Akwasi Osei-Tutu: Humour and Building Confidence


[00:00:12] [Uplifting Music Playing] 


[00:00:31] Hello, my name is Akwasi,
I'm a stand-up comedian and 


[00:00:34] today I'm going to be
talking to you about confidence, 


[00:00:37] about how I write comedy,


[00:00:39] And also, I'm going to tell you how
to write your own stand-up comedy skit.


[00:00:46]  I'm a stand-up comedian, like I said. 


[00:00:49] I started off about three years ago, 
and I've always loved comedy.


[00:00:56] It's not something that I thought
I would ever try myself,


[00:01:00] I've always been someone who's
admired comedians from afar. 


[00:01:06] I decided I wanted to challenge myself and
ensure I had no gaps, or weaknesses.


[00:01:15] So I decided to try stand-up comedy.


[00:01:19] The aim was not to become a comedian,


[00:01:21] But to try to improve my


[00:01:23] Because I wasn't the greatest when it came to
speaking in front of people, or in public.


[00:01:28] I was great with groups, I was great with friends.


[00:01:31] However, I just was not good in standing
on stage or or presenting, especially at university.


[00:01:38] So I wanted to improve that.


[00:01:40] I went to a stand-up comedy show just initially
to watch, and then I decided 


[00:01:46] I could put together a five minutes opening show.


[00:01:51] So about a month later I put something together,


[00:01:55] I went to the stand-up show and prior to my name being called,


[00:02:02] I was extremely nervous because this
was not something that I did.


[00:02:05] I mean, I played football as
a semi-professional for many years.


[00:02:08] And there are a lot of similarities between comedy
and also stand-up,


[00:02:12] In the sense that you're performing to an audience.


[00:02:17] So I was extremely nervous, but I didn't want
to chicken out, so I just forced myself


[00:02:23] to get on stage when my name was called.


[00:02:26] The very first minute of my set  was great,


[00:02:32] And after four minutes I struggled 
to even get some words out.


[00:02:37] So those were possibly the toughest
five minutes of my life.


[00:02:41] I finished my set and I sat down,


[00:02:43] I was extremely disappointed, 
but I didn't want it to end there.


[00:02:46] I didn't want to leave it there.


[00:02:47] So I decided to try again about two months later.


[00:02:52] It took me a little while to get
over the first initial disappointment. 


[00:02:56] Because I wasn't expecting that.


[00:02:57] I should have realised that disappointment
or failure are part of improving.


[00:03:03] And I didn't quite manage to grasp
that at that moment in time.


[00:03:07] So I went back two months later, 
I improved my set, 


[00:03:10] And I kept on going back every two weeks.


[00:03:16] And I found that I was
slowly improving incrementally.


[00:03:20] And I realised that this could
be something that I could do.


[00:03:23] So I kept at it.


[00:03:25] And it's easily the best thing
I've ever done in my life.


[00:03:28] I'm from Ghana, which is in West Africa.


[00:03:31] I was born in the UK,


[00:03:32] but I was only there for a year of my life.


[00:03:34] We moved to Ghana and my dad worked
as a mining engineer.


[00:03:38] he basically went with the workforce,


[00:03:41] so we moved from the UK to Ghana.


[00:03:45] We moved to Sydney, we moved back to Ghana,
and then we moved to Perth in ninety-six.


[00:03:51] So I've been here, there and everywhere.


[00:03:53] I've always had to adjust as a kid,


[00:03:57] It's been difficult, but I think it's held me in
good stead,


[00:03:59] In the sense that I can be in any environment 
and figure out how to survive. 


[00:04:06] And figure out how to make friends quickly.


[00:04:09] So, right now with comedy, I take that same
discipline that I had with football.


[00:04:14] In football I had training.


[00:04:17] I had to train when it was raining, when I
was muddy. 


[00:04:19] When I was tired, when I didn't want to go,


[00:04:21] When I was sick, I still trained.


[00:04:24] And then I played on the weekend.


[00:04:25] So, with comedy, I still do the same things.


[00:04:29] I have a schedule,


[00:04:30] I understand what I need to do,


[00:04:32] I tick things off.


