There are four of them – De Don (their leader), Acapella, Alincology and Cee…Y. All gifted and spontaneous and making waves. They took standup comedy to the radio and the whole world has been saluting and applauding them ever since. Comedy Happy Hour is the programme and the radio station is Rainbow FM. Every evening, between the hours of 4 and 6pm, they melt our hearts and our sorrows with their terrific jokes. YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine took them up on the genesis of the very popular programme, the secret of their success, the bond that exists between them and more. Enjoy…
How did you come about the name, De Don?
Don is my real name, my English name. When I started comedy, the first place I went to was DTD at Lekki (Lagos) and when I got there, they asked what is your stage name? I said call me Iruvwe Okeremute De Don. The man said that’s too long. How MC wan take introduce you? Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome Iruvwe Okeremute De Don. No, no, no. That is too long. Then, the man asked, your name is Don right? I said yes. He said use the name. I thought about it, I know of Don Chichi, Don Emmanuel, etc. There are a lot of Dons. So, I decided to add the definite article, the French definite article, De. So, that’s how I came about the name, De Don.
At what point in time did you discover you could make people laugh?
Childhood! Because in my primary school days, when it comes to story time, other people narrate some very tragic stories, real stories, but I always come with the tortoise story; a story that has a lot of humour. And when I was in secondary school, I used to be involved in this yabbing segment. During break, those of us that didn’t really play football, we will just gather somewhere, you yab me, I yab you. That time, we dey call am wording. It’s a slang. I came to Lagos 1999 and between 1999 and 2002, I was watching comedians on television. That was when I knew it’s a profession for people like Ali Baba, Basorge Tariah Jnr, Okey Bakassi, Basketmouth and late Mohammed Danjuma and many others. I got to know that it’s actually a profession and they make money out of it. So, I decided to venture into it because most of the jokes I was hearing then, I had heard them before, back in Delta State, and I was already doing some of those materials before.
What were some of the major setbacks when you started?
The major setback for me was my brother-in-law, my eldest sister’s husband. I was staying with them; they insisted I must go to school. They wanted me to go to school. I said I can go to school and do comedy. I didn’t do well in WAEC, so in Lagos, I registered for GCE. I did well, I got admission into LASU to do diploma. I was doing the diploma and at the same time doing comedy. They said no. So, it was a big challenge for me. Sometimes I will jump the fence to attend shows, sometimes they will lock the door, sometimes I will miss the shows. Funny enough, those shows were not paying. Those were the basic setbacks. Apart from that, from the beginning, I didn’t have so much setback, because each stage I performed, I always got people that liked my act and they always engaged me for some other shows.
What inspires your jokes, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I pay attention to everything that’s happening around me, especially trending issues like the Ebola virus, 50 billion missing, one governor went to jail. I pay attention to things that are happening within my neighbourhood and of course, the country. Things that create humour. I see from the humour perspective and that inspires my jokes.
As a comedian, you have to keep inventing new ideas and stories, how do you go about that?
At times, real things that happen, I just get humour from there. I went to a church’s fund raising and and they gave the microphone to one retired military officer and he said he was no more in government, but that he’s going to make a pledge of N600,000 and the Reverend Father asked him, when are you going to pay sir? He said I will pay before I die (Laughs). I made it into a joke and I added the line, the Reverend Father asked him when are you going to die? Indeed, the Reverend Father didn’t ask him that, but to make my joke more interesting and more humorous, I needed to add that. So, we exaggerate at times.
What does it take to be a good comedian and radio presenter?
A good comedian has to be very spontaneous and secondly, you have to be original and also your sense of humour must be at the very top.
How was it like when you started?
When I started, I was a bit rough, because of my background. My elder sister and her husband were very, very keen about me going to school. Apart from them, I gained so much acceptance from the already made comedians then. Each of them that saw me, they fell in love with me.
If you were not doing comedy, what else will you be doing?
Car wash! (Laughs).
Are you serious? Why?
