How did your love for broadcasting come about despite studying Law?
I have always loved entertainment and for my final year project at the university, I wrote on The Rights of a Performer. I actually had so much love for music and thought I would become a musician. Some of my childhood friends would be surprised to know that I don’t even have an album at the moment. But, I’m currently working on it and I may release it before 2017.
Have you ever practised as a lawyer?
I practised Law for over three years and I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t call it my first love since I do not practise it any longer and I am not sure I will go back to being a lawyer. But, nobody can tell what may happen in future.
Has your law degree come in handy in your current profession?
Law is a great foundation for everything especially the arts. Having a legal background opens your eyes to a lot of angles and perspectives to life, and issues. It helps you make informed decisions and good judgment. Law is all-encompassing and there are so many aspects to it - business, psychology, sociology, politics and entertainment.
How have you been able to shield your private life from prying fans?
I am a proud mother of four children and I have the right to keep them away from prying fans. If you know me very well, you would know that they are my all and an integral part of my life. Occasionally, I post their pictures on social media, but that’s not what’s key for me.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that your marriage has broken up.
My husband is a very private man and I wouldn’t want to put him out there. It’s not something he appreciates or cares about. We’re presently going through a divorce, but we have mutual respect for each other. We will do all we can to protect and nurture our lovely kids. We are also actively involved in the lives of our children.
Is working in a pidgin English-speaking radio station challenging?
It was a huge challenge for me but Wazobia FM helped me re-invent myself, carve a niche and truly own it. It also allowed me set new standards and heights in broadcasting in the local lingua medium. I pride myself as a broadcaster who is able to deliver in a language that every Nigerian can identify with. I have bagged a number of awards and they are a testament that I have put in so much work and it is being loved and appreciated by many. I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve, and I’ll keep reinventing myself.
What inspired your annual show, OgaMadamLive?
My show on radio is called OgaMadamOffice, so the annual show is simply a hybrid of the experiences on radio as well as other hilarious and riveting elements. It has proven to a huge success, year in year out and is currently in its fifth year. If I was not doing it right, it wouldn’t have grown in leaps and bounds. I have also held two editions of the show in London, and the aim is to push the Nigerian brand outside the shores of this great country.
Are you satisfied with the number and quality of female comedians in Nigeria?
Over 90 per cent of Nigerian comedians are male. I am certain there are some female comedians who are not as popular as Mandy, Princess, Lepacious Bose, Helen Paul and Chigul who are established acts. Trust me, the numbers might appear small, but our impact on the comedy industry cannot be denied. It will keep getting better because women are becoming more emboldened, and like other sectors, I see them taking up more key positions, as it is happening in other sectors.
Do you think these comedians can compete favourably with their male counterparts?
All we can do is to keep pushing. Everybody has his or her own strengths. If we weren’t pushing and making a mark, those names I mentioned earlier wouldn’t come up at all. Of course, there is always room for growth, which is normal in any sphere of life irrespective of your gender. So it’s an ongoing process.
Do you think Nigerian comedians are united?
Is unity the only criterion for success? Everybody is pushing his or her boundaries individually. We all have a good working relationship and that is what is key. Comedy is individual, except when your brand is tied to another person, that’s when you work in a team. But, most brands are singular in nature, but of course we are united in projecting the comedy industry. We are the little parts that make up the big picture, which is the Nigerian comedy industry.
You recently called out your fellow comedian, Princess, on Twitter. What were you particularly unhappy about?
Sometimes, women have issues. At an event which held this month, she caused me to feel awkward. I felt slighted because her action was unnecessary. I had to give vent to my anger because I am human. Some of our colleagues waded into the matter and I believe that our differences will be sorted out. We’re human beings and we are bound to hurt each other at some point. But, we have to let it go and keep the ball rolling.
Do you think there should be a form of quality control in the type of jokes a comedian delivers?
How do you control the quality of an individual’s creative content? Comedy is individualistic in nature and the audience who is the recipient of the joke, is the judge and in control. As long as they find your jokes interesting, then you’re in business.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently on the set of Jenifa’s Diaries with Funke Akindele. I am also working on my own TV show, the Gudu Morning Naija show on Wazobia TV; it is a breakfast magazine show that deals with politics, news, entertainment and health. I’m also working on a play, which will be staged later in the year while the Lagos and London edition of OgaMadamLive is currently in the works.
How would you describe your style?
My style has evolved. I am now a lot more comfortable with my body and I am also a very health-conscious individual. I’m more into dresses, floral patterns, skirts, and I especially love Nigerian designers. I currently work with the likes of LSC, AT&T, ESOSA signature and Ovems to mention a few. My styling team also works hard to ensure that I look the part, so I’m thankful for that.
Have you ever committed a fashion blunder?
I once missed the memo to an event, so I arrived at the venue looking overdressed. For an informal event, I was decked in a super show-stopping dress. I felt uncomfortable and I have since learnt to always consider the nature of an event before I come up with a choice of attire.