[00:04:35] They say discipline equals freedom, 


[00:04:39] Which is really true.


[00:04:40] I think once you continue to do the things
you need to do,


[00:04:44] You will then get the reward out of it.


[00:04:48] So that's how I've linked my life with football,


[00:04:52] To comedy, which is right now.


[00:04:55] It's been the best three years of my life 
and I've really enjoyed it. 


[00:04:59] [Uplifting percussive music]


[00:05:03] So I'm going to talk to you about confidence,


[00:05:05] I believe that confidence is extremely important 
for any person performing on stage, 


[00:05:11] or for any artist,


[00:05:12] Because as a comedian, we stand in front on the stage 
and we have an audience that we do not know,


[00:05:19] and we have to perform to them. 


[00:05:21] So I think having that inner-confidence is very important.


[00:05:24] What I'm going to talk to you about right now
is confidence, and how you can use it to your benefit.


[00:05:30] [Upbeat percussive music] 


[00:05:33] The first thing I'm going to talk
to you about is trying something new.


[00:05:37] It's extremely important to build confidence. 


[00:05:42] Now, trying something new for myself...


[00:05:45] –.I didn't know that I wanted to be a
comedian right from the get go.


[00:05:49] I just knew that I needed to try something new.


[00:05:52] I knew that I had to figure out a
way to stand in front of people without being terrified.


[00:05:58] So the only way that I knew
how to do that was through exposure therapy.


[00:06:04] You really have to just stand in
front of people and actually do it.


[00:06:08] So whatever it is that you're scared
of, you have to slowly but surely face those things.


[00:06:17] So, for example, if you're afraid of a car,
first thing you do is


[00:06:24] you might want to watch the car on a tablet,
on your computer or something like that.


[00:06:28] And then, next thing you might
do is actually, physically see the car.


[00:06:32] Next thing, you might touch the car.


[00:06:33] So I started thinking about comedy and I thought, 


[00:06:38] 'I'm not going to do that'. 


[00:06:39] That was the first thing that kept 
on playing over in my head.


[00:06:42] The second thing I did is,
I started watching comedy on a consistent basis.


[00:06:47] I already did, but now I  took
it a little bit more seriously.


[00:06:50] The third thing was I went to watch a
a stand-up comedy show,


[00:06:57] So I just sat in the back and observed.


[00:07:00] Fourth, I just went home and I started writing comedy.


[00:07:03] So there were little steps.


[00:07:04] And the very last bit was, I jumped on
stage and that actually did it, that built my confidence,


[00:07:11] like you would not believe, because without doing that,


[00:07:15] I couldn't have just sat on the couch 
and built confidence from there.


[00:07:18] So I think it's very important to actually do 
the difficult things that you don't want to do. 


[00:07:24] That will broaden your mind and will also make you fearless.


[00:07:29] I was able to work on this element of my life that has always been a thorn in my side. 


[00:07:39] Being able to defeat that;
that in itself just built my confidence,


[00:07:46] Because I feel like that's the hardest thing I could have done.


[00:07:49] I can do anything.


[00:07:50] There's nothing that scares me.


[00:07:53] I also use that process with everything else I do,
that I haven't done before.


[00:07:58] So I know that I can do this hard thing.


[00:08:02] I can take that with me anywhere, and I think
that's extremely helpful.


[00:08:07] Once you understand the process that you need
to build confidence, it will really help.


[00:08:12] I believe it's very important 
to pick the things that you're not good at, 


[00:08:18] that you've always wanted to do –We've all got those–
and then try to, slowly but surely, work on them.


[00:08:24] And you give yourself a little bit of time.


[00:08:26] In no time, you'll be extremely confident.


[00:08:29] The second thing I want to talk to you about is,


[00:08:36] you need to understand that there's going to be ups and downs, with whatever activity that you choose, for example:


[00:08:44] With comedy, I didn't pay too much attention 
to the fact that there would be ups and downs


[00:08:52] So when I jumped on stage, I didn't realise that
I was going to be that bad and I wasn't prepared for it at all.


