talented rapper and comedian Joe Jacobs. We chat about success, where Eminem is going wrong and the underground rappers you need to be listening to if you're bored of Ed Sheeran. Plus we have the definitive winner of the ultimate creative battle: comedy vs. rap. Enjoy!

Find Joe Jacobs on Twitter, Instagram and You Tube: @JesterJacobs

More about Joe:

Joe Jacobs is a London based comedian, rapper and writer. Since 2012, he has performed nationally and internationally, sharing bills with acts including Bill Burr, Stewart Lee and Mr. Motivator.

His live shows effortlessly flit between hip hop and comedy and he’s been seen/heard on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4, BBC 6 Music, Radio 1XTRA, plus gained millions of viral video views online. In addition to stand up, as solo artist Jester Jacobs, he has put out regular music since 2008. His latest EP State Of The Art was released in 2019.

In 2017, Joe took Ripe to the Edinburgh Fringe where it received critical acclaim. In 2019, he returned with Grimefulness. 

Joe has just appeared on Channel 4’s stand up show ClubNite.

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We are back! After a brief hiatus caused by a house move and various conflicting work commitments I am finally able to release to you my chat with James Harris. We have a must listen chat about what being anti-racist is actually about, anti-semitism, non-league football and the hostile environment. 

James Harris is a writer and comedian. His satirical storytelling show 'The Palace of Earthly Delights' is currently booking new dates. He tweets @JamesHarrisNow.
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I was joined by character comedian President Obonjo otherwise known as Benjamin Bankole Bello. We chat about spending formative years in Nigeria, starting comedy a little later in life and whether or not we'll see this mad dictator in Nollywood. Plus he has a hidden talent...press play and all will be revealed. Benjamin is a treat and this was a pleasure to record!


More about President Obonjo:


n the age of Trump, populism and Brexit, the world probably doesn’t need another bloated ego pretending to give easy solutions. Thankfully what we need is a comedy character who skewers them with precision, hilarity and who isn't afraid at showing vulnerability.

Following civil unrest due to the President’s long periods of absence to go and secretly perform stand up comedy in Britain, there was a military coup in the Lafta Republic. The official line is that President Obonjo was tried and executed for his neglect of the Laftarian people with his decapitated head stuffed and mounted in their new government headquarters. However, some say it's a myth and has instead moved to St Albans where he now performs headline spots and festival shows throughout the United Kingdom. 


President Obonjo,  is an upcoming and increasingly successful stand-up comedian and who has been peforming Comedy for the past 10 years.. As the larger-than-life, uber-confident, self-appointed, side-splitting dictator of 'Lafta Republic', President Obonjo has quietly been leading a comedy revolution to become the first President to take over the comedy industry by storm. He has been creating rumblings by storming New Act competitions including winning Luton Comedian of the YearRunner-Up at Great Yorkshire Fringe and was a finalist in the Naty New Act of the . His previous solo show President Obonjo Stole My Identity was performed in 2015 at Bath Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals in 2015  and 2017  to packed crowds and critical acclaim.


President Obonjo took his third Edinburgh Show titled Goodbye Mr President to the fringe in 2019 

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In a Keeping Athena Company first, Sadia refused plantain, albeit politely. I soldiered on to have the kind of conversation I swore blind I would never have on this podcast, the kind of conversation that is two comedians talking about comedy. However give this one a chance, it was bloody brilliant. We charge through taking offence (obviously), doing gigs on the Black, Muslim and 'mainstream' circuits, white supremacy and writing material on difficult subjects. I also give a handy definition of racism.  

More on Sadia

Sadia is a stand up comedian and writer from East London. She's the host of hit podcast on the BBC, No Country for Young Women and BBC Radio 2's My Single Life. Neither of those shows are recorded in her mother's kitchen so they are already much more worthy of a listen than this one! Find her on Twitter: @sadia_azmats_  or Instagram: @sadia_azmats



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I welcome 1.5 Arabs into grandma's kitchen, Fatiha el-Ghorri and Esther Manito! This was so much fun, even the child was entertained as you will hear throughout this very enjoyable conversation. I was giggling throughout the whole edit I swear. We chat about freedom of speech, challenging perceptions, people's fear of the Middle East and the stress of friends watching you perform. 

These two comedians are so funny and as 1.5 Arabs produce some of my favourite online sketches right now! Find them on Instagram: @1.5arabs, esthermanito and fathia.elghorri

PLUS! You can see Fathia and myself perform with a load of top top acts on Wednesday 16 October at Library Laughs


It's a fundraiser for Libreria, a lending library in Accra. Find out more about them here: https://lithub.com/on-opening-ghanas-first-subscription-model-library/

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In this episode I spend a glorious sunny afternoon with the wonderful Arielle Souma. She's so funny and I am very grateful she found the time to pop by. Listen to find out why we had boiled plantain this time and hear her thoughts on the one thing that British people are really bad at (she's French so she has some opinions on us). Arielle is the most honest person I know so she keeps it real throughout! We talk, amongst other things, about customer service, writing jokes about sad things and food addiction. 
More about Arielle:
She's a force to reckon with and a dynamic "wild card" in a line up. Punchy, blunt, accessible; french and Arielle Souma performs with a distinctive style. Performs for major clubs like The Stand, Glee Club, Top secret, Angel comedy club and clubs all across the country. 
"Arielle Souma is just what the comedy industry needs and should be forced upon every audience until they buckle under her spell"
_Frankie Boyle
"Her delivery is really strong  and lively, she’s brilliant fun and totally commands the stage. She killed it and totally raised the roof. Clearly very accomplished, she just has it."
_ The Stand Comedy Club
And you can see me live at Library Laughs! 100% of all money raised supports Liberia, a lending library in Ghana that makes a difference.
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I can't believe I've made it to episode 10! I am so pleased to say Samuel Williams found the time to come by and meet the baby (which may have been his primary motivation for coming through!). We had an insightful conversation that meandered around topics like entrepreneurship, creativity, the influence strangers can have on your life and what it's like to work in your sleep. Stay tuned to the end especially if you are an aspiring actor or comedian because we both have golden advice that is not to be missed.

Samuel is an actor, comedian, clothing designer and collector from London. Check out his brand Insane Gentlemen: https://www.insanegentlemen.com/

Find him online on Twitter and Instagram at @OgaSamuel

And catch me live on Wednesday 16 October, raising money for Libreria, a lending library in Accra started by a British Ghanaian that runs literacy projects for children and adults who would otherwise not have access to such an amazing resource. All money goes to this project!

Tickets are £12.50 in advance and available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/librarylaughs/t-ngzxdg

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