New Telegraph Interviews Comedian Omo Baba

New Telegraph interviews stand-up comedian, Olufemi Fagade aka Omo Baba, read excerpts from the interview below;

omo baba

It seems you’ve been quiet unlike most of your contemporaries who staged different shows, especially during the festive period. Why does it appear so?

I don’t know your definition of being quiet because I have been working. I don’t have a show out there that I call people to showcase or watch. You can say I am not a show person, but for the regular job which is anchoring events, I was very active and I am still active. Also, I go for the paying shows along. Probably, that is where people are getting it wrong. Though I rallied around some of my colleagues when they need my support, I am serious about getting paid for the jobs I do. I rather go to shows that there are no noise, publicity and red carpet and get paid than the ones that have everything but no pay.

You released some singles some years back and you were once seen acting. Do you still have plans for music and acting?

Like they say, ‘Jack of all trade, master of none.’ For you to have a say in a particular field, one needs to start with one before introducing the others. And it appeared comedy came first for me. Most people don’t even know I have been acting before comedy. In 2009, I had singles with the late Dagrin, Terry G, 9ice, Eldee among others. I would soon drop an album. If you take things steadily, then you can be ‘Jack of all trade, master of all.’ Most of the jobs and invitations I get now are as a comedian. I am not trying to rubbish Nollywood people or musicians, but I can act and sing well.

When exactly did you get your breakthrough in comedy?

I would say every step I take is a breakthrough. I think it began for me when I was asked to play the drums on the assembly in school. It afforded me the opportunity to show my talent. But becoming prominent, I didn’t just wake up one morning and found myself there. I was making strides one after the other.

I conquered the school and I conquered the church. But the major performance people got to know me with was Night of a Thousand Laughs, the volume 2 in 2003. I had missed the audition like three or four times before I finally featured. Though I have been on television doing other stuffs, you know it is a major show for comedians. So, I started getting calls that my face was seen on the cover of the CD in the traffic and so on.

Did you start out as a comedian?

While I was in school, I sang with a band and I painted at my own leisure time too. Comedy was something I had in me, but I wasn’t the lousy type. I only talked when it was necessary. So there was a particular day I was called to take charge of an event as the Master of Ceremonies at a Christ Apostolic Church in Lagos.

I don’t know the person they had contacted earlier, but he disappointed them. I did it and I got many people laughing. Right there, people started asking if I would be available to anchor one or two events for them. Even when I went deep into comedy, I still didn’t see it as money- making venture. I was doing it for the love of the art, but later discovered that it can actually pay my bills.

In what ways did your background influence who you are today?

My parents gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do since it wasn’t negative. And since they knew that I wasn’t going to paint the family bad, they supported me. They only asked questions about the time we would come back, the number of people going, places and security. Everyone is talented in my house too. Our first born is a successful journalist, but I normally like to keep things private. Though she is not in the country anymore, people who know her still know her. I am the last born; I have two brothers and two sisters.

You recently proposed to your girlfriend of six years; was this as a result of the pressure that most of your colleagues are married?

Fans have been asking me since 2002 when I would get married, but I am the advocate of ‘get married, stay married.’ I feel it is the time for me to do the right thing, not because I want to be like others. Marriage is never too late. I see younger and older ones getting married everyday and I have anchored over 500 weddings, so I believe I can advise couples even though I am not married yet.

How would you describe your fiancée?

She is simple and easygoing. I try to allow her to do things her own way. For the marriage, when the time comes people will know.

How do you handle female fans’ excesses?

What I do is to put people where they belong. I am always careful how I treat people too because they could even be helpful later in shooting one’s career to the next level. Don’t forget that the person we would get married to we met them one day and somewhere. A lady could be my fan today and becomes my business partner along the way too.

How do you cope when coming up with new jokes seem to be impossible?

That is not possible. A painter will remain a painter for life except you are not creative enough. For me, that low point is doing the wrong thing at a particular time. For instance, if I am in a gathering of lawyers, professors and the first thing I say makes no sense to them.

So you must be aware of the calibre of people you are dealing with at a particular time. Saying a joke at the right time makes the job easier. I am not just a stand-up comedian; I anchor weddings, product launch, end of the year parties, dinners, awards, corporate events and a host of others.

Do you have any memory you don’t like to remember?

When I was working in 2003, a fan told me boldly that I was so ugly. I felt like dying because I always see myself as a fine boy. So when people started telling me the same thing, I just told them that even though I am ugly they can still call me ‘fine boy.’ That was how the fine boy thing began. It is like a blessing in disguise.

You were among the entertainers President Jonathan met with recently; was it a case of trying to buy you into his re-election bid?

He demanded to see entertainers in Nollywood, music industry and comedians too. I got a call and I honoured it. That was all.

But frankly speaking, do you think the administration has done enough for the entertainment industry?

I would say yes. It was doing this administration that producers and directors have access to loans to make movies. It was doing his time we are experiencing a significant improvement in Nollywood. We are now rated, number two after Hollywood. When it comes to entertainment, he has been supportive.

Is there anything you wish to change about yourself?

I would rather not change anything.