[00:08:58] So that really shook my confidence and it 
hurt me a little. 


[00:09:04] It took me quite a long time to get over it,
and I didn't want to talk to anybody about it.


[00:09:08] I had to mentally work my way through it.


[00:09:10] If I had walked in knowing that there was going to
be a big down,


[00:09:15] And an up and down, and up,


[00:09:17] it would have still hurt, but it wouldn't have hurt that bad.


[00:09:23] I'm not saying that when you fail at
something you're not going to be sad.


[00:09:25] Of course you will, that's a natural thing.


[00:09:27] You're going to feel a little bit disappointed,
but knowing that it's coming. 


[00:09:31] And not knowing that is coming are two different things.


[00:09:33] So it's very important to know that
there's going to be downs and ups.


[00:09:38] There's a saying: 
Every level, there's another devil.


[00:09:41] So once you get good at the base, 
you need to improve,


[00:09:45] You will try to improve yourself.


[00:09:49]  And once you start 


[00:09:52] There's going to be a little dip, as well.


[00:09:53] Success is not just straight up.


[00:09:56] It goes  like this, and
sometimes it goes like that.


[00:09:59] But either way, there's always going to be
a down, as you slowly move up.


[00:10:03] So it's very important to understand that 
trying anything new,


[00:10:08] Or even something that you are already good at,
there's always going to be downfalls,


[00:10:12] Be prepared for that and  understand that 
it's coming from the beginning,


[00:10:17] All the way to the end.
Even for professionals! 


[00:10:19] The best of the best have downs as well,


[00:10:22] and they know that's coming.


[00:10:24] It's very important that you don't get
too down on yourself,


[00:10:27] And you realise that this is part of the process
to getting to where you want to be.


[00:10:36] The third thing I would like to speak to you about


[00:10:39] Is to ensure that you're not comparing yourself 
to other people.


[00:10:45] When I started as a comedian, the very
first time I jumped on stage,


[00:10:50] Everyone was good and I was the only one who was just horrific.


[00:10:55] So I started comparing myself to everyone,


[00:10:59] And as I was waiting for my name to
be called, I was like: 


[00:11:02] "Oh, that person's great".


[00:11:03] "That person's good".


[00:11:04] "Oh... My God, how am I going to compete with this?"


[00:11:07] Which was the wrong mindset.


[00:11:09] I was not good at speaking in front of people,


[00:11:13] So my goal should have been just to get up 
there and say something.


[00:11:18] That's all it was.


[00:11:19] I all of a sudden wanted my success to be
just as good as the other people


[00:11:25] Who had put in a lot of work for many years!


[00:11:28] It doesn't work that way.


[00:11:29] So it's very important to  just compare
yourself to who you were yesterday,


[00:11:34] Who you were last week, who you were the
month before and the year before.


[00:11:38] So once I did that, I realised that I've come
a long way,


[00:11:42] From someone who couldn't speak in public,


[00:11:45] To all of a sudden someone that can have his own show.


[00:11:48] So that's the way to look at it.


[00:11:51] If I started looking at other comedians who have
been doing it for 20 years or so,


[00:11:55] That would shatter your confidence.


[00:11:58] That will hit you really hard.


[00:12:00] And it's very important
to know that you are improving.


[00:12:05] And most of the time we find we are the
last people to realise how much we've moved. 


[00:12:10] Or how much we've improved.


[00:12:12] Everyone  will come up to you and go: 


[00:12:14] "Oh my God, you've been doing really well."


[00:12:17] I started playing the guitar again.


[00:12:18] And when I first started playing the guitar, I
had to look at every single chord. 


[00:12:23] And try to figure out how to play it.


[00:12:26] Now I can play,  sing, and I don't see
the improvement that I've made.


[00:12:31] I have to literally sit back and go: 


[00:12:32] "oh my goodness, I remember the day where 
I had to look at every single chord to play." 


[00:12:37] And that is with comedy as well.


[00:12:39] When I first started, I could not even
remember five minutes onstage 


[00:12:39] and very recently I've been able to do an hour show
by myself,


[00:12:47] And remember everything that I'm talking about.