When I was staying with my elder sister, the husband had about four cars, my sister had one, so about six cars. And everyday, I must wash three (Laughs). And I washed them so well that after sometime I fell in love with washing cars. Today, I wash my cars myself, when I am chanced.
What is the singular thing that you think most people don’t know about you?
I will say originality. For big shows, for major standup comedy, I have never done other Nigerian comedian’s materials. I do my original materials. When I go to weddings, I go to some private events, I can pick on some of my colleagues’ materials, but I give credit. I think that is one thing that people are yet to notice about me.
Tell us about Comedy Happy Hour With De Don.
Comedy Happy Hour With De Don, the issue of piracy, if you permit me to use that word; comedians doing other comedians’ jokes without credit pushed me to radio. I had the idea of a radio show to entertain people in traffic. At the same time, get the audience to know my original materials. So, I ventured into radio and I called it Comedy Happy Hour With De Don, and it is actually the first ever comedy stand up show on radio in Nigeria.
What are the major highlights of the show?
I have some segments. I have Ochuko Corner. He is a small boy, about 9,10 years old. He is very troublesome. His various short skits, short drama about him in one adventure or the other; but extremely humourous. I think 99% of the audience we have on that show, that is their highpoint. They don’t want to miss it at all. Then, another segment is the Calabar News, that CY does every Friday. That is also interesting. There is a new one we are introducing next week, it’s called Show Yourself. There, you will call in and display a particular talent, it can be rapping, singing, poetry, comedy. It can even be cooking. You tell us how to cook a particular delicacy, if you miss it, we will yab you.
Tell us about Friday Night Live With De Don.
It’s a show I do every Friday. I just thought of it that Fridays should be more interesting in Lagos. We have few spots where you can really enjoy yourself on Friday. Those few spots, if you go there, the crowd is too much, the place is definitely too small. So, I thought of opening a bigger place that will take more people. We were at La Mango; we used to be at La Mango every Thursday. It became too small for the crowd, so we decided to move to a bigger place. So, we moved to Motherlan. Friday Nite With De Don, with live music and comedy, 7-11pm.
Why is the show Friday Nite With De Don?
Because we have few of these places doing stuff like this. The only thing that is out of it is comedy. They do live music, and if you make it gate taking, we might not reach out to all fans. It’s just to have my fans come hang out and enjoy.
How do you feel combining comedy with presenting on radio?
For me, I do the same thing; the same thing I do on stage, I take it to radio. The difference is that there won’t be opportunity for visuals, so I don’t act what I do. I make them to describe my actions on stage, I put them into lines so that you can understand, listening over the radio. So, it’s not just a tedious job, it is an interesting job.
Do you mean comedians act?
Yes, we act, we describe. At times when you are on stage, you want to describe how ladies do their shakara. You need to act it out. But on radio, we don’t do it. We use lines, because people will definitely not see you.
What is the relationship between the four of you?
Oh! We have a very, very cordial relationship. We are like a family, we meet everyday, so the bond has grown and we can more or less tell where each other is at every moment.
Can you give us a peep into your childhood?
I grew up in Abraka, Delta State. My childhood, very funny and interesting. We didn’t have all the money, but we were very comfortable. I lost my dad when I was 10 years old, we had to take to the street, my mom will give us various things to hawk. In the morning, we will go and hawk pap. It was interesting because before dad died, we didn’t have the opportunity to mix with people. We were always indoors. From school, we go home and maybe go to our mummy’s shop. Then, at night, we come home. I didn’t really have fun. So, when he died, I had the opportunity to go hawk things. I hawked pap, fish, palm oil, okro, pepper and tomatoes. So, it gave me the opportunity to meet other children around. At times I will sell fast so I can go play ball with them. So, it was interesting for me.
What do you like about De Don as a comedian?
The freedom, the treatment I get from people. There are certain things I can do and get away with. At times, I can be on stage and I want to sing an artiste’s song, if I don’t get the song right, I can get away with it. Then, there are certain places I go to, just being a comedian, I am given a preferential treatment. I can get to the airport now and there is a long queue and one of my fans can be there and just call me, De Don, come let’s amend you. Like the day I went to American embassy for the visa interview, it was one of my fans that interviewed me, a white man, so the visa was one time (Laughs).
