He is one comedian who gets you cracking. He was just Gbenga Adeyinkabut today he is Gbenga Adeyinka 1st GCON. He chats about critics, challenges, what it takes to be a good comedian, why being an MC is more appealing to him than being a comedian, why he left a full time job for comedy and many more.
Gbenga Adeyinka: Honestly, I don’t know how to start this, but I would simply put it this way. I was born Gbenga Adeyinka. I’m a typical Abeokuta man from Ogun State and studied English on the campus of University of Lagos. I worked briefly with my uncle’s engineering firm before I rediscovered myself in the world of arts. Thus, I rechristened myself and became Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, afterwards, I became Gbenga Adeyinka 1st CFR and now Gbenga Adeyinka 1st GCON. I guess that sums it all up.
That I would say again is a hard task but if there were three words to sum myself up, I would say, charismatic, God fearing and eloquent.
My first performance would actually be on the campus of University of Lagos as a student but then it was simply just one of those things and outside the campus, I would say my appearance on TV, where I had to make an impressive statement and you won’t believe it but some of those I made an impression on still call me for jobs till date.
Comedy for me is more like an everyday thing; I only discovered it on the campus of University of Lagos after which I went professional. It’s something that comes naturally to me, I try not to force it because you don’t make a lasting impression. When it comes naturally, it’s always a sterling performance.
I worked in my uncle’s engineering firm after I left UNILAG, but after a while, I felt I wasn’t enjoying my job. It was the regular 9-5 for me and I wanted more and that was when I met Akin Akindele and later Tee A, the rest as they say is history.
The ability to make different individuals from different tribes and walks of life listen to you, make you their focus, and get their attention and at the end getting paid and commendation for it.
I doubt if there is a particular thing I struggle for. I’m talking for and on behalf of Gbenga Adeyinka 1st GCON. I think if there is, it would be the kingdom of God like everybody else. People have the impression we struggle to be noticed in the industry, but it is not true. We are as important and relevant as any other segment in the industry.
You have just asked a question that captures my experiences since I started the art of comedy and majorly MC. I understand people more, I know when someone wants to get noticed, I know when people get over-zealous, I understand government officials, politicians, elites, regular man on the street, a housewife, a maid and quite a lot. I can tell you that it is a topic I can discuss for over three hours and give various examples from my experiences.
Renaissance you say…hmmm, okay oooh, na una talk am oooh but you missed out one big part of me, MC. And I would tell you for free that being MC interests me more because as an MC, you can be a comedian, social and special commentator all in one, but as a comedian, you can only be asked to keep people laughing for few minutes.
Are they still individuals who see comedians and MC as no do good people? I doubt if there is and if there is then they are still living in the Stone Age. I mean in this era when people urge their kids to sing, act, play football and do comedy because such kids now bring glory to the family, someone now comes out to say comedians are no good? Like I said, I doubt if such people exist and if they do, it’s only a pity.
Lack of depth and inability to research and redefine your art always. I’m not saying I’m the funniest in Nigeria, but I can tell you an experience or an opportunity to see me in my elements would sure leave an interesting and sweetened taste in your memory. That said, I have also noticed that almost anybody and everybody wants to be a comedian and that is fine by me, but some of these young boys don’t even have good command of English. They so much depend on delivering in pidgin, I’m not so against that either, but how do you thrill guests in Soweto, Burkina Faso or Islington or New York or Holland? To make a mark as a comedian in the industry, you have to have strong command of English Language.
All I would say is I’m happy and content with where and what God has done for me, I know he’s taking me further.
Get basic education first, it’s important and paramount because it would at the long run help you even if you become the biggest in Nigeria. Be sure you are gifted, try out your talent with audiences that range from your family members, friends, school gathering, then you can pursue your dream to the zenith.
My mother, late Mrs. Adunni Adeyinka, Martin Luther King, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
I like bringing out things from the pack like a typical magician, thus I like keeping things under wraps so it comes as a surprise but one thing I’ve done over the years is my popular annual comedy, arts and music festival jamboree tagged, Laffmattazz with Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and friends always expect that plus I’m coming to hit TV soon with an unprecedented sitcom.
I bet you don’t know I fart…seriously, I bet you don’t know two of my children are in the University as we speak.
My greatest comedian of all time is Bill Cosby; he does it so effortlessly you don’t even differentiate his act from his art or his real person.
Never give up on anything you do because if you have the power to think it, you can achieve it and that was from my late mum.
Live and Let’s live because In God we all trust.
I have had quite a number but the most recent was in the United Kingdom for the Nigerian Corner of the Nottinghill Carnival and one of the performers, a female was dressed in such attire that left me bewildered. While pondering what convinced her to dress in such attire, a photographer caught my gaze and many people wondered if I was actually looking at something else.
Are you the Gbenga Adeyinka on TV?