Skit-making in Nigeria is the new oil industry —Comedian Mr Funny (Oga Sabinus)

He is a full-blooded Port Harcourt boy who relocated to Lagos in 2019 and had fortune smile\\k on him. Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Ejekwu also known as Oga Sabinus or Mumu Man is an entertainer – actor and skit-maker. He is also one of the fast-rising online comedians in Nigeria. In this nterview by FEMI OGUNTAYO, the ‘Smothing hooge’ crooner talks about his career and trending issues in the skit-making industry. Excerpts:

 

Let us start with your recent recognition by YouTube. How does it feel crossing the 100,000 subscribers mark on YouTube?

I wouldn’t say it was a shock to me but I have to say all thanks to God for giving me the strength to work. If I was never hardworking, I wouldn’t reach that mark. I know the energy and efforts I put into that channel before it got to where it is today. I also thank my fans for the patronage because without them, there is nothing I would have achieved too.

 

How did your journey into skit-making start?

Skit-making started for me in 2016, but I started with stand-up comedy. I was just doing it for fun, I didn’t know it was going to give me money too. (Laughs)

 

Tell us more about growing up, how was it like?

Growing up was never easy. I came from a very humble background. Things were not really rosy for us, but I just believed that by His grace, things were going to change for the better and it happened. Going to school, my dad used his last penny to train us and today I am happy and he is happy too.

 

What about your educational background?

I graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Linguistics and Communication Department my secondary education was at Princess International College in Port Harcourt.

 

What was the driving force  when you started skit-making?

As I said, I was doing it for fun; there wasn’t really any driving force. I was doing stand-up comedy, but the stand-up comedy industry in Port Harcourt then was really tight, you need to know somebody before you can perform and all that. So, I had to just push all my energy into skit-making in 2016 and in 2019, I moved to Lagos and ever since then, it has been a good story.

 

Do you regard yourself as a comedian or just a skit-maker?

I am not just a skit-maker; I would regard myself as an entertainer because I do everything. I act in movies, I do comedy, I do skits, and I do so many things that concern entertainment. So, I would call myself an entertainer.

 

Who are the people you look up to in the industry?

I am sorry to say this; I don’t look up to anybody in this industry, I just look up to God almighty. I no see anybody wey I fit look up to for this industry, because I believe this journey is a one-man race; it is a journey of yourself, do your thing and be who you are. That is just me.

 

What do you think is the future of skit-making in Nigeria and Africa at large?

The skit-making industry in Nigeria and in Africa is turning out to be like the oil market. With time, so many millionaires and billionaires will come out of the industry. It is also an industry the government should look into by empowering more people. There are platforms through which people can be paid through skit-making, but presently, Nigeria is not approved and I don’t know why. I pray all these things to become possible so that more talents can enjoy all the work they are putting into this.

 

What is that thing you never thought you could achieve so soon that skit making has got you in no time?

The thing is this: all of a sudden I just discovered that I am everywhere. I never believed I would be everywhere because I am a very shy person. The way skit-making just blew me up, I am still shocked. There is a saying that when you come to Lagos, you will suffer for a little time before making it big but my case wasn’t like that. I just believe God did it and also for the support from my lovers, if not for them, I don’t know where I would be now.

 

What is your greatest challenge as a skit-maker?

The greatest challenge as a skit-maker is to stay consistent, it is not easy and nobody sees that. We drop a content every time but people don’t tend to care if the person dropping the content is happy. That is one thing they should also try to understand.

 

What are your goals as a skit-maker?

My main goal as a skit-maker is to make everybody happy and to pass sensitive messages. To make a skit that the father, mother and the whole family can sit down and watch. No nudity, no nakedness, clean and classy comedy. That is my goal.

 

Now that you have got a face in the comedy industry, have you now been getting invites to feature in Nollywood movies? If yes, mention a few.

I have been getting invites and I have featured in a few of them recently. I featured in a movie called ‘Man of war’ by Zubby Michael, ‘Billionaire’s bride’ with Regina Daniels and many more. It is just that my schedule is now very tight, so most times I tend to leave it there and do my thing here in Lagos. I believe that with time, I will be hitting the cinemas.

 

Were you also invited by the organisers of the Skit Industry Awards for the meeting with the government?

Yes, I was invited, but truthfully speaking, I declined because I felt this was not the right time to honour such a meeting. Looking at what happened with the EndSARS protest, the youths are not happy. We need more than just meeting with the Vice President, I think they can come out and meet us. We are the ones who are pained, I just declined the invitation. I cannot attend such a meeting.

 

Do you think Nigerian youths have what it takes to make a change come 2023?

Yes! The youths have what it takes to rule come 2023. That is what I pray and agitate for. It is high time the youths took over, let us see what we can do, let fresh minds come into the office and do something good. That is what I always pray for and I believe with time, it would come to pass.

 

What is your advice to Nigerian youths, looking at the challenges they face to survive in the country?

I would love to say this; while going to school please look for a skill, try to know your talents. Talent pays most thing in Nigeria right now because there is no job anywhere. So, your skills and talent would make a way for you, I am an example, my talent helps me a lot, if not for my talents, I don’t know where I would be today.

 

On a lighter note, if you are asked to delete all your social media accounts for N300 million, would you do it?

Ah! Ah!! Ah!!! Problem! (Laughs) No oh, I am not deleting any of my social media accounts for any N300 million, I am not. I am not, abeg oh I no fit (Laughs).

 

Some words for your fans?

Thank you very much everyone of you everywhere in the world. God bless you all, thank you for all you have been doing for me, thank you for the likes, shares, for watching my videos. God will bless and uphold every one of you. Amen.

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