[00:12:49] That's a huge improvement!


[00:12:51] So it's very important that you don't look
at other people,


[00:12:54] Because you don't know what their circumstances are.


[00:12:57] You only know your circumstances 
and you can't just think,


[00:13:01] 'Well, if that person is doing well,
I should do well as well,'


[00:13:04] It doesn't work that way.


[00:13:05] You will get the reward from
the effort that you put in.


[00:13:14] The fourth thing I'd like to talk to you
about is time and consistency,


[00:13:18] The only way to get the rewards that you deserve
or the rewards that you want,


[00:13:25] Is through time and consistency.


[00:13:27] You can't just start off without being consistent.


[00:13:32] I gained a lot of experience from my consistency
through playing football.


[00:13:38] We have to train every second day,


[00:13:40] So we're always training.


[00:13:42] And through that I've learned how to be consistent with any


[00:13:49] other thing that I do.


[00:13:50] I do understand that with comedy, wWha
 I do is... I'm always writing.


[00:13:54] I make sure that I write every three days, at least.


[00:14:00] I write in my phone. 


[00:14:01] I don't write every day because I like to
give my brain a little bit of a break,


[00:14:05] And then write some more.


[00:14:06] I've got a lot of material on my phone
and it's linked to my laptop, to my iPad,


[00:14:11] And I'm consistently writing.


[00:14:13] It's very important to me as a comedian and
as an artist 


[00:14:17] To write as much as I possible. You need to be consistent.


[00:14:20] You can't write one day and then. 


[00:14:23] The next time you decide to write as a comedian,


[00:14:25] Is two months later.


[00:14:27] It doesn't work that way.


[00:14:28] You won't improve as much as you want to.


[00:14:31] And it all takes time.


[00:14:33] You can't just start off and be successful.


[00:14:37] You might initially, you might sometimes... 


[00:14:41] What? We've got beginner's luck.


[00:14:42] Some people try this first for
five minutes and then they're really good.


[00:14:46] And that can be a curse in a way, because you might think,


[00:14:52] "Oh, I'm great at this" and you don't put in the effort.


[00:14:55] I think I was blessed in that
I actually failed in the beginning.


[00:14:57] That really helped me to lit a fire in my belly. 


[00:15:02] And made me understand that I can go in.


[00:15:05] And I remember when I did go,


[00:15:06] The very first time I jumped on stage as well.


[00:15:08] I didn't practice as much and I realised that. 


[00:15:13] I'm the  person that has to practice.


[00:15:16] You have to understand yourself,


[00:15:17] You have to know yourself.


[00:15:19] I think within time, as time goes on.


[00:15:23] Even though we've been in lockdown,


[00:15:25] I feel like I've improved a little bit,
because of how I think and how I write,


[00:15:29] I've been consistently writing and I've been
doing other things like skits.


[00:15:33] Even though it's not Stand-Up
comedy, it's still adding to the art of comedy.


[00:15:39] So I'm still improving, but in a
different format and still for the same thing.


[00:15:44] You have to make sure that you give yourself time.


[00:15:48] You're not going to get it straight away.


[00:15:50] It's going to take some time.


[00:15:51] And within what?


[00:15:55] It's been three years already!


[00:15:56] And I feel a lot more confident
than I was three years ago.


[00:16:00] I think once you give it time,


[00:16:02] In another three years, 
I'll be a lot better than I am now.


[00:16:05] Time and consistency,


[00:16:07] The art of kung fu means time,


[00:16:15] Giving it time.


[00:16:16] And consistency as well.


[00:16:18] So very important to give yourself time.


[00:16:21] Don't expect anything straight away, just consistently
work hard and you will get your rewards.


[00:16:34] So the first thing I would like to talk
to you about is being kind to yourself.


[00:16:38] Most of the times we are 
own harshest critics to ourselves.


[00:16:45] It's very important that you
realise how far you've come.


[00:16:49] It's very important that you don't bring yourself
down too much, because if you do,


[00:16:53] It just makes more difficult to do
what it is that you want to do next time.


