Internet Culture

#DontLeaveMeChallenge is just another proof of Josh2funny’s multi-talented creativity

June 26, 2020 Β· 6 min read
No Image

Back in March, the #DontRushChallenge, co-created by a Nigerian, received global recognition on the Internet with incredible participation. Barely three months later, another Nigerian-invented challenge, the #DontLeaveMeChallenge, went viral across social media platforms.

And in less than a week, the hashtag has garnered over a billion views on TikTok, more than 400k posts on Instagram, and thousands of tweets.

Since becoming a global trend, it has been replicated in different local and foreign languages. Apart from Yoruba, an indigenous language in Nigeria, there are also Hindu, Chinese, Arabic, German, and French versions of the Challenge.

The challenge features a person or a group of people creatively doing wordplay and an observer — playing the role of a hype man — who is usually the person behind the camera, urging them to do more by screaming “don’t leave me!” or “take me with you!” The interesting part is when the speaker tries to run away after each pun.

Like every social media trend, it is expected that the #DontLeaveMeChallenge train will soon leave us and be forgotten despite the approval and praise it has received. But the same can’t be said of its inventor, Josh Alfred, who began his comedy career almost a decade ago and has started a number of popular trends.

In an interview with Techpoint Africa, we found out that Alfred, alias Josh2funny, made it to the big stages by garnering popularity with social media comedy skits, especially on Instagram. And this was responsible for the successful stand-alone comedy show he hosted in February 2020.

Interestingly, Alfred plays many characters while acting, singing, or telling jokes.

In his many funny music covers, Alfred sometimes brings the Mama Felicia character — a mischievous Nigerian woman fond of her Ankara print dress — to life.

Mama Felicia. Source: Josh Alfred Twitter

For #TheAudition, another Alfred’s creation, he plays the roles of young, eccentric, and goofy characters like Tunde Tupac, Zuga, Agro, and Optununu, among others.


’10 star music band’, a character in #TheAudition skit series. Source: Josh2Funny Ent. YouTube channel

Then, there’s Bro Zakius — the minister always seen in bright-coloured, oversized coats and a hat — who is the voice behind “Resurrection Power” and Affiliated Music Records.


Bros Zakius. Source: Josh Alfred Twitter

He has a handful of followers across social media platforms and has successfully created a number of trends. In fact, the #DontLeaveMeChallenge is his second global trend.

Alfred shares his experiences in the comedy space and what he plans to do with the platform this challenge has afforded him.

How did your journey as a comedian start?

I started by doing comedy in churches, telling jokes at private functions, and other places. In 2011, I won a competition called Project Raw Talent Hunt Competition. After that, I decided to go professional.

I did stand-up comedy from that time until 2015. As an up and coming artiste who didn’t have people’s confidence, I did not have enough stages on which to express myself. That was when I decided to start putting skits online.

I turned my jokes into drama, acted them, and put them online. In 2016 I had my breakthrough when one of my videos went viral. In that skit, I slapped somebody and the person rotated from the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After that, I began making covers for songs. A popular one was an Igbo cover, by Mama Felicia, of Rihanna’s single, Work.

That was when people started accepting my brand.

How did #TheAudition help your career?

When I started, I didn’t want to be a stand-up comedian because I’ve always liked to be dynamic in everything I do. While playing Mama Felicia, I realised that I had to think of something new before people began to tire of it.

In 2018, I quickly went to work on #TheAudition — videos that showed me playing different characters — because my actual strength is that I can be anything I choose.

Having auditioned as a singer, rapper, and dancer but never getting selected, I started #TheAudition, which tells the story of the many auditions I’ve attended.

The first season of #TheAudition didn’t really make waves but the second went viral when I had a repost from Michael Blackson, a Ghananian comedian. Then I did another one which made Gbas Gbos, a Lagos street slang, trend.

After that, I dropped another skit, #allMyGuysAreBallerz, which didn’t become popular until 2019.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuYTEhOhK_S/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

And that was my first worldwide trend which trended like this #DontLeaveMeChallenge.

What can you tell us about your music career?

I have two albums; one has funny covers of people’s songs and is titled Upside Down.
And the second one is A Break From Jokes.

A Break From Jokes has my original songs and sounds. I was trying to get serious and make people see that I can do something real, something different from comedy. It was released in April this year.

Does the #DontLeaveMeChallenge have the same concept as #thinkaboutit or #thinkaboutitthink?

When I started #thinkaboutit, it was just me saying something that didn’t really make sense and at the end, telling people to think about it.

But because I love to be dynamic, as I was doing that I started introducing some wordplay and puns. On March 24, I dropped a video where I did a wordplay on leaf and leave.

In June, somebody posted a video with someone shouting “don’t leave me.” It was an imitation of what happened in my video and that was how people picked it up. Before I knew what was happening, it was all over the world.

Actually, using pun is not new to me as I started wordplay in 2018.

Apart from the trends we’ve mentioned, what other viral trends did you start?

There was a skit I made last year that didn’t start making waves until this year, My God doesn’t flop.

Then, there’s Don’t atlact (attract) curses to yourself, young man!

Last year, my own version of BeyoncΓ© and Wizkid’s Brown Skin Girl went super viral in Nigeria, especially the phrase “…depending on my Saint Obi.”

How is your team helping you drive this success?

I can’t say I have a team. Rather, I have a family of people that have decided to put their best into the success of the brand.

Specifically, I’ve had the support of my producer and closest partner, Caution LXE; the management team of Alfred Management Consult (AMC); Director Seek, who handles the videos; and other active players that take care of our events.

What’s your plan for the popularity that this global trend has given you?

Right now, I am getting international recognition and I am already thinking of doing something that does not just serve Nigeria or Africa alone. I mean something that everybody in the world can consume.

As a result of this trend, we have gotten in talks with some people and partners, and still expecting more to come. Also, the trend has drawn closer the interest of people who want to know more about the brand. But we cannot disclose them yet. We have found a truly great casino blog. Casinogentleman.com offers great reviews of online casinos and also writes about current trends in the online gambling industry, as well as interviews with industry gamers and casino owners. They are working hard to become the best online casino resource on the web. Casinogentleman supports customer casino reviews. Online casinos are always looking for ways to improve their game. The best way to improve is by listening to what the players have to say. One of the best ways to hear from the players is through customer reviews of casinos.

The only thing I can do is to keep being creative.

What should your fans anticipate after this trend is over?

Earlier this year, I released my newest album unofficially during the lockdown — A Break From Jokes, we’ll probably have a listening party after the gathering restrictions are lifted.
Most times, I don’t really know what I will do next, but I will urge everyone to keep their fingers crossed.

Featured Image credit: Josh Alfred Instagram

Oluwanifemi Kolawole

Oluwanifemi Kolawole

Author

Human enthusiast | Writer | Senior reporter | Podcaster. Find me on Twitter @Nifemeah.

Latest Stories

Loading...

Techpoint Logo Footer
location

43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.


Techpoint instagramTechpoint twitterTechpoint facebookTechpoint youtubeTechpoint linkedin

Β© 2022 Techpremier Media Limited. All rights reserved