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My biggest blessing from God is ability to talk too much – MC Osazee

Osazee Egbemwonghaye, popularly known as MC Osazee, is a fast-rising up-and-coming Nigerian entertainer. He is a stand up comedian, master of ceremonies (MC) and content creator. In this interview with TONY OKUYEME, the Edo State-born humour merchant talks about his career, experience and the journey so far. He also talks about love, marriage…

You could have opted to study other courses such as Law. Why Theatre and Media Arts?

Originally, my parents wanted me to study medicine and surgery. They said that I grew up a sick child. So, probably because of that they felt that sympathy I would be able to translate to empathy for treating sick people. But when I was in JSS1 in Precious Group of Schools, Benin, one day my mind was working. I was wondering what I wanted to become. Is it a medical doctor that treats people? What’s the world’s deadliest disease? I thought about it. The doctor treats more than one person at the same time. And I also asked myself, what if there are four or five or even a crowd that you wanted to treat? I felt that it was not possible. I also thought becoming a doctor that can treat the minds of people rather than use scissors and piece objects into their body. Why not use your pen and your microphone? From that very moment some things about me changed. The bottom line is that I was in science class, but when I was going to register for my SSCE I registered as an art student. The good thing was that I had E8 in Literature that year. But I stayed, and after four years, I wrote the SSCE again.

So, four years later, you wrote the SSCE again passed Literature eventually. Why was Literature so important?

I needed it to study Theatre Arts. It is a basic requirement.

What about medicine and surgery?

My heart never told me to become a medical doctor. I never saw myself becoming a medical doctor, though I have a feeling that I will marry a medical doctor someday, to achieve that dream. But for me as a person, I love organising things, I love making things happen. I don’t like restrictive jobs. At the time I didn’t know what it was, I felt it was because I was a busy body. But growing up I discovered that it was a gift. The fact that I talked too much at the time, which made people laugh at me, that I was talkative. But as I grew up I discovered that it is a blessing; it is the biggest blessing that God gave to me – the ability to talk too much.

What about JAMB?

Yes. I bought JAMB forms six times.

Why?

During the period when I did not make credit in Literature I was still putting in for JAMB, I was still buying JAMB forms… So I bought JAMB forms six times. I failed it only once, but I had issues with meeting the cutoff mark. In 2013, when I was a point below the cutoff mark for Theatre Arts in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. So, the following year, I bought again, I wrote and I scored 175. To cut the story short, in 2015, I wrote it again and got admission into Ambrose Alli University, and I think that is when the different chapter of my life began. I started living the life God wanted me to live, which is that of an entertainer.

Tell us how you started your career as MC…

It started when I got into the university. As I said before, I was a brother that was funny in church – Church of God Mission and God of Grace Bible Church. Then, I anchored about two weddings, as the brother that was funny in the church, and I anchored church programmes, doing standup comedies. I actually did my first standup comedy when I was in primary five.

It was a church programme. Also, I competed for CGMs Got talent. I accompanied my friend who wanted to compete in drama, so told me to follow him and be his boy. But getting there we discovered that there was no drama category. Archbishop Benson Idahosa’s daughter saw me, Pastor Freda saw me and said to me: ‘You look funny, why don’t you compete for standup comedy? So, I competed and I came 4th.

That was in 2010, and I had finished secondary school then. But then I could not continue as a standup comedian because my church, I mean the church attended, frowned at it; my parents saw it as a sin for one to be a standup comedian. When I got to school, there was this production we do in school; it is called Theatre Ladanza, a dance workshop. It is the most attended event in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpomma. We were auditioning for it; that was the very day I resumed because it was about five days after my dad’s demise. So, I was very down. But I needed to do the audition to join a group; it is a must. But I didn’t know how to dance, even till date. I was meeting my head of department (HOD) for the first time. So, when she said everybody should come out and dance one by one, I was confused as I didn’t even know what to do. She called me, asked for my name.

I said Osazee. And she said: Dance, something tells me that you will be useful today. I told her that I didn’t know how to dance. She then said that I should join marketing. At the time, I didn’t know what marketing was. I asked her what marketing was about, and she said it is about events management, putting events together. And excitedly, I told her that’s what I’m good at doing, that I had organized a lot of church programmes. She told me to organise a programme which I did with a team of friends. And we started working with the HOD, on what they already had on ground, and trying a little experience from church into the event, and days into the event, she was complaining that ‘who will host this event as an MC’? I was in the 100 levels, first semester. Before then I was doing an evangelism via voice notes on Whatsapp to tell people to go to church on Sunday.

I also started doing it in school too. People were sharing it but they didn’t know that I was the face behind the voice. So, when our HOD was complaining about who will anchor the event, one guy said I can actually do it. Our HOD said she liked my command of English and how people responded whenever I talked. But I wasn’t quite sure I could do it because I felt that anchoring an event is another level, and besides it was not even the church terrain where I can manage, and this was a secular show which I had not done before. Also, I didn’t regard myself as an MC then. But eventually, she said I should be the official MC for the event. When we got to the event, it was the most attended event at the time in the history of the event. We had over 2000 students in attendance on day one, and it was a two-day event. By the time I was done with that event I was already a very popular person in the school. People started calling me for shows. So, that was how I became an MC. It helped me to survive at the time.

Who were your role models at the time?

As a standup comedian, I was looking at Bright Okpocha, popularly known by his stage name Basketmouth, but in understanding my line properly, I will say it is Ikponmwosa Osakioduwa (IK Osakioduwa). When I got to know him, it gave me an edge, because I got to understand that it is possible to be a compere, MC, and not speak pidgin. I didn’t know that it was possible to be on stage and not crack jokes, until I saw him on television and started studying him. I started following him and Steve Harvey. Both of them became my role models from afar.

Any regrets?

Honestly, I don’t know. Whenever I am not on stage, whenever I am not creating content I am sad.

Are you married?

No.

What are your plans for marriage?

I don’t have plans yet.

For a young man who hopes to get married someday and raise a home, what’s your opinion about love, marriage?

I am one of those people who don’t believe in divorce. I believe that love is the answer, I believe that conquers a lot of things. But the truth is that in falling in love, have sense. The basic problem is that we are not able to separate love and attraction. They are two different things,you can be attracted to a woman and not be in love with her, because love has a lot of elements – correction, rebuke. For get about the sweet side of love, let’s talk about the ugly side of love. If all these things are not in place, it is just attraction.

What is your opinion about fake lifestyle

It is not fake lifestyle, it is content.

Why?

The reason is that what you put into the media is how the society perceive you. Take for example, in school, all MCs were taking N2000, as a student MC, even sometimes free. I woke up one morning and I said N10,000 per event. Whenever you see me then, I was usually in suit, looking corporate and so on, it is the kind of content I push out. Some clients don’t want to respect you if they don’t feel you are somebody else. This is not their real lifestyle, it is the way they want to be perceived.

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