[00:16:59] Being kind to to myself is extremely important.


[00:17:06] When I jump on stage and my
set doesn't go as well as I want,


[00:17:10] When I first started, I got fairly upset.


[00:17:13] I got annoyed at myself, not
at anybody else but myself.


[00:17:17] And within a short amount of time, I
realised that was not helpful at all.


[00:17:23] I found that once I changed my
mental attitude to "OK, that's fine."


[00:17:27] "That didn't work out."


[00:17:28] "Let's try to see where we went wrong."


[00:17:31] Then that mentality helped me,
instead of bashing myself.


[00:17:36] I record my sets. 
So I go home and I watch where I went wrong,


[00:17:43] So I can improve on for next time.
I think it's vital.


[00:17:48] You need to treat yourself like
you treat your best friend.


[00:17:51] You wouldn't say some of the 
horrible things that you say to yourself,


[00:17:56] To your best friend.


[00:17:57] I have to also ensure that I don't do that.


[00:18:01] And that takes a lot of pressure off myself as well.


[00:18:05] And it will take a lot of pressure off yourself
as well, because at the end of the day,


[00:18:09] you need to make yourself number one.


[00:18:12] And if you are not treating yourself properly, then
it's going to be hard for you to reach your goals.


[00:18:20] My comedic style is observational 
and storytelling as well.


[00:18:25] I enjoy the art of storytelling and I enjoy,
giving people a piece of my life.


[00:18:32] I think that's that's very important
as an artist, as well.


[00:18:35] The story that pops into my mind right now
is a story of my dad,


[00:18:40] When I was in year nine racing with a year nine student.


[00:18:45] With that story, the first thing that
pops into my head is my father.


[00:18:50] He's a very interesting man.


[00:18:52] He is an African man.


[00:18:54] And he does things differently to
the way people do things in Australia.


[00:19:00] And it makes me laugh.


[00:19:02] He's given me a lot of stories
to  talk about,


[00:19:06] And he's given me a lot
of embarrassing moments, as well.


[00:19:09] So when I first think of telling a
story, I think: 'oh, my father'


[00:19:14] Think of something that is very easy for you to 
grasp in your head,


[00:19:19] Or something that's happened so many times,


[00:19:21] Or being with someone that's been a strong part of your life.


[00:19:26] Or it could be a character flaw of yours,


[00:19:32] Something that you do all
the time that is very silly.


[00:19:36] You can use those as a core to your storytelling.


[00:19:43] And mine is my dad.
He does a lot of interesting things.


[00:19:47] As a youngster in year nine, obviously, I
would have been very scared. 


[00:19:52] And we'd just arrived in Australia.


[00:19:55] So I had to try out for a soccer team,


[00:20:02] But it was within the school environment, 
the school's soccer team.


[00:20:04] So the first thing I think of is how my dad speaks.


[00:20:08] He's got a very strong Ghanaian accent.


[00:20:11] I initially start the joke by giving
a preface to the joke,


[00:20:17] So I don't go straight into the joke.
I give a preface and I talk about how,


[00:20:20] I'm in the backyard with my family juggling football, 
we record it, then we put it on Facebook.


[00:20:28] And then I get into the story of


[00:20:30] The mystery is somebody writes a message and says,


[00:20:33] Hey, tell your dad I want a rematch.


[00:20:36] What I do with my stories:


[00:20:38] I always give a preface.
I don't just get straight into it.


[00:20:40] And once I get into it,
I leave people wondering what's coming next.


[00:20:45] And that's very important as well.


[00:20:46] Not just going straight into
the guts of the the story.


[00:20:50] You linger around for a little bit
and then you get into it.


[00:20:54] It's almost like a circle that you're
trying to reach the middle of.


[00:21:03] I have to be part of the story. It's important that 
you're a focal point of the story as well.


[00:21:09] Those stories are the best,


[00:21:11] Instead of talking about another person all the time.


[00:21:13] You have to be linked to that story.


[00:21:16] So with this particular story that I'm using
as an example, my father racing a student,


[00:21:23] It's embarrassing for me.