How do you unwind?
I unwind anytime. I like hanging out with comedians, then I like listening to live music. Those are the two basic ways I unwind.
MUSIC WAS MY FIRST LOVE – Acapella
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Bennett Daniel, popularly known as Acapella and my fans on radio call me the Dollar Remix. I’m from Orlu LGA of Imo State. I come from a humble background. I come from a family of nine (including mother and father) and I am the 4th child. I am a graduate of Lagos State Polytechnic.
When did you start comedy?
I started comedy way back, but I started talking jokes in 2002. I went professional in 2006. That was when I started collecting money to do jokes. Then, I used to listen to the likes of late Mohammed Danjuma, Basorge Tariah Jnr, Okey Mac Anthony, Ali Baba. I used to watch them on TV. We used to have a programme in my church called Healious Hargard and the MC we called didn’t show, so I was asked to come and perform. So, I did that, telling them jokes of these guys I listened to and people liked it. I continued like that, but in 2005 I started creating me own jokes.
While growing up, did you ever think that you will become a comedian?
No, but I always knew that I will be an entertainer. I love music. I used to sing. Why my name is Acapella is because I used to have an acapella group. I thought that I will be a musician or an actor; I didn’t know that I will be a comedian. But I have always known that I am funny. But I started liking comedy in 2003 when I watched the likes of I Go Dye, Ali Baba, Basketmouth, etc.
Will you still do music?
I cannot leave comedy for music, but I can do music. I even do musi-comedy now. If you listen to all my jokes, you will know that I bring music into comedy. In the future, if I have an inspiration to do music, why not; I will do it.
How do you get your jokes?
God gives us the inspiration. Also, I use things that happen around me. Sometimes I research, but I rarely do that. I create my jokes based on my daily experiences.
Are there cliques in your industry?
No, I don’t see it as a clique, rather I see it as people one is comfortable working with. People who won’t backstab or disappoint you, people you have been together with for a long time. I work in a radio programme called Comedy Half Hour With De Don. We are like four comedians on the show, so that means that if I have any gig, the first names that come to mind are those that work with me. But someone outside will see it as a clique. I work with virtually all the comedians in Nigeria, but the same rule applies. People will always go for people they are comfortable working with. But when they are busy, they can call you.
Why do we have few comediennes in your industry?
I don’t know why, but I know that there is no female that comes that doesn’t stay. I know Princess, Lepacious Bose, Mandy. They came and they stayed. Helen Paul is one of the biggest brands. If you are good, you will succeed.
You talked about your programme on Rainbow FM, can you tell us more about it?
It’s a traffic programme that starts from 4 pm to 6 pm daily, from Monday to Friday. It’s called Comedy Happy Hour With De Don. We try to ease people’s stress while on traffic, because many people don’t listen to radio except in their cars. We also talk about other issues like Ebola, Police, government, etc. But we add humour to it to make it interesting.
How did you conceive the idea?
It’s all started with one man called De Don. He called me in 2011 and told me that he wanted to be cracking jokes on radio. So, he started as a 30 – minute programme then. I used come in to feature. Then, the station now extended our time to 2 hours. And we can’t be telling jokes for 2 hours on radio, so we decided to make it a day to day radio programme. We pick an issue to discuss, then we infuse a lot of humour. And our jokes come spontaneously.
So, what is your relationship like?
We are blood, we are doing a TV sitcom; we just finished from location, and it’s called One House. It’s about the four of us: De Don, Alincology, CY and me living in one house, bringing what we do on radio to TV. It’s a TV sitcom like Yaws and Mynes, AY’s Crib, The Johnsons, etc.
How often do you get angry?
It’s hard. I rarely get angry.
Tell us your most embarrassing moment as a comedian.
In 2005, I went to perform in a church; I was on stage, the pastor came in and was like who brought this guy to the church? How did you bring a comedian to the altar of God? They took the mic from me in front of a crowd of about 5000, and I felt like disappearing. And that’s why I have an annual show, Comedy Goes To Church. After that embarrassment, I told myself that I’m going to build my brand and bring comedy back to church.
