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Recently I started watching The Johnsons, a Mnet Africa comedy/drama family TV sitcom. The Johnsons was probably inspired by "Everybody Hates Chris" as it has some similarities with the series. But, the show definitely has its own unique differences to EHC.

The show is majorly focused on a family(The Johnsons) based in Lagos Nigeria, and how they cope with what life has to offer them. The show features Chinedu Ihedieze(Efe), Osita Iheme(J J), Charles Inojie(Lucky), Ada Ameh(Emu). . .

Notable Characters in the show are:

Lucky - The head of the Johnson Family. This man is very cheap, and has funny ways of handling issues. "I'm making my own mosquito killer, "Weapon of Mos destruction", Weapon of Mosquito Destruction" . . .

Emu - Lucky's wife who doesn't know her date of birth.

Jennifer - Efe's elder sister.

Efe - Mischievous Efe, always having to bear troubles that are not his fault.

Tari - Efe's immediate younger brother
Blessing - The questionnaire, you can't just stop her from talking.

Osai - Efe's partner in crime, can be foolish at times.
Abulu - The bully, mostly bullying Efe.

Spiff - Abulu's partner in crime. Very very stupid character. "Abulu, what is crush?"

Accurate - Lucky's dog. "Is it true that Accurate is going to be a daddy" - Blessing

Seriously, this show is very funny and interesting, it's a good watch if you need to lighten up a bit. So far, it's never been a waste of my 30mins.

Other notable sitcoms that are currently airing by Mnet Africa are, TINSEL, MEET THE ADEBANJOS, KAMSONS and NEIGHBOURS, TENANT

Interview: Charles Inojie on acting

By Femi Morgan

Actor and director Charles Inojie is the lead character in AfricaMagic’s comic series Meet the Johnsons.

In this interview, Femi Morgan, the funny man, who has cracked our ribs in blockbuster comic movies like Gamblers, Police Recruit and Two Bad Boys, speaks about how he got into acting, the challenges and triumphs of being in the film making industry and his role on Meet the Johnsons.

What inspired Meet the Johnsons and how did u get involved in its production?
I cannot say what inspired the Johnsons. I was invited by the producer to come for a reading during the preparations for the pilot episodes. As fate would have it, I impressed the director and got the part.

What character are you playing in Meet the Johnsons and how inspiring, unique and challenging is the character?
I am playing the role of Lucky Johnson, head of the Johnson family. Lucky is highly impressionable. He thinks very highly of his scientific acumen. Though a job seeker, Lucky believes that he would soon hit megabucks through his inventions (most of which land him in trouble). He is a disciplinarian and a great lover of his family. For me, every role comes with its own peculiar challenge. My role in the Johnsons is no different. I try at all times to give my character the best interpretation I can. Whether I succeed at it, only my fans can tell.


So, your role in Nigerian comedy films and series, how has it fared so far and how has it inspired people?
I think I am just one actor out there trying to do his best, trying to just contribute his quota in the massive industry which the comic genre has become in the Nollywood environment. Each time I have a new script I do not want to disappoint my audience because I believe that if I do not work hard and try to add something creatively new with every new production that I am involved in, the chances are my audience could begin to suffer visual constipation - 'we know wetin e go do, we know wetin e go talk', so I try to run away from that. I believe that if I am able to add a fresh ingredient each time I cook, the chances are that I will always produce a fresh new recipe for my audience.

What are the challenges of being a popular comic actor?

The challenges are enormous. I am a naturally very shy person. This is always difficult for people to swallow because when someone reads or hears this, he feels 'you wey dey do all those crase man things, you tell me say you dey shy?’ The only time I am not shy is when there is a camera around, that is why you don’t find me clowning around when there is no camera. I believe what I do is strictly business. I try to live a normal life, sometimes people see me and they say 'guy, you are so quiet' and I wonder am I supposed to be shouting. 'You are too gentle jor, this is not you' but that is me. But once I hear 'action', it becomes a different ball game and it means I am working. I am confronted by people who feel that I should probably clown all of the time. It is a huge ordeal.

I also have issues when the audience feels 'you ought to know me. See am e just dey waka pass, e dey feel like e no know us again?’ A lot of our fans believe that as they watch you in movies and overtime become conversant with your face, you are probably watching them too.

So, those are the issues I am grappling with, but of course it is very crucial that I must add that it's been awesome. God has been wonderful. The doors that open on their own accord whenever your name is mentioned or your face shows up. You break protocol; when people book appointment for this and all that you go there and gain unrestrained access. The fact the people are looking for one way or the other to show you appreciation.

How has your background been instrumental to your success?

I will describe myself as one of those Nigerians who if backgrounds were what we all needed to get to the top in whatever field of endeavour, I probably will not be here today. I am from one of the smallest villages in Nigeria, and I am married and have a daughter, very beautiful girl.

Don't ask me about the daughter or why she is very beautiful. My wife is very pretty so she resembles the Mama, because you are probably going to say me, beautiful daughter! I know say I no fine, but my wife fine and felt I was going to need that to help my children, so that dem no go wowo too much nah so I go marry beautiful wife.

How did you start out in your career?
Upon graduation in 1999. I remember I did my project defense on nine November 1999, but before then a friend of mine, Lancelot Imasuen, with whom I had taken the certificate course, had made major inroads into mainstream practice. He had become a household name as far as directing was concerned, so he adopted me as his assistant director.
On day a member of the cast refused to show up and I was drafted: "hey, Assistant Director, oya go and do that one'. Gradually, those scenes began to add up until it became impossible to ignore me as an actor.

Now that you're well known as a director and actor...
...I started out as a director, as at today I have 71 titles to my credit as a director. I have actually done more jobs as a director than as an actor.

Are you leaving one for the other?

I am not leaving one for the other, obviously not, whichever one that comes.

How about resting for the younger ones to take it up where you stopped?

Nah, nah, nah. I no young? I am young, resting for what, we are just starting nah. Nobody is resting for another person. Seriously, nobody is resting for the other. I still do directing jobs, I still write, I still act, so it depends on which ones comes.

I met you here working on a film, so what are the new projects you are working on?
Yes, I am here as a commercial actor - by that I mean I was contracted to just play a role in the movie. I am hoping for a project of mine, it is going to be a series and I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.

Can you give us, one or two names that we can watch out for in your series?

We have Victor Oswaugu, Charles Awurunwu and Mr Ibu too. I am also trying to get Okey Bakassi on board but the discussions are not very elaborate just yet, so I do in not want anybody to say, 'No no e never tell me anything', so these people are the actors I have in mind to work with. We are also thinking that we should share knowledge, we feel that there are too many quacks within the film making environment and we are thinking that we should start a training School, myself and a film colleague of mine, Chidi Mokeme and Kingsley Osibu are looking to achieve that. These are projects still in the pipleline.

Thank you for very much.
The pleasure is mine.

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Replies to This Book Discussion

The Johnsons Nigerian Comedy - absolutely hilarious !

I also love the show.....






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