Cheesy banana show whips up a frenzy

October 4, 1996

Booze, buddies, boogie and boredom. Alan Thomson samples the ups and downs of freshers' week. It's big, yellow and it whips young men and women into a frenzy. It's the latest in freshers' week entertainment. It's Banana Mania.

The show's star and driving force is 23-year-old Jonathan Fatimilehim, a former student executive member of North Cheshire College, who began a punishing month-long national tour of higher and further education freshers' events earlier this month.

His formula is part TV game show, part drinking competition, part karaoke, part comedy club and part 18-30 beach party. But whatever is going on, the audience must be involved.

He said: "The guiding ethos is to get students involved. I say we don't just break the ice in freshers' week, we shatter it. We take them from an initial apathy to quite literally a raging frenzy."

Parents can rest assured that their sons and daughters, many of whom are away from home for the first time, are actually enjoying this wild catharsis within the safety of a student union venue. Security and union staff are always on hand to deal with any problems.

In the real world, Mr Fatimilehim is a dance teacher at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, the so-called Fame School founded by Paul McCartney. His knowledge of the human body's athletic potential appears to help in some of his more outrageous games. "We get people doing handstands, supporting each other upside down and generally getting into certain risque positions. It's never crude, just risque enough to keep the interest up and the laughter coming."

Mr Fatimilehim believes that, over the years, students have been getting progressively more demanding when it comes to the entertainment unions have to offer, not just for freshers' week or fortnight, but all year round.

He said: "I know that many smaller unions lack the financial clout to attract big name, large-scale entertainment but the key to any freshers' week or any other entertainment is participation and involvement. If the students feel part of it then they'll have a whale of a time."

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.


Featured jobs