Here’s Why We Grew Up Meeting A Lot Of Comedians With “Bob” First Name

Bob Okala. Photo credit: Eazy Way

Most 90s kids we grew up enjoying local comedy.

Comedians such as Bob Okala, Bob Santo and other funny people who gave us funny phrases for us to laugh.

We were entertained but mostly enjoyed the little screen time we had.

However, have you ever wondered why some of our iconic Ghanaian comedians and showmen were called Bob and something else?

Thanks to Nana Awere Damoah who manages, we may finally have some form of documentation to explain that.

“Prof Collins wrote about it in Highlife Time 3. The “Bob” is akin to the term “the comedian” or “the joker,” Nana wrote on Facebook after Ayimadu asked the question on Facebook.

The name was borrowed from the famous Fanti comedian Ishmael ‘Bob’ Johnson, who was one of the people who popularised the concert party genre in the country.

Bob Johnson always played the joker which was a combination of the character of the imported blackface minstrel with that of the Kweku Ananse, the mischievous Spider hero of Akan folklore.

His success made his name Bob synonymous to the word ‘joker’ and since then a lot of other comedians who came after him adopted the name Bob.

However, he was not named Bob by his parents. Instead, he got the name from seamen who visited the Optimism Club opposite his house in Sekondi.

This goes way back in the early 1900s.


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