Belly-busting and soul-stirring

by Tamesha Doughty


His set might not have been “jazzy”, but Akintunde’s comedic presentation did leave patrons in stitches. Decked in a yellow blazer, white dress shirt and denim blue jeans, Akintunde stole the Capita Financial Services Laughter & Jazz Show, one of the Barbados Gospelfest events held last Friday at Divi Southwinds.

His hilarious spin on light topics like his undeniable love for macaroni pie and flying fish, and commuting in Barbados, particularly using the roundabouts, was just the start of a bellyful of laughter.

Using phrases like “gut-booty syndrome” (when a man’s buttocks and stomach are about the same size) and “back fat” (“invisible” fat in the upper back area), Akintunde highlighted issues that come with ageing, especially among men.

Having been married for 20 years, the father of five referred to one of his sons who had a baritone voice from the age of four and would sound like a mature man when whining in fear of “monsters”. His theatrical demonstration of it brought tears to many eyes, and saw bellies being firmly held for fear of bursting.

The 43-year-old’s act would not be complete without some sound marriage advice. He highlighted the importance of cooking for one’s husband, while noting there was a difference between “fixing a meal” and “preparing a meal”, and urging husbands to maintain their weight prior to marriage.

But the showstopper was his smooth delivery of the break-up song Chocolate Cake, and his version of the O’Jays song Brandy –– which he remixed for his “baldhead brothers” in an appeal for their hairline to return.With a few of the “brothers” standing to join him, laughter became boisterous across the lawns.

Philip St Hill

Dramatist and comedian Philip St Hill also brought his form of humour to the stage, with the highlight being “that dumb uncle we all have”, and ended with the story of Peter in which Jesus asked him to have faith and walk across the water towards him. But Peter would become doubtful, thus losing sight and sinking in the waters.Patrons were reminded to always have faith in their endeavours regardless of the circumstances.

Samantha Gooden

British-born songstress Samantha Gooden set the musical tone, opening with a dynamic jazz presentation inspired by two life-changing surgeries, having found herself at death’s door.Using her life as a testimony, the psalmist confidently treated patrons to songs from her debut album Stronger, ending with her pore-raising, 15-minute stint of her version of Israel Houghton’s Jesus At The Centre.

Composer and saxophonist Curtis Haywood soothed the hearts of patrons with the best components from his album Smooth Ingredients. In his intimate style, Haywood was seen effortlessly manoeuvring through the close-knit crowd without missing a note.

Curtis Haywood

And lest patrons thought he was only a master of the sax, Haywood quickly wired up his clarinet, ending his 20-minute presentation with Michelle Williams’ Say Yes –– much to the delight of the audience.

Similarly, saxophonist Simon Lee gave patrons a taste of his soulful music, with the help of two vocalists who encouraged patrons to clap their hands and sing the refrains of the songs.

Lee’s pieces, including Get Me Through The Day, Lunchtime and Draw From Me, were inspired by the need to have God in every aspect of his daily

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