Comedy and Politics, both work in the spotlight, both occasionally take a pie in the face. In this interview, Efosa Iyamu popularly known as Efex the Entertainer lets us in on his world as he talks lucky breaks, the End Sars protest and what it feels like juggling both comedy and politics.
At what point did you decide to take up comedy as a career?
I started doing comedy professionally as soon as I left secondary school. I noticed that I was genuinely funny, and I was able to make a lot of people happy through the mic. I love what I do and do what I love, it’s just an added advantage that I get paid for it, and so far, I have never regretted that move.
So, when did things finally take off?
While in university, I was already hosting gigs. I remember vividly the first traditional wedding I anchored, I was paid 4,500 naira, and it was incredibly wonderful for me. I was so happy; I did my best and nailed the show.
Being a student at the University of Benin also gave me a platform to enlarge my coast. There were loads of opportunities. I performed at various shows, most of which helped boost my career.
I had a very good friend then, Mr Tuoyo Ofuoyakpone, who had a boutique. I was the face of his brand, and so he had my face splashed on billboards around the city. That also made me a bit popular.
Is there anything you won’t talk about on stage?
I don’t talk nudity or vulgarity. I also try my best not to insult people’s sensibilities, and I stay away from talking about some people’s medical conditions. NOBODY KNOW FINISH.
What else do you believe contributed to your success?
God all the way. I believe so much in the name of the Lord. I brag differently because one with God is majority. I’m very much in touch with my prayer and spiritual life. I give as much as I can, and I try my best to bless people as much as God has and is blessing me. I believe that God has used a lot of people to get me to where I am today both in the political and entertainment sphere. All the doors that opened up for me were through the grace of God.
What’s your favourite thing about being a comedian?
Bringing joy and happiness to people, families and the world. I love to call myself LIFE OF EVERY PARTY AND THE ENTERTAINER. Entertainment brings me so much joy; it even helps build my immune system. But talking seriously, I have been able to do more positive impacting through my entertainment life. I have pushed and pushed and gotten a lot of positive answers through entertainment, and it’s perfect for me.
Let’s talk about the other hat you wear – politics. How are you able to juggle both careers effectively?
I got my political appointment from the mic, my boss met me at an event and invited me to lunch and also asked that I worked with him. I thought about it, and yes, that’s how I got my first political appointment as a Senior Special Assistant to the Edo state government.
I’m very focused in everything I do; I don’t allow any aspect of my life suffer for another because I try my best to plan.
I’m delighted that so far, being on stage Professionally now for 20years and engaging in politics since 2009, I have never had any regrets as I keep learning every day.
If you had to choose one, which would it be, and why?
It’s hard, but I will choose entertainment. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me from birth. I have been able to pass my messages to the world, and I have impacted people even more. Not like I don’t appreciate my impact in the political space, because I’m still very much in touch with my local constituents and visit my ward every now and then.
As a young man who has walked the corridors of power, what’s your take on the recent End Sars protest and how the Government handled it?
I was part of it and strongly supported the peaceful protest, which is our fundamental human rights. Still, it was rather sad when some hoodlums took advantage of it and started inflicting more pains on our fellow Nigerians. What we were asking for wasn’t undoable, it wasn’t wrong, and I’m glad that Government “at some point” showed some level of interest and promised to tackle it— but then again, after some time NA ONLY GOD KNOW WETIN HAPPEN ……
But trust me when I say, the youths now have more voices, and we will continue to push and do everything within the law to make our voice heard, we are not all perfect, but Government MUST listen to the yearning of its citizen and make plans to solve the problems bit by bit.
How do you believe the struggle for better governance be managed going forward?
Like I said before, we have started it— I’m not a fan of violence, because we can pass out messages in the very best of ways and not fight over it. The Government will listen or pretend to listen. People will see changes; our generation will continue to speak up, and we must all come out and vote and be voted for.
An old politician cannot tell me about a future that he won’t be part of. The youths should start, and we can do it. Let’s all come out in one accord and seek the change we really want to see around us. IT IS DOABLE
Both your careers require a lot of travelling. How do you manage with work/life balance?
I love to travel, and I do it all the time. I try to rest when I get the opportunity because if we don’t rest our body, it will rest itself.
If you weren’t both a politician and a comedian, what else would you be doing?
I would have been a professional footballer. My dad is a football coach, and I play very well to date.
What should your fans expect as new projects soon?
I’m an open book; every chapter is an experience.
I keep learning every day. When I finished my course at Harvard, I got back and started some empowerment program that has helped a lot of youths to better themselves and their businesses. It would be best if you stayed glued, every day is an experience.