Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, the Grand Comedian of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is gradually warming up for his annual show tagged, Evolution of Laffmatazz, on Sunday, April 20, 2014, ay Kakanfo Event Centre, Ibadan.
ENCOMIUM Weekly took him up on preparations for the event and sundry issues.
How is preparation for your forthcoming event, Evolution of Laffmatazz in Ibadan, Oyo State?
We are doing everything that needs to be done. We have sorted out all our artistes and our event center. We are still working on sponsors, looking for sponsors for the show.
What innovations are you putting into this year’s edition to make it better?
Our choice of artistes is different. This year, the stage is different. It is just one straight show. We are taking 2Face to Ibadan for the first time. We have 32 artistes that will be performing on stage. This year’s edition is called the Evolution, we are taking the biggest artistes from Lagos to Ibadan.
What were some of the lapses you noticed in last year’s edition?
We finished the first show in a hurry because we had to start another show on the same day. Everything is more relaxed this year. People don’t have to queue at the venue to get their tickets unlike last year. There was a very long queue, people were standing for long because of ticketing.
Everything is better this time around. We have a bigger venue, we are giving more time to artistes to perform.
How much have you invested in this year’s edition?
It is difficult to put a figure on it. We have spent about N10 million already.
How do you intend getting back all you have invested?
We hope to get good sponsors. We also believe people will turn out for the show. I tell people, it is not just about the money but reaching out to the local talents over there.
Do you think it is worth the while with the caliber of artistes coming on board and the money spent so far?
Everything in life is a risk. We have had massive success in the past. We did a projection before we started preparations. No business man plans to fail or run at a loss. We believe God will help us with this year’s edition so that it can be sold out.
It seems you are in love with Ibadan, you are having your show there again?
We have done it in Oshogbo, we will do it in Abeokuta and Ijebu. It is a tour of the South West. I believe it is a gradual thing. We will visit other cities as well.
What has comedy done for you?
It has taken me to places I never thought I could go. It has taken care of my bills and those of my family too. I have never regretted for a day that I am a comedian. It has paid my children’s school fees too.
Who are the guest artistes we are expecting?
Wande Coal, M.I, Julius Agwu, Ali Baba, 2Face and a host of others. We tagged it King of Entertainment. We are also encouraging the locally based artistes to perform as well.
You were once living in Ikorodu but due to some circumstances, you have to relocate and become a tenant?
Armed robbers came to the place, killed my guard. So, I made up my mind to leave that vicinity. We thank God for everything. A lot has changed since then. I am still a landlord elsewhere. It is not only in Ikorodu that I am a landlord.
You have been married for more than a decade, how is marriage treating you?
I have been married for almost two decades. Marriage has been extremely nice to me. I have two children in the university now. I believe the earlier you marry the better. I thank God for His mercies. People better than me have lost it but I am still standing strong in it.
Your wife is not really known, why?
What I decided when I started was that I am the one who wants to do entertainment. So, I decided to keep them away from the public. If my children decide they want to go into entertainment now, I will not restrain them. They are of age now. My wife doesn’t like publicity. She enjoys a quiet life. I also don’t like a lot of drama. I am a different person whenever I am at home.
Some people alleged that your wife is older than you?
Does that mean I married a sugar mummy and kept her at home? Anyway, that will be nice. It means she will be more experienced than me. Let us keep them guessing.
What happened to your relationship with Nigeria Breweries Plc, you used to headline their events?
Nothing happened. I am still the headliner for Star Trek. Only change is constant. Some people were there before me. So far, nothing has happened. I cannot do everything for them. At times, their events might clash with mine, I just have to choose one. They are a very big brand. They usually have a lot of events.
– SHADE WESLEY METIBOGUN