[00:21:24] And I go about explaining how
I felt within the whole process.


[00:21:29] So I'm explaining what's happening.


[00:21:32] And then you're taking the journey
of being me for a moment.


[00:21:36] You can see the car crash happening.


[00:21:39] You can see the embarrassment happening.


[00:21:41] You can see my dad
doing stupid, silly things.


[00:21:44] And what I'm doing is I'm talking also in
my dad's accent, a very strong African man's accent.


[00:21:52] I try to use that as well  to  sell the story.


[00:21:55] In the end, it's very important to have a punch line throughout the story.


[00:22:01] It's it's very important to 
throw little jokes here and there.


[00:22:05] Then, right at the end, you throw in
your big punch line and that's like your dismount. 


[00:22:13] Stories are very helpful when you pause. 


[00:22:18] When you pause at bits where people are
expecting you to say something really important,


[00:22:25] that will help give them
a piece of the puzzle.


[00:22:27] So once you do that, it just allows people
to lean forward. 


[00:22:32] Everybody wants to know what's happening.


[00:22:34] So that's a trick you can use, as well.


[00:22:37] It's very important to tell
stories that people can relate to.


[00:22:40] Everyone's been in school before.


[00:22:42] Everyone's been in year nine before.


[00:22:44] So all those things people can then insert... 


[00:22:47] Allow people to insert themselves into your story.
That is critical.


[00:22:52] If I'm telling you something that you know
nothing about,


[00:22:55] That makes no sense whatsoever to you, 
it's hard for you to relate.


[00:22:59] I think those are some key
elements to tell a story. 


[00:23:08] All right, I want you guys to try this
at home, find a story that resonates with you,


[00:23:13] write it out without telling any jokes, just 
write the facts out and from there,


[00:23:20] Insert the jokes into the story.


[00:23:23] That's how to write a joke or a funny story.


[00:23:31] The biggest take away advice I can give any
young person


[00:23:34] Is to make sure that you find something that 
you do enjoy doing and put your energy into that,


[00:23:42] Be consistent with it and give it time.


[00:23:45] Once you do that, you can take that with
you everywhere you go.


[00:23:50] Once you become really good at that thing, 
you can take that skill set 


[00:23:57] to any other thing that you want to do in life.


[00:24:00] So it's very important that you find something
that you want to do. 


[00:24:04] Be disciplined, work hard towards it, 
and that will end up building confidence.


[00:24:10] Now, confidence is extremely
important in life. 


[00:24:13] Confidence. You can take it with you 
everywhere you go.


[00:24:16] So it's just really important that you stay focused, 
build your confidence, work on building your confidence,


[00:24:23] Whatever you feel you're not good at,
slowly but surely start working on those things.


[00:24:29] Don't be afraid.


[00:24:30] Just remember that there are going to be bits
where you don't do well. 


[00:24:33] And bits that you do very well.


[00:24:36] Success is filled with intermittent deserts they say,


[00:24:40] So there is going to be ups and there's going to be


[00:24:44] Just know that the downs are coming, be prepared for that,


[00:24:48] And just know the ups are also coming.


[00:24:51] So don't let the downs
scare you from trying something new.


[00:24:55] Always look to try something
new and stick to it.


[00:25:01] So I recently went back to Perth and visited
my folks, I went to the backyard,


[00:25:08] And I was juggling a football around.
My two little nephews who also play football, 


[00:25:15] Joined me and walked in and started playing.


My sister who's at the back decided to join in. 


[00:25:21] No one invited her!
[Audience laughs]


[00:25:25] But she joined in! 
And she was keeping on... She's not a footballer...!


[00:25:28] She will watch it, but she doesn't play!


[00:25:29] and she's keeping the ball up,
So we all keep playing.


[00:25:32] My mum...
[Audience laughs]


[00:25:35] Who also no one invited again,


[00:25:36] She comes in and she's  
keeping the ball up with us.


[00:25:40] My brother in law, Alex, picks up
his phone and records it all,


[00:25:45] He sends it to me and I post it on Facebook. 


