What were you into before comedy?
I started comedy at a very young age, as far back as 2005. And on December 16, 2006, I held my first show titled, ‘Ughelli Must Laugh’.
Prior to this time, I had just left a minor seminary as I initially wanted to become a Catholic priest.
How did you know comedy was what you wanted to do?
At my elementary stage, from primary to secondary school, I was already acting both in church and at school, while in the neighbourhood, I was organising ‘Papa and Mama’ plays. I realised comedy was my thing when I started watching renowned comedians on the show, ‘Nights of a Thousand Laughs’. That prompted me to have a change of mind for my career choice.
How old were you when you went on stage for the first time?
For stand-up comedy, I was 16 years old, but I had been acting in stage plays since about nine years old.
How did you feel on stage at such a young age?
As for stage play, it was the best moment of my life. Then, as a comedian, my stage was the social nights at the Holy Martyrs of Uganda Seminary, Effurun; it was as if I just discovered a new life. It was unreal.
How has stardom changed your everyday life?
To a great extent, it has given me the opportunity to be in places to meet people and these are the things that change one’s life and I am grateful for this.
Do you think stardom is a burden or a blessing?
It is definitely an oxymoron, but I will choose a blessing over a burden every day. Even when the burden comes, I see it as a puzzle that would lead me to the next stage.
Do you have any regrets going into the limelight?
No, not at all
What do you do when you’re not making people laugh?
Aside from comedy, I am also an entrepreneur. I run a media company and I also do supplies for the real estate sector. I create content for social media too, so we can say I’m making people laugh there as well.
What are you currently working on?
My annual comedy concert here in Lagos has been on hold for a while now, but we are bringing it back this year, probably in October. Ughelli to the World concert is also another project that will hold in December in my hometown, Ughelli.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming comedians?
The world is on your phone; all you need is data, so maximise it. Unlike in our days, we were searching for platforms to be aired. I remember travelling several hours just to come to Lagos to contest for the AY’s Open Mic contest, which I eventually won in 2010 after four attempts.
Today, one does not necessarily need such competitions; just a two-minute video of you doing what you know how to do best can go viral.
Also, don’t be in a hurry but be hungry and maximise your environment. Your church members, classmates and neighbours are your first audience.