Laughter they say is the best medicine. On this session on the entertainment beat: Dekola, a well-known comedian in AAUA was on the spot taking us through his journey into comedy and the challenges he has faced being a student and a comedian.
Kindly introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
My name is Ajayi Adekola popularly known as Dekola, I am a Comedian, MC and Event Planner currently a 300 level Student of AAUA, Ondo State.
Tell us how it feels to be a comedian?
Funny…it’s not funny o. You know it is a character on its own. You have to be sure you have all it takes to be one, because Nigerians are people who believe in “the real thing” so it has not been easy, rehearsal upon rehearsals, meditations, listening to yourself first before going on stage to perform and so many other things. So it’s not funny, because you must be funny.
So how has the journey been so far?
It has not been funny, but it has been progressive and great, new lessons and skills learnt. So far, I have been able to organize, (alongside my team), 6 comedy shows within 3 years of doing comedy professionally so it’s been great. All the glory to God.
How long have you started being a comedian and when did you start professionally?
Comedy for me is an act of making people laugh through words, expressions and any other means. I started doing that since i was a kid and i knew i was funny because it was obvious. However, professionally, I started 2017 and I had my first show (laff O’ clock) that same year in my university.
What has been your driving factor?
God’s grace. My determination, persistence, ability to do more, creativity and any other attribute, are still subject to that, so that’s my fuel.
What has the challenges faced so far?
Tough, even as a student, that is not enjoying any form of scholarship and trying to pursue your dream is tough. Another challenge is people thinking you do not need money just because you are dressing well. Having to spend school fees on events and not getting it after the event is another challenge wahala. So many that I won’t like to start saying now because you might decide to open a gofundme account for me. But we thank God for seeing us through.
What support do you get from your family?
All the support they can give and that’s because I’m not into hip-hop, they won’t support that “nonsense” in my house.
How do you cope being a student celebrity merging entertainment with academics?
It has not been easy. Sometimes I’d have to skip events for classes and sometimes skip classes for events. Sleepless nights just to read and catch up, many people won’t know the serious side of me until they see my CGPA. We move!
How has COVID-19 break affected you as a comedian?
Started as an advantage, I just concluded my show (laff o clock 3) where Woli Arole came to AAUA as a guest comedian, so I was preparing for exams (not well prepared tho) and COVID-19 came, see that joy. I had to cancel my institution comedy tour, which I’ve been planning alongside my team for months because of the virus.
But later as the break goes on and the figures were increasing day by day, it was becoming difficult for me to express my talent because I’m not a skit maker, I only do stand-up comedy and organize events because events were banned then. Fast forward till June when things were easing down, I decided to do a “1 man comedy show” in August which I tagged “august visitor” it was mind blowing and so it gave me the morale to resume back my duties. So I organized another event in October which was “an independence themed comedy show” tagged “oh Nigeria my country” bigger than the previous one and still moving. So I’ve experienced both the positive and negative effects of it, I just bless god for his grace.
Anyone can be funny, why comedy?
Because I’m passionate about it and I have the conviction I could do it. Not everyone that is funny can face crowd and make them laugh. The difference between an average funny person and a comedian is the “decision to do it professionally”, and besides, not everyone can do stand-up comedy, no be beans.
What does the future holds for you?
Better and great things. I’d still host my comedy shows across all cities in Nigeria and even Africa. The goal is to go worldwide and that is not too much for God to do, so let’s all watch out.
What advice do you have for young entertainers like you?
Never underestimate god in anything you do. Be serious with your career, have good relationship with people, and never settle for less.
Adebowale Williams fondly called Bowale is an animal scientist a presenter, host and a compere.loves networking with people with great minds he’s also a lover of God.