COMEDIANS MUST SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH, SAYS SEGUN OGUNDIPE
Segun Ogundipe, actor-cum-comedian believes that comedy should be explored in the way that people would appreciate it. Ogundipe who hails from Ogun State also advises his colleagues to tell their jokes in Queens English rather than vernacular for greater appeal. According to the comedian, comedy is all about representing and remoulding a joke that has been told by someone else.
I attended Premier Nursery and Primary School, Palm Avenue, Lagos, Federal Government College, Odogbolu and Badagry Grammar School, Badagry for my secondary school education. I later gained admission into the University of Ibadan where I am studying Theatre Arts.
Foray into comedy
When I was younger, I used to be shy but when I told people that I would like to be a comedian, they advised me to go into acting. In 1999, my sister and I celebrated our birthdays on the same day because we were born in the same month (December). During the party, I requested to see who the compere was because I wasn't happy with him. So, I decided to do the job myself. I was able to do it because it was fun and interesting. My sister and friends were satisfied with my performance and from there, I nurtured the idea of going into comedy. Initially, the response I got wasn't encouraging but I was determined. With time, I started receiving commendations.
I am also into acting. I am a member of Jason Vision, a theatre company. I am also a musician. I write songs, even though I am yet to launch my album. I am learning how to play the guitar and other instruments. I feature in dance and choreography videos of musicians. I feature in TV commercials. I perform as a compere during marriage ceremonies. I was one of the winners at the MTN YellowFest in University of Ibadan in 2004. I was a guest artiste with Premier FM as a result of which I received many responses from listeners to my programme.
I had to stop because it was affecting my studies. I performed at Miss Oyo Shows, appeared on Nigerian Television Authority Bandstand show Ibadan. Only recently, I was at initiation of the Performing Arts Students Association of Olabisi Onabanjo University.
I would say Basket Mouth because he is intelligent. He is eloquent and imaginative. Alibaba is another person because he doesn't get angry with his audience.
When I was a student, I performed in a show I tagged: Efreboh. And some of my fans encouraged me not to quit comedy. I receive phone calls from people inviting me their shows.
Copying other people's jokes
There can be piracy when a comedian uses other people's jokes in the same way. A comedian could adapt jokes to suit his or her audience. I try as much as possible to refrain myself from repeating other people's jokes. Rather, I use them to suit my audience. In any case, I want comedians to be creative and imaginative rather than pirate peoples' jokes.
The source of my inspiration is God. If He had not kept me alive, I don't know what else, I could have drawn inspiration from? I am also inspired by the environment and the lifestyles of people. My mother also gives me ideas about how to create my own jokes.
I respect female comedians such as Princess, Lepacious Bose, Mandy, among others, because it is not easy for ladies to climb the stage to entertain people. Most people have the fear that they might not be accepted but over time, they have been able to overcome such obstacles. So, I encourage more ladies to go into comedy.
Nigerian comedy and international acceptance
What is accepted here is equally accepted internationally. Comedy revolves around people but when it is individualized, it might not gain acceptance early. Most foreigners do not understand Pidgin English, so Nigerian comedians must learn how to tell their jokes in Queen's English for international acceptance.
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