About a month ago, Dr. Craze (@crazeclown) visited Nkataa’s office in Abuja. There seemed to be a release of stress and an aura of joy from the moment he walked in, to the moment he left. Most of us who are used to seeing funny videos of him slapping his stubborn children on Instagram can easily relate to this funny dude.
I got the opportunity to ask him if what we saw on Instagram were real slaps (no spoilers), so if you get to see him, you should ask him too. It was a long day of work, fun, and hysterics, and at the end of the day, members of both the Nkataa and Craze Clown teams went home with smiles on their faces.
Afterwards, as I reflected over the day, I got to thinking about the benefits of laughter. I personally think laughter is highly infectious. The sound of laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When people laugh together, it automatically creates bond among them that improves the relationship. I read that laughter strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain, and protects us from the damaging effects of stress while actively preventing heart diseases. It is basically a quick antidote to the emotional and physical ills we experience. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind, body and soul to a balance like laughter does.
We cannot forget the mental benefits it promises like adding joy and zest to life, easing anxiety and fear and enhancing resilience. Nor can we ignore the fact that it, attracts others to us, enhances teamwork and helps to defuse conflict.
And because laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone, we should always try to create avenues where we can laugh together. How can we achieve this?
Watch a funny movie or TV show go to a comedy club, read the funny pages, seek out funny people, share a good joke or a funny story, check out your bookstore’s humor section, host game night with friends, play with a pet, go to a “laughter yoga” class, goof around with children, do something silly or make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke). The best part of all is that this priceless medicine is fun, mostly free, and easy to use.
What I noticed as we laughed through work that day was that we all bonded. We did not really feel like we were at work. Within the Nkataa team, within the Craze Clown team, and between both teams, we just did what we had to do, without taking it as work. This is something anyone that walks into the Nkataa office will easily notice. There seems to be very serious work going on, but everyone is relaxed, cracking jokes about any and everything and most of all, getting work done at the same time.
With Craze Clown coming around, I finally got the answer to the question I had been asking myself about why Nkataa works the way it works. It is indeed supposed to be a very stressful work environment as what we do is try to make your life all the more comfortable by taking out the stress in your grocery shopping; but at the same time we breeze through the stress in our fun and incredibly ‘chilled’ work space.
Craze Clown finally got to do a ‘skit’ where he was an Nkataa Delivery man, delivering a slap sent by an angry girl to her boyfriend. And of course as with all things Nkataa, the poor boy had to sign to acknowledge he received his package (slap), and was asked his mode of payment (Cash or POS). Haha, now that was funny! You can watch the video below: