Students at the Stand-Up For Ghana fundraiser on Nov. 3. PHOTO: DANIELA OLARIU

Hilarity for charity

In Communities, Multimedia, Photos /

By Alannah Kavanagh

On Nov. 3, the sound of laughter filled The Comedy Bar as members of the Ryerson community gathered for the second annual Stand-Up For Ghana fundraiser – a comedy competition put on by students of the RTA School of Media.

Stand-Up For Ghana was created in 2011 after Ryerson professor Lori Beckstead travelled to Africa and developed an idea with grassroots organization Disaster Volunteers of Ghana to build a radio station to facilitate communication between villages.

Upon arriving back in Canada, Beckstead got a group of RTA School of Media students to help with the project. Since then, the group has travelled to Ghana twice and continues to raise money in support of Disaster Volunteers of Ghana.

Hillary Tan, one of the students who travelled to Ghana this past year, was the organizer of this year’s event.

“I fell in love with the organization and the efforts that they put in to make sure that communities in Ghana were being taken care of,” said Tan.

The event showcased 11 Ryerson comedians and was judged by an audience applause-O-meter.

Sobia Asghar, who goes by the alter ego Sobia Talks, is a third-year RTA School of Media student. For Asghar, the event was her stand-up comedy debut.

“My name should be Sobia Speaks, I wanted to be a motivational speaker, but I love depression and there’s no market for de-motivational speakers,” Asghar said to the crowd.

Asghar had no intention of going into comedy until her trip to Ghana, when she bonded with her fellow student volunteers and noticed they would often laugh at the things she said.

“I thought because of my experience in Ghana, maybe I should give this show a shot,” said Asghar.

At the end of the evening, raffle prizes were given out and musical comedy duo Jorge Vasconez and Eddie Majnemer, whose songs involved serenading a female audience member as well as detailing the problems that arise from auto-correct, were crowned winners.

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