Tell us your most memorable performance as a comedian.
It was at AY Live 2014. I had a mind blowing performance. I really enjoyed it.
Why do comedians like saying negative things about women?
The average Nigerian girl is an entertainer. They see something on TV, then they want to bring it to the African context, which may not be a welcoming environment for that and we see it as funny. And when you do such jokes, they laugh because they can relate to it. But I don’t do much of female jokes. However, if you come to a show of about 1000, I will bet you to have more than six hundred ladies in the auditorium. So, to catch a large percent of the audience, you need to talk about them and that’s the whole idea.
What advice can you give to the upcoming comedians?
Come with your own idea, you can’t come and start repeating the joke that has been told before. You have to come with your own style and originality. For you to make it, you have to come out new and fresh. We thought the industry was jam-packed, but one guy came out with madness (Akpororo) and today he is one of the most celebrated comedians in the country. Don’t try to be me or Basketmouth, come with your own identity and people will look for you.
Tell us your best joke.
I like it when I do musi-comedy and it’s a whole lot of series. It could take like 15 minutes. I move from one song to another. I like the joke I did about Nigerian pastors, where I said I don’t like standing near a pastor’s Bible. I said when Jesus will come, two people will be standing and one will go and the other will remain. So, if I am standing with a Pastor, it means that he will be going and I will remain. I will rather stand with Police or NEPA.
When you tell a joke and people don’t laugh, how do you feel?
Definitely, you will feel bad. It’s like a producer producing goods that consumers don’t like. Also, it is like a musician producing a song that is not accepted. You will feel like you’ve invested a lot of time to create and people don’t like it. But I am very quick to correct it as soon as I tell a joke that is not funny. I make sure I have a backup for it. But it also depends on the audience and what they like.
I STARTED BY YABBING MY SCHOOL MATES – Alincology
Who is Alincology?
(Laughing) Their grandfather is a shoemaker. Alincology is the hilarious, the craziest and the only understanding comedian in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My real name is Ehigie Osarenkhoe (Newman), I am from Edo State. I started comedy when I was a boy, but now, I am a man. Alincology is one comedian that is very down to earth, as you can see.
At what point did you discover that you could do comedy?
Wow! That should be in 1999 when I just entered Auchi Polytechnic. I had this funny look; I was very slim. Something actually happened in the hostel, so people took it to school and started calling me Alinco, because I used to wear one cap and I looked like Alinco of Papa Ajasco. Then, there is this thing we used to do when we were small; we call it wording, teasing, as in yabis. So, that was actually what I was good at doing. Whenever they call me Alinco, I say something back to them. You even find out that anything I will say is always funny. So, calling me Alinco was fun. They started calling me Alinco and I didn’t stop attacking them. If they call me Alinco, then I say something. So, they found out that I’m a talented ‘curser’. I can abuse people very well. That’s what I inherited from the environment I grew up, in Edo State, NIFOPR (Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research) where I was born. So, people started coming close, calling me Alinco, then I will scoop them. Before you knew it, people started coming together after lectures where I used to hang out, where we used to buy snacks and soft drinks. People always came there just to see me quarrel with people. So, one day; I Go Dye, I Go Save, myself were in the same school. I Go Dye and I Go Save are friends. They used to come around and we will hang out together. My own is to curse. One day, somebody just paid me. The first money they paid me was to come and curse people. They paid I Go Dye and I Go Save to come and crack jokes. They paid me N300 just to come and curse people, so I became so popular insulting people. The guy now asked me, “Alincology, dis one dat people are finding it funny if you curse people, why don’t you just add comedy to it?” So, I met I Go Save and made enquiries concerning comedy and I Go Save was like Alincology, just keep your mind on it, the thing (comedy) will enter you, it will be part of you, just flow with it since you want to do it. Just keep your fingers crossed, according to how the Igbo boys say it, keep your fingers crossed, just follow the trend and it will come naturally, because I love it. I had seen that calling me Alinco, I’m supposed to be very angry; in fact, at first, I did not like it, so I then took advantage of the situation and then channeled it to entertainment. As you call me Alinco, I will say something to you. From there, it started coming naturally and I started getting paid for entertaining people then in Auchi Polytechnic. That was how the comedy thing started in Auchi Polytechnic.
