Interviews, People

‘I run the best comedy club in Nigeria’ – Omobaba

Omobaba-Comedian

Popular comedian Olufemi Fagade also known as Omobaba is a proud husband. He took a walk down the aisle in December, 2016 with his beautiful wife Toyosi. The wedding was well attended by who is who in the entertainment world. We had a chat with him on how he found love, what fans should expect from him this year; this is the much he told us

 

Looking back at 2016, how would you describe the year?

It was great. Though we had recessed economy, the year was great, business wise, I did very well. I only believe the report of God.

So, recession didn’t affect business?

Clients were saying there was no money but the year was good for me. A lot of things are now expensive but we were able to afford them. That means God was good to us.

What should we expect from your stable in 2017?

Greater things. I don’t like making noise, I just work hard.  I still run the best comedy club in Nigeria where young talents are being discovered, where comedians test run their jokes before moving to the biggest stage. Coupled with that and some other radio, TV shows, few write ups in one or two major newspapers, I am okay.

Why would you call your comedy club the best?

It is because it is a standard club, we are not just there to entertain people in a beer parlor, the place is designed for the day.  It is meant for people to come and enjoy themselves, laugh. As a club, it is different from a show. 2017 members are ready to get their membership card, it is not a club for everybody. The idea is to make sure that young comedians and some established ones stay true to their heart. It is just like a footballer without a practice pitch. From a proper comedy club we get sponsorship, comedians don’t need weekly shows in other to survive.  They can make something in the club. That is why it is not designed for everyone; it is not for students but the working class. Those people who are actually stressed, that is why we called it “unknot your tie”. For those who have traveled outside the country they know how a proper comedy club works. It is strictly by membership, it is a standard comedy club.

How long has it been running?

This is the third year.

How many members do you have?

It is based on space, it is a club, it is not too big and not too large. It is actually good for up and coming comedians.  The established ones can test run their jokes because we have professionals in here, doctors, lawyers, script writers, different people from all walks of life. People that can listen to you and see the intelligence in your material. Their reactions would suggest if you should work on it. We have had the best comedians visiting this place. The likes of King of comedy Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, Okey Bakassi, a lot of them.

Omo-Baba-and-wife-ToyosiWhat does it entail to be part of the club?

We have regular people coming in every week. We based it on what you do, where you work. Some companies do get tables for few staff, that is, i.e. best staff of the week, the person can come with two friends. It is not meant for students, just the working class if they can afford it. It takes place every Wednesday, 7 till 10pm.

Your style of comedy has evolved over the years, you crack jokes effortlessly and in a quite manner. How did you achieve this?

As a brand, you need to rebrand, change your style. Even when I started, my style was different. I put music into my jokes. From inception, my musical jokes are the ones new comedians are refurbishing, good for them.  I discovered that if you want to catch a male monkey, disguise like a female monkey, you will get all the attractions. To appeal to a particular set of clients, I need to sound like them, that is why education is very important. I just switch a bit, I can blend at any place- market place, professionals, students, I am good to go. I want my micro phone to affect lives positively because I have the power to reach out to people.

Why is it that you don’t stage your own shows?

I have been around for over 16 years and I have not staged a show myself. I would tell you that it is harder to stage a weekly show than to stage a show once a year.  I can stage one when I feel like and when I am ready, that is just me. Maybe I am just the quiet, easy going type. Name every big show that has to do with comedy in Nigeria, I have attended.

Would you say sponsors are the problem?

Sponsorship is a problem generally. A whole lot of people don’t get sponsors, some don’t make so much that people think they are making.  Sponsorship is a big problem. For me, it is just my style , right from when I was in tertiary institution. I had opportunity to do shows but I didn’t. I just want to be on a low key. I work, I am always working, during the week, I attend events, corporate event. On weekends, I might be at a birthday, burial, or another event. I am not just a standup comedian, I am a compere, a sit com actor, comedian and musician. I can write and blend well.

But you have not explored the music aspect well?

You have heard some of my songs but you didn’t know I am the writer. My last single got the attention of the ex president, the single I did concerning Chibok girls. If I will do something I want it to be different. In the song, a lot of people thought I was out for the first lady but after listening to the song well, they realized I was passing a message. I wouldn’t push music like Davido, Harrysong.

I would push music because I love it. I started as a musician and I was doing afro beat gospel. In the long run when you finish, pastors would say God bless you, while the keyboardist, backup singers are there waiting for you outside . When I discovered comedy along the line, I switched to it.

It seems ladies are shying away from comedy, why is it so?

I can show you a personal chat with a female comedienne in my club. She was doing the one minute video joke on instagram and I reached out to her. She just needed somebody to mentor her. Give her three months of attention, fine tune her jokes for her, she would be great. A lot of them feel discouraged after trying the first and second show and people don’t accept them well, they just sit back.  The few ladies are trying to encourage the upcoming ones.

It is a male dominated industry but the ladies are doing well, Helen Paul, Lepacious Bose, Princess, Queen of comedy, Mandy. When we first started, it was Mandy, later Princess, Lepacious Bose and Helen Paul. It is getting better.

How does it feel to be married?

It feels good. Nothing has really changed but you just need to know that before you take a job for four days away from home, somebody needs to be aware. You are responsible for somebody, you have someone to talk to, someone to relate with, someone to give her advice. It is really good.

Is she into entertainment?

No.

What does she do?

She is who she is.

How long did you know each other before forging ahead?

We have been friends for so long.

Was she one of your fans?

She was not my fan, she never even liked me but we were good friends. But now, she is my number one friend.

What advice do you have for the up and coming, most especially ladies?

Don’t think you have to sleep with anybody to be at the top. I wrote a quote in 2008, I said, do you think you need a godfather by force, be a force from nowhere first, God father would be forced himself to associate with you by force.

Learn, watch, get educated , believe in yourself, ask God, is this the right path I am to take? Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, start what you want to start, study what you want to do, get at it and the people meant to help you would locate you.

  • SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN

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