[00:25:48] It's getting some likes,


[00:25:49] And then one dude writes down at the bottom:


[00:25:52] "Tell your dad I want a rematch."


[00:25:57] I went to school with this guy.


[00:25:59] He used to be a boxer, an amateur boxer.


[00:26:02] It just made no sense to me. 


[00:26:04] "Dad had Glenn as a boxing partner? 
And he beat Glenn?!


[00:26:08] I don't understand! Glenn wants a rematch?!.


[00:26:10] Then I remembered Exactly 
What he was talking about.


[00:26:14] So when we first arrived to Australia, I
was going to a school called Como Senior High School.


[00:26:19] My dad wanted me to play, so he wanted
me to go to a soccer specialist school. 


[00:26:23] Called John Curtin Senior High School,
now called John Curtin College of the Arts,


[00:26:28] It's a soccer specialist school. Soccer was a class.


[00:26:31] So when we got there


[00:26:33] the only way they could find out if I was
good enough was for me to play a game


[00:26:38] With the existing students


[00:26:39] And then a teacher would watch
to see if I was enough.


[00:26:42] I was extremely nervous,


[00:26:43] I didn't know how good the other kids were
and my dad was on the sideline.


[00:26:51] Now, we're sharing the oval with a PE class.


[00:26:56] Glenn was in the class right
next to us doing their own thing.


[00:27:00] My dad is watching me.


[00:27:01] Glenn, who was a year 9 student at the
time, walks up to my dad and says,


[00:27:06] "hey, is that your son?"


[00:27:10] And dad said "yes, yes, yes, that is my son".


[00:27:15] "Oh, he's very fast!".


[00:27:19] And dad says "Yes. Yes, my son is very fast."


[00:27:24] "I bet I'm faster than him!" said Glenn.


[00:27:25] "No... no, no. You are not faster than my son". 


[00:27:33] "I bet I'm faster than you" Glenn replied.


[00:27:35] Now: Any other adult...
[Audience laughs|


[00:27:42]  ... would have said, 'all right kid,
take a hike, get back to your class'.


[00:27:46] Not my dad.


[00:27:48] He was more like


[00:27:49] "Oh, you this small boy, 
you think that you are faster than me?".


[00:27:56] "I am a man from the West African jungles."
[Audience Laughs]


[00:28:00] "And you think that's you are faster than me?
Okay? no problem.


[00:28:03] Come, come! Come to a track."
The track is twenty meters away


[00:28:06] I wish I was lying about this story.


[00:28:12] They get there, my dad takes off his shoes.
[Audience Laughs]  


[00:28:15] He's not mocking around.


[00:28:19] 'On your marks.


[00:28:21] Get set.


[00:28:24]  Bang! Go!' 


[00:28:25] At this moment, the
whole PE class has stopped,


[00:28:30] Including the teacher! 
They're yelling and screaming.


[00:28:35] With all that commotion, my football game stops.


[00:28:44] 'What the hell is that noise?'


[00:28:45] We all turn around,


[00:28:46] I have a look,


[00:28:47] [Audience Laughs]


[00:28:50] My dad is racing a child. 


[00:28:52] [Audience Laughs]


[00:28:56] And he's dominating the race.


[00:28:58] He gets to the end. He beats Glenn.


[00:29:02] And then he turns around with his chest out,
all happy. [Laughs]


[00:29:04] He sees that I'm looking,


[00:29:07] And he says "Akwasi! Akwasi! I won,I won!


[00:29:08] I beat him, Akwasi!"


[00:29:13] [Audience Laughs]. 


[00:29:15] One of the kids in the school program
put two and two together and said,


[00:29:20] "Yo, that's your dad?!"


[00:29:22] I replied 'Yeah, yeah, that's that's my dad'.


[00:29:25] It's a really bittersweet moment for me,


[00:29:27] Because I didn't make it to the 
football scholarship,


[00:29:31] But my dad did. 
[Audience Laughs]


[00:29:34] My name is Akwasi, 
thank you for listening. 


[00:29:36] [Audience applauding]


[00:29:39] [Upbeat Music]

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