Professionally, how many years have you been in the comedy industry?
Ah! That’s a nice talk o! I cannot actually differentiate between me being into comedy professionally and unprofessionally. Because while in school, I used to crack jokes anywhere I was called upon; anywhere I saw a gathering, I just wanted to crack jokes. I started killing business for I Go Dye and I Go Save. So, they kept telling me, Alincology, this thing is business, somebody cannot just give you one sweet and you will just be cracking jokes. So, when I saw the reason I would take it serious, I came to Lagos and can’t remember the year. I think 2002 or 2003. I was shuttling between Lagos and Benin. But my first audition for Nite of A Thousand Laughs was in 1999 in Lagos. So, business wise, I can’t really say. But as in comedy, I started seeing comedy as a business when I was paid my first N30,000. It looked like a big dream come true. I could still remember. Insight Communications was the agency that paid me N30,000 for their end of the year party. That was the first time I collected such amount of money and I said okay, business, here I come and I went to do a complimentary card. That was in 2003 or 2004. I decided that comedy is what I wanted to do. If not comedy, forget it.
From comedy you veered into radio, how has the journey been so far?
Kudos to De Don, who actually started a good and creative concept of being the first person to take stand-up comedy to radio. So, De Don started it, I joined him, we were doing it, it was fun. Then, Acapella came in, so I brought in Omini to join the system and ever since I noticed we could actually make people’s day. Outside being a stand-up comedian, you can do your stuff on CD and play through television and radio. So, working with De Don on radio makes me feel that people appreciate the little I have in me to give. So, I think it’s nice.
What does Comedy Happy Hour entail?
Comedy Happy Hour is a total stand-up comedy show on radio. Here, we have the initiator himself, De Don and Alincology, Acapella, Cee…Y and Omini. Comedy Happy Hour is a stand-up show on radio and it’s the first of its kind.
How long has Comedy Happy Hour been on air?
Wow! On air? I think it is four years. Yes, it clocked four years on air, March 7th.
What has been the challenges so far?
The only challenge so far is just being creative. Making sure people don’t get bored. You know what it takes to entertain a particular set of people everyday. Since the programme is 4-6 everyday, people want to hear new things from us and you must be a spontaneous comedian to keep your fans. So, everyday, people want to hear something different and I thank God for the crew. We all have our own contributions to the show. De Don is another fantastic person, who always, is just like the sea that never dries when it comes to spontaneity, when it comes to keeping the thing real, being very fluent, versatile. Getting to know what to say everyday is not easy. Now, I have my own concept. I brought in how to call numbers. To call numbers, every radio programme calls their number directly, but we have our own style of doing it by (singing). That is my own concept and I’m playing the naughty man on Comedy Happy Hour With De Don while Omini is playing the ladies’ comedian. Also funny, but true story. Acapella is playing the millionaire who dashes millions and billions while Cee…Y, the dish-calabar man, does the news aspect. So, the programme is full of versatility that will keep people not bored. Another powerful segment of the show is the Ochuko Corner. Yes, that is another powerful segment of the programme. So, with the programme, there is no dull moment.
Please, throw more light on the Ochuko segment of the programme.
Ochuko Corner? Well, every listener of Comedy Happy Hour With The De Don has their own perspective, their own notion of how they see Ochuko. Ochuko is just one stubborn Warri boy, who does not accept defeat. He doesn’t take defeat. Ochuko just wants to know it all. Well, at a point, he comes out to be olodo in the thing that he is claiming to know and most times he comes out to be very wise, very smart and foolish sometimes. Ochuko is one stubborn character that is very funny. Anybody that listens to Ochuko Corner would want to listen to the programme because it is usually Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s when we do Ochuko Corner. So, he is one funny boy you want to listen to on the programme. I think Ochuko is one of the pillars that hold that programme.
