Comedian Akpobome Oghenetega better known as OG Tega is a content creator who came into the limelight with the popular tagged Papa Ade and Ade with Craze Clown.

In this interview, the medical doctor cum comedian talks about his beginning and experiences in the industry among other things.

Who is Og Tega?

My real name is Akpobome Oghenetega but known as OG Tega as my stage name. I hail from Urhobo in Delta state but my mother is from Edo State. I grew up in a monogamous Christian family with two brothers, one elder sibling, and a younger one. They are both doing well for themselves, thank God for that.

I actually started off in Ikeja where I was born but my family later moved to Ikorodu where I continued my primary education in a Catholic school called St Margarete Nursery and Primary School. I went on to do six years in boarding school, in one of the prestigious high schools in Ikorodu in fact in one of the poorest locations in Lagos. It is called Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), an Anglican school. Then I spent seven years in Ukraine to study medicine at the Kharkiv National Medical University and in 2019 I’m happily a graduate of medicine.

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What motivated you to venture into the comedy industry and why?

I really didn’t choose to start a career in comedy or that I planned it, as of today I am a medical doctor but back then when I was a medical student as well as back in high school when comedy gravitated towards me naturally, so it is just the natural occurrence of things. I remember how it all started, it was in high school. I have always had a love for comedy; I used to watch all the big names, Basket Mouth, Bovi, back then I used to watch a lot of Gandoki, Klint De Drunk, and that is how I literally lean into comedy. I have had a love for comedy from day one.

Have you had the chance to perform live, and how was the experience?

I actually have a very long time ago, one of the motivating experiences was in my last year in secondary school, my set was graduating and we had that this social night, so I have heard a joke in one of Night of a Thousand CDs I used to watched and I cracked the joke for my boys when I got back to the hostel, and everyone laughed to it. So, I thought to myself “hmmm, I’m actually kind of funny” for me to deliver this joke that cracked people up so I had the motivation like that to deliver the joke on a social night. At least if they laughed at the hostel, they will laugh on the big stage. But anyway it didn’t go as planned; it was a horrible disaster, oh my God, the worst day of my life, when you feel like the ground should open up and swallow you completely, that is exactly what happened to me. I went on stage in front of over one thousand five hundred students, all boarding but I thought I could do but I had instant stage fright on the spot, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t talk well. People were just throwing things at me and booing me upstage. And funny enough, that day I was sick but I was motivated to go deliver that joke

What kind of comedy do you make and trademark of your comedy?

I have a lot of styles. Basically, I started off with this family kind of character called Papa Ade and Ade. The character was built from the basic unit of family, something that you see around every day as a Nigerian, African, is in every home, how Nigerian parents behave, how African children behave, reactions from both sides, is always funny and relatable to everyone.  I also have multiple characters that I portray, the professor character is called Professor Lawal, who depicts school and the mannerisms of some professors in the university. I have your daily guy man kind of character which people on the street can relate to, relationship-wise, hustle wise and those kinds of things.  

What are the challenges in the business?

Starting out is always not easy, you get a lot of struggles to try to get brand acceptance and recognition and collaboration with them, etc. But, it gets easier as you go on if you are really determined, you will definitely push through that.  For me coming back because I went to school in Ukraine, and you know, I started off comedy there, there is this notion that a lot of brands and agencies have that comedians or content creators outside Nigeria are not a part of the community. They just feel like you are on your own outside and you have an effect on the African market which is very wrong actually. Many of my brothers in the diaspora find it difficult to get that brand recognition with African or Nigerian brands. They don’t seem to be considered for jobs as they should which is not right, I feel like it’s social media, so anybody can see it anywhere in the world. If they make an impact, I feel they should also be included because it is a community; it is not run by one person, we all came together to work in this space to make it an industry.

Who in the comedy industry do you admire and who inspires you?

I have a lot of them that I admire. Over the years, I have been fortunate to look up to the ones I have always looked up to when I was starting out. Like I said motivation for this starting this comedy thing was when I used to fall in love with the tapes from ‘A Night of a Thousand Laugh’ and I will see these people cracking people up for a living and generally making people feel better about themselves. I loved Basket Mouth, Bovi, Gandoki was one of my favourites, Okey Bakassi, solid comedian, an amazing person, and even now I have been blessed to have worked with these names in the industry and it’s an amazing thing that your dream can become a reality. To think that they didn’t even have an idea that I existed 10 years ago and now we can call each other on the phone and text each other on Instagram or message, it is a great feeling to have, an amazing thing to behold. It just shows that your dreams are valid and you can achieve anything you want.

If you weren’t into the comedy business what else would you be doing?

Maybe business, but I’m a trained medical doctor and will definitely be in some hospital somewhere or starting my own establishment which I still plan to do in the future anyway, so one way or the other, it’s going to come into play in my life. I love the idea of helping people out, assisting, making people feel better about themselves so whether that is through medicine or making people laugh because they said laughter is the best medicine

Tell us about the great moments you have experienced since you started making a comedy?

Some of the greatest moments that I have had since I started comedy was when I first went on stage in 2011 and I failed woefully, now looking back if I hadn’t taken that step I probably wouldn’t know what failure tastes like, what success feels like today. So I will say it was a great moment. When my face became ‘popular’ and my colleague in the industry and people recognize me in the street they appreciate my comedy.

What is your motto in life?

Similar to what Jonny Walker said, ‘keep walking’, I say, ‘keep moving’ if you cannot walk you crawl, if you cannot crawl roll or get someone to push you. Whether you run or fly as long as you are not stagnating, keep moving.

What is your greatest fear in life?

I used to fear death but I have outgrown it and I try as much as possible to live life to the fullest. So I will say that my greatest fear is dying unaccomplished. I want my body empty when I’m going to the grave. I want to use up all my talents; I don’t want to leave anything behind

Where do you see comedy in Nigeria in the next 5 years?

It is going to be one of the biggest industries in Nigeria because already it is growing tremendously. There is no barrel to entry, recently the Nigerian music industry has grown bigger more than it used to be, look out for what Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy are doing all over the world taking Afrobeat to the world. I feel like comedy will be able to sell out at arenas and theatres around the world. There is a lot of talent in Nigeria and we will surely go global.

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