What have you been up to lately?
I am working on a youth initiative programme that will be unveiled soon. Also, I will be celebrating my 20th anniversary on stage soon.
What inspired you to go into comedy?
I have always had a hilarious disposition; people considered my utterances funny. It is a talent God bestowed on me and I developed the gift. There wasn’t any financial motivation at that time, but my expression got most people interested in me.
You started comedy in 1991; what improvements can you identify in that facet of entertainment in Nigeria?
There has been a huge improvement in the comedy industry over the last one decade. We have witnessed some accomplishments and it ranges from high-profile events organised by comedians to endorsements. Comedians now exude an aura that inspires people and arouses interest. The affluence that now comes with the job is encouraging.
As a successful comedian, do you still encounter any challenges?
Yes, I still do. There is always a difficult and motivational aspect of every human endeavour. In entertainment, the need to be professional while observing public decorum on stage could be challenging. More so, as one of the inspiring comedians, I try to maintain certain conducts off and on stage in addition to balancing my personal life with the artistry. The most important challenge is having an industry that is regulated and where one’s intellectual property is protected. There is a great need for government to strengthen agencies against piracy and other forms of intellectual abuse.
How do you define success?
Success has no general or universal definition. I believe success is measured from different perspectives. What you call success today can destroy you tomorrow. So, I define success as contentment within the limitations of one’s knowledge, knowing and accepting the fact that no matter the accomplishment, it could all end in vanity. I believe in ‘live and let live’ while maintaining a high sense of honesty and integrity.
Which do you consider more lucrative- construction or entertainment?
Each of them complements the other. None is complete without the other.
You built a helicopter at a young age, why didn’t you continue in that line as a choice of career?
There are always two sides to everything. The choice to decide which one to choose is personal but nature has a way of separating mere desires from rare talent. I did not make the choice, but I allowed natural circumstances to lead me through the path; creativity is a tree with many branches. Once the natural skill is inherent in an individual, it will translate positively in the activities that he or she decides to do. It is a rare privilege to work in the paths which are naturally defined.
Looking back, would you say you regret not accepting the scholarship to study abroad?
I am yet to regret any decision I have made. Every endeavour in life leads to one ultimate aim which could be financial remuneration, fame, honour, prestige, popularity or wealth. Although I declined that opportunity, I have also reciprocated that today by supporting others with the same offer I had years ago. We are reminded to give thanks in all things. Being famous to walk in this path, I am a happier person today.
Sometimes, do you find your jokes boring?
The battle of life is won within. Any feeling that has not overwhelmed you cannot impress or subdue the consciousness of another person’s word. The heart and soul must feel your vibes with the sounds of the rhythm, and every good dance starts from the first drumbeat. My jokes amuse me comedy starts from within me.
How were you able to handle competition in the industry as a beginner and now?
I do not believe I am in a quest for glory so I don’t contend with other personalities. The comedy industry is filled with different actors but the spotlight beams on who goes on stage at every moment and there is always one actor on stage. We all have unique qualities and personalities that distinguish us as humans but we all express the diversity of God in our little ways.
How do you get inspiration to tell your jokes?
It’s just a natural phenomenon. I always relate with my environment; by picturing real life issues and locating the puzzle in between the lines.
Do you recycle your jokes?
There is always a premise before every conclusion. The ultimate aim of performance is to satisfy your audience by relating with them; it’s like a motivational speaker telling his audience that hard work and commitment to one’s desire is more important than just dreaming and having an unused talent. The display of these qualities is like a preamble.
How do you strike a balance between family and work?
The family comes first. Once family values and needs are maintained, then proficiency at work can be certain. There is really not much difference between both because they compliment each other; body and soul are one property.
How do you handle female fans?
I treat my fans with utmost regard, especially those that are able to express their love and appreciation for my work.
Having had a not-so-smooth background, are there lessons you have learnt from that experience?
There is always a lesson to learn from any experience, its either you use it to motivate yourself positively or negatively. One’s family and social background actually define your perception of life. Those early experiences made me reason and visualise the shortcomings ahead. Life has taught me that yesterday is the seed that gives birth to today. So, sow a seed today so that tomorrow will remember you and you can live in peace with your friends and strangers.
What were the traits that endeared you to your wife?
Simplicity, courage and an overwhelming desire to conquer.
With your recent involvement in politics, do you plan to make career out of it?
Politics is an engagement either at home or at work. How serious can it get when you give orders, hire and fire your gateman without due process, or struggle for the majority vote between you and your wife? All are personal political decisions.
There have been complaints about comedians who steal jokes, have you been a victim?
We all crave for excellence, and every professional artiste would admit to this. As much as there is originality in the field, there is nothing new under the sun. The jokes of today were inspired by yesterday. No one can claim the right to invention of any language. I respect those who have the unique dexterity to redesign a joke already told because it’s not an easy task.
What are your greatest assets, your cars or your houses?
My greatest asset is my life.