Aside being a comedian and a presenter with Rainbow FM, what else do you do?
My album just dropped. I do funny songs. Should I call myself a musician? I am a complete entertainer and hustler. I just want to get people entertained, both with music and comedy. But meanwhile, the major thing I did those days in entertainment was dancing professionally. But now that I have grown pot belly, grown old, it seems I’m losing out on the dancing aspect of my entertainment career. So, actually, I sing too. To crown it all, I sing and I just completed my album.
How do you relax?
I hate clubbing, I don’t hang out. So, I don’t go out to relax and drink. I don’t. I’m not the drinking type, but that doesn’t mean I don’t taste something, but I relax in the house watching funny comedy, teens’ programmes like Victorious, like JC. So, I watch films to relax my nerves. I operate computers a lot, so I’m always with my computer. I have desktop, laptops, palmtops, just to relax. I don’t usually fancy clubbing or just going out to chill out with friends. Except I’m paid to do that.
Are you in a relationship?
How will I say it now? Yes or no (Laughs). This one funny sha. Actually, I am searching; I just want to get married. I want to try and settle down next year, so I’m searching for a wife. When I finish my second album, I think I would start preparing for my wedding.
Advice to your fans.
There is a very big difference between work and hustle. Work is when you are doing something in line with what you read in school and hustle is when you are doing anything that just brings food to the table. That is hustling. That is why I keep telling people, ‘Anything wey life give you, manage am. If life gives you eba, try to go make friend with who get soup’ (Laughs). Dem no dey tell blind man say rain dey fall. Don’t just do anything; don’t try to make fast money. That thing is really killing people; it’s destroying the lives of 80% of the youth in the world today – trying to make it quick. Just be patient, fight for yourself, get educated, then make a plan for your career, not that fast fast money thing. People should just take life easy. According to my friend, Acapella, he said, “why kill yourself when you will still die naturally”. 70, 80, 100, you are gone, so why kill yourself now? So, don’t do drugs, if you womanize, take it easy on yourself. Everybody is a victim of that. Take it easy on yourself. Just be good, be prayerful.
I DON’T CRACK JOKES, I TELL STORIES – Cee…Y
Tell us how you started out as a comedian.
Okay, it started four years ago. But before then, it was in school, the University of Calabar. I was still into music, rap then. There was this show by this guy who organizes shows on campus. I remember very well, he was in the Law department. He had this show. I was supposed to perform as an artiste. I had this guy in my elder brother’s class, who thought I was a very funny guy. He sees me as extremely funny. But I wasn’t a comedian and on the day of the show, the M.C didn’t show up. It was the guy that acted Moke in Isakaba, and he didn’t show up. So, the guy who was my elder brother’s classmate was friends with the guy who was organizing the show. So, he said to him, let this guy be the master of ceremonies now, is it not to be calling artistes to come on stage and when he told me, I was like no, I can’t do that, I am here to perform as a rap artiste (Laughs). He now said okay, what I will do is when I’m calling them, I can perform my songs along the line. I was like okay, it’s not a bad idea. And when I took the microphone, people who knew me as a rapper thought I was going to rap. And you know students, when I started talking, they started stoning me, get out, stupid boy, you get 16 carry over. You know campus now. So, I started throwing jabs back at them. At the end, it was a good show. So, at the next show, the guy put my name as the M.C instead of a rap artiste and I was angry. Why will you put me as the MC? He said you did well at the first show and I was like well. From there, I started buying comedy CDs, started watching, I started writing jokes, but I didn’t take it seriously until four years ago when I came into Lagos. Okay, I came 2007, then four years ago, music wasn’t working. I said okay, why not concentrate on this comedy thing, and then I had the opportunity. That was where it started.
When you came to Lagos, who were the people you met that introduced you to the act?
