Popular sitcom actor and Wazobia FM presenter, Yaw on Sunday, March 30, 2014, stagged his annual show, Yaw Live Show at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The show which commenced at about 5 pm and ended at 12 midnight was well attended by celebrities and faithful fans of Yaw. Also in attendance was the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola and some of her aides. The show was not only a successful one but had in performance some of Nigeria’s A-list music acts – the Koko master himself, D’Banj was live on stage, Dr Sid, Iyanya, Olamide, Timaya, Harrysong, Sean Tizzle, Timi Dakolo, Dj Xclusive and many more. He also had ace comedians like Ali Baba, Koffi, Funnybone, Akpororo, Okey Bakassi to thrill with their head rolling jokes.
During a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, Yaw revealed how happy he was about his show…
How would you rate your show this year?
I would say, it was better than any of my previous shows. So I rate it very high. At the same time, I owe the success to God because without Him, all would not have worked according to how I planned it. I just can’t stop thanking God.
Were there any lapses you noticed from previous shows that you curbed this time around?
That has to do with the organization of the whole programme. I tried to organize better which also had a lot to do with the venue. I tried in letting the show flow in a particular format. I was able to bring on stage the highest number of music artistes I have ever had on my show. They were not just normal artistes but top rated artistes in the Nigerian music industry. Basically, I tried my hands on new things and it worked out well. Having a dance group within the play is also something new because, I do a two man show but this time around, I had to infuse a dance group which really did well.
What were the major challenges in putting the whole show together?
I don’t think there was any challenge anywhere. I just think it was all part of making the show better because I’m a kind of person who does not see challenges in anything, I only see opportunities.
So, I saw an opportunity to do something better. Every year, I see a mistake and I try to improve on it so it does not repeat itself in subsequent years.
The stage play by you and Julius Agwu, was all about politics. What inspired it?
I decided to use satire to pass across my message. It is like a rubber sword used to stab someone without any intention of spilling blood but at the end of the day, your message would be passed. If you cut out Politics from our existence, I don’t think we can survive. So, I wanted an opportunity to talk to leaders and people about politics, the way we are and to make sure I pass across my message not just to preach because it is not all about the government but you and I.
How were you able to get all the A-list music artistes to perform on one stage?
It was not easy but at the same time it was cool with me. Most of them supported me while some, I had to part with something. But they all supported me in their little way. Someone like D’Banj specifically said, “You have supported me over the years and it is time for me to support you”, that was why he came for the show. Besides, he was not sure if he would be in town that day, that was why his name was not included on the bill. It was a good show for me and I am happy it turned out well.
How do you feel about the show?
I was really happy with the turnout of people, it was a success to me. The drama which was the major part of the show was also a success. Then, Julius Agwu made it possible, the director also made it fantastic. I just didn’t know how to express myself at the end of the show. It was a success.
How financially rewarding it?
I won’t give a figure but you cannot make a stage show and expect to get all that you invested. I just thank God.
What next should we expect from you?
At the moment, I have about four or five projects that I’m working on before this year runs out and would kick-off very soon. Apart from that, my TV show Yaw and Myne would also start shooting new episodes.
How do you intend to make the next show better?
By that time, I would find something new to infuse into the show to make it different from what you saw this year. I also want to take the big leap of fate to make use of the whole Expo Hall for my next show. My going to Eko Hotel was a trial and it worked out well. Also, before the end of this year, I would know who I would be acting with for my next show and by Gods’ grace, put all things in place to start placing adverts.
‘Acting with Yaw brought back theatre memories’ – JULIUS AGWU
How long did you prepare for the stage play?
Sincerely speaking, we did not rehearse for a long time. The rehearsal for the stage play started three weeks ago. Due to the short time frame, we had to put away all other distractions to put in all our best to make it a success. And I thank God, it came out as we planned.
Because of your excellent performance on stage, lots of people were of the opinion that you should go into acting. What do you have to say?
Actually, I started my career as an actor. While studying for my Diploma, I specialised in acting and had a university degree in Directing. It has been a while since I acted on stage because I don’t have the time but Yaw spoke to me and I obliged. The joy of it is that, it brings back memories of theatre because there is nothing like it. It is spontaneous and attracts psychological intimacy with the audience. The drama we presented was telling the story of our nation. We became passionate about it and decided to pass across the message.
How does it feel acting alongside Yaw?
Yaw is an experienced actor, that was how we were able to blend and the director was fantastic. It was a theatrical experience for most of us who have theatre background. I am glad it worked out fine.
Can you tell us some of the challenges you faced?
One of the things that made it easy was because we were rehearsing in my office where I have a band studio for artistes to rehearse. So, because of that, I would say it was easy for me all the way.
What do you have to say to young comedians who do not have this kind of background?
We comedians are also actors in one way or another, because we are always on stage and telling a story. It is known as a one man act. Being a comedian, you are also stage performing. The difference is that, you have to take-in lines and know the parts of speech or what is involved.
– interviews by DOLAPO AMODENI