HIS real name is Babatunde Benard but he is better known and addressed as Baba T. He started out as an actor and comedian some years back when he was still a student of Theatre Arts, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. Since then, he has not looked back. ENCOMIUM Weekly cornered the Abeokuta, Ogun state born fast rising comedian cum actor at an event. He spoke on issues that revolve around his life and career.
How did you start out your career as a comedian and an actor?
I just have to give God all the glory. I started my career when I was in Ogun State University. I started with Baba Somade from there I went into comedy.
How would you describe the experience so far?
What has been the greatest challenge while climbing the ladder to the top?
That is not funny, if I tell you one of the greatest challenge I had faced since I started out was my experience during the 2003 AMEN Award when I was invited to come and perform and I stood behind the stage throughout and I didn’t even hold the microphone.
How would you describe comedy as a means of livelihood, is it really worth venturing into?
I won’t lie to you, comedy is a good business. It is actually worth it. Apart from the monetary aspect, I see every comedian as a prophet that prophesies in a comic way. That makes people to heal themselves of all the stress and depression in the country. Comedians pass their messages in a manner that would also make the people happy and forget their sorrow.
Most of the time you eject fuji music into your comedy, why?
It is true, I introduced music into my comedy because some people may not get the message straight unless you add some flavour to it. So, that is what informed inclusion of music, not only fuji music. I can’t sing any other type of music, that also makes my style of comedy unique.
Which other areas of entertainment that you have not explored?
There are lots of areas that have not been explored. For instance, the Ewi aspect of it, then comedy drama, all these should also be done on stage to pass message to our target audience. I am planning to come up with all these very soon.
Years back when you started out, you weren’t being paid handsomely but now, you are among the highest paid comedians, how much do you collect for a show now?
I earn not less than N300,000 but just like you said earlier I wasn’t earning much when I started out. I used to collect like N20,000 or even at times I would do it free, but now I thank God that has become a thing of the past.
What do you intend changing in comedy as a career?
One of the things I noticed which I think should be corrected is that among the Yoruba comedians, a lot of them are facing serious problems if I may say. They are mixing presentation with stand-up comedy. They can’t differentiate between the two and also they can’t differentiate being a comedian in the movie from anchoring an event as a stand-up comedian. I really want to come into the Yoruba comedy to create a new innovation.
We learnt you have a lot of female admirers flocking around you, how do you cope?
I thank God, one only needs the grace of God to cope with them. I act as if I don’t see and it is a special grace that God has given me to deal with the situation.
What is your love life like, any girl in the card?
Yes, I have one but it is not a very serious relationship for now.
That means you can still go into any romance if there is any slight mistake from her?
A lot of girls like Baba T, not only Bernard and one has to be very careful.
How old are you?
I am in my early 30s.
And you’re not making any attempt to get married soon, are you still enjoying being single?
I will definitely marry when it is time. I put everything in the hands of God but let me tell you the truth, I am still searching.
– THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2010