When I came into Lagos first, I worked for somebody because I used to write comic stories and they will produce it. It was on television for a while and then from there, I started having small gigs. I met one lady, Nonye, who works with City People. She saw me at one event and she was like wow, you are really good, come, we have an event, City People, and I went there, I performed original jokes, then the chairman of City People, Dr. Seye Kehinde, he was like this guy is good, let’s keep bringing him on our shows. That was how it started till 2010 when I had a major break. I did Time Out With Tee A in Abuja. That was my first professional standup performance and it was something else.
Since then, how will you describe the journey?
It has been beautiful. I mean, if I want to come back to life again, I will want to come back as a comedian. It’s a very beautiful thing. It is something I love to do, it’s not about money. I love seeing people laugh, I like to talk, I like to see people laugh when I talk. So, it’s been beautiful.
When you started out then, what were the goals you set for yourself?
The goal I set was to be one of the most unique comedians Africans will ever see because I have challenges with doing other people’s materials. So, I thought I had to be different by creating my own stories. Yeah!
So, how original are you?
Have always been original. I’m having issues telling people’s jokes. I’m not good at it, I don’t like it, I don’t encourage it. I think it’s wickedness and a very big crime to do when you tell other people’s jokes without their permission. It’s very bad. I don’t like it at all.
You do original comedy and also write skits, how do you get this inspiration?
I think it is a gift, it is not something you buy in the market. I just improve on my knowledge, I try to read as much as I can, I try to keep my mind as open as I can keep it.
We have so many unique comedians nowadays, what is your own unique point?
My unique point is I don’t crack jokes, I tell comic stories. I’m not the comedian who comes and tells you jokes. I am not a joke man, I’m a story teller. That is my unique point and we are not much who do that in Nigeria. We are very few comedians who tell stories.
So, how did the issue of being a presenter come up?
I had been doing presentation from Calabar. I used to be on a show; that was in early 2006 through 2007, before I came to Lagos. I was into presentation and then when I came to Lagos, I did presentation with Eko FM for about a year. I did with Choice FM for about another year and then I did for Radio Continental. It was an independent programme, DJ Switch, for about 4 months. Then, I went to Radio Nigeria Institute of Presentation. So, I have a professional certificate as a presenter.
Comedy Happy Hour, how did it start? Who brought the idea and how did you compose the group?
Well, I was the last person there. It has been De Don and the rest of them. De Don is somebody I know. He is a great guy. And then sometime, he invited me to the programme, I went and he was like just come around anytime you have the time, and then I started going. Before you knew it, I was regular.
How will you describe the relationship between the four of you?
Beautiful. I can always work with anybody, no matter how difficult the person is. I know how to adjust myself to work with anybody. We have a very cordial relationship.
What are those unique things about the show that made it a household name?
It has segments. Everybody is unique in their own way. Nobody is struggling to be like the next person. I am not trying to, okay, because De Don does it like this, I have to be like De Don. No. I have to be me. It’s a variety. We have different flavours. You might want to listen because oh, I like the way this person talks, oh I like the way Acapella talks, oh I like the way Alincology talks, oh I like the way Cee…Y talks. Everybody has his own unique point. Everybody does not have to play on the same level.
For how long do you intend to stay with them?
For as long as I can stay.
What else do you do aside being a comedian and a presenter?
I write and I produce my skits. If you go on youtube, I have one of the unique skits online. Just google Ominiaho, you will see some of my skits, I write them, produce them and direct with a friend of mine as well. His name is Henry Igwe. We co-direct it.
Tell us about your relationship?
I am still single (Laughs). I am still very single.
Are you planning to settle down soon and are you serious with someone?
Yeah, the girl I was serious with, she got married not long ago. It was disheartening, but it’s something you have to deal with. You know sometimes women look at you and think you are not serious or maybe you are not prepared or something. I don’t know. Hopefully, if I see someone I like, you know marriage is not something you have to jump into. You have to take your time, because this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, depending on how long you are going to live. It is not something you just see a girl, because she has a big butt and her breast is big, you know. You have to look beyond the physical beauty and look at the inward beauty of the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. So, I am still searching.
NB: First published November 2014