Teju Babyface opens up on life as a married man and what he must do to be a good politician if the opportunity comes calling.
It has been a while since you held your regular comedy show, what's going on?Well, if one should really look at it, I don’t believe mine has been the 'usual' comedy show. I say this because I have only done three stand-up comedy specials in my life.
Is it because there is no money in it?No, it didn’t have anything to with money. It was more than that for me. Also back then, there was always a reason for me to do it without thinking of the immediate financial gain. As it stands now, I do not feel the compulsion to do another. Rather, all my energies are now directed towards TV where my spirit has led me.
Have you dumped live shows for television? That word is so unappealing, please don’t use the word ‘dumped’ because I did not quit comedy. Let’s just say that television is very demanding and it has taken most of my time from a lot of things. Any producer can tell you that much.
Your chubby cheeks have disappeared. stress or age?Really? That’s interesting. You tell me. In Nigeria where an average comedian is his own marketer, image maker, book manager, etc, where is the time for one to rest? On the real, I am not getting younger. I should naturally age.
Now that you are married, don't you think it’s time to dump the name Babyface and be addressed as Mr ...I am now called Teju Jacobs-Oyelakin, though the Babyface still sticks.
How's it being married?Oh, it’s been a great experience. A lot of maturity has come in. I no longer think about myself, neither do I think only for myself. I have a wife to think of, a new future to chart with her and our future kids. These have got me acting, thinking and talking like a grown up. There is nothing on earth that’s better than marrying the woman that completes you, it’s the ultimate gift.
What has your new status taken away from you?The Bible says 'he that findeth a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord', yes. It also says that 'the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and addeth no sorrow', yes. So, do the math. Status taken away? Nothing has been taken away bro, it has added more to me, my life. You want to know how? I now receive more favours from above and from men. I have not lost my freedom, if that is what you mean
What did she see in you?It might have been my smoldering hotness! (laughs). Seriously, till now, I don’t know. I have not bothered to ask her because it won’t matter now. I sought her, she agreed and now we are married. She is the only one that can tell you why she freaks for me oh.
No new faces in the comedy industry, has it reached its peak... its diminishing point?Hehehe, that’s a rather funny question. There are more comedians being discovered now than ever before. More will still be discovered because the comedy industry is thriving and Nigeria has many comedians who are eager to make a break in the entertainment industry. People may think there is a shortage of comedians right now because they have not heard of them. If you don’t hear much of these guys, it is because the dynamics of the game have changed. For one, the world is smaller and bigger at the same time, and consequently, tastes of consumers are somewhat more refined. This is a bit technical to discuss, but suffice to say that a comedian who wants to come into the game today must bring something new. Nothing old will appeal to comedy fans again. We all want to hear something new.
How have you been holding out all these yearsHolding out? Well, I do not hold out, I flourish by God's grace and favour.
What informed your decision to embark on a tv production?There was a need for me to metamorphose into something else. That is what brands do, they evolve to remain competitive. In evolving to this end however, it must be about giving value and that is what we do. We give value. I didn’t just delve into tv production for the sake of beaming my teeth on the screen, I saw another opportunity in it to repackage myself, my brand, and it is paying off
How?I am not the same Teju that I was years ago. Now, I’m all about my business. No paddy for jungle, maybe outside the jungle.
In the past, your baby face was an appeal to ladies; does it still attract females?Hmm, I no know book oh. My face attracted women back then? My, my, if only I had known, I would have considered acting, or being a model. That’s where you can sell your face, not in the comedy industry.
Do you ever think of relocating to Ogbomoso maybe later in life?Well, ibi ori da'ni si, ibe l'a gbe. For now, my life is in Lagos. Everything about me is tied to this state, my business, my partners, friends, family, etc.I can’t just leave Lagos because I am Teju from Ogbomoso and just pack my luggage and head home. When the time is right, I will decide. It’s not now.
Will you consider seeking political appointment in ogbomoso,or partake in an election?The active thought has not crossed my mind. I guess destiny will tell. I can tell you this for free though that if I ever find myself in that position, it will be because I am led by God to actively make a difference in whatever sphere my political influence will lie. I must already be the substantial captain of the industry in which I operate. You also want to know why? So that the lure of public coffers does not overwhelm me. Many who make a mess of their political lives by digging their hands in the till have not prepared themselves well financially, so it becomes almost impossible for them not to do what is not right with our money.
You will dip your hands in the till if you are called to serve, though you are poor? Is that what you are saying?
What I have said in layman's terms is that I must be a multi-billionaire before I venture into active politics, that is if I ever do. Because a lot of politicians have learned they could get away their loot, most of them just go there to fill their coffers; they hardly plan to affect lives in positive ways. For me, I must have loads of money before I will even begin to think about playing politics. That way, it becomes more about service to the people than amassing wealth. I mean, I already sit on top of more billions than I can spend in my lifetime, so why would I need to steal people's money? Get my point?