I don’t drink, smoke –Broda Shaggi-
By Kolawole Bamidele
Animashaun Samuel, popularly known as Broda Shaggi was relatively unknown to many a few years ago. Thanks to his Instagram account which has about 578,000 followers, the young lad is fast becoming a household name.
In this interview with Journalist he speaks about his brand and challenges faced.
How would you describe your journey into the Nigerian comedy industry?
Basically, for me, comedy has always been something I have loved since I was a child. Ever since I was a child, I always got compliments from people that I am a hilarious person. I decided to join the Nigerian comedy industry in order to leave my impact and also to make a difference. I have always dreamt of doing something creative and different from what everybody else has been doing and that is how I came across the several characters I have developed through my skits.
Although I recently shot into the limelight, I have been doing comedy skits for about five years. I actually started acting in comedy dramas while I was still a student at the University of Lagos. I would say that I was doing the regular style of comedy and skits but that did not bring fame my way, so I was prompted to adopt the ‘agbero’ style and it worked like magic.
Who do you see
I made the decision to stick with the Broda Shaggi character in December 2017.
Was it easy to fit yourself into the character of a miscreant?
In reality, that is not my lifestyle even though I play the role so well and people may find it hard to believe me. As a trained actor, what I do basically is to create characters and make them look believable. Before the Broda Shaggi character became popular, I had created other characters; for instance, there was a character I created called Inspector Perry. It was the first character I created back when I was still in the university and I uploaded the skits on Instagram as well. After that, I created other characters like Akani Ibadan and Lecturer Dele; all these characters came into existence before Broda Shaggi but they never gained as much recognition.
So all the roles you have acted are comic?
Yes, they are all comic roles
In Instagram, you are a comedian and on the screen, you act mostly comic roles. Does it mean you cannot act any other role aside from comedy?
Actually, I can act in any role given to me. Back when I was at the University of Lagos, I acted in various stage plays all the while I was studying. In fact, while I was in school, I had to take part in those stage plays in order to fend for myself. I did them to survive as a student. We were taught about music, visuals art and theatre art. I was also into visual art and that is how I honed my skills as a painter. Initially, I directed all my strength to my paintings but I did not sell them as I expected, so I had to ‘change lane’ and embrace comedy.
For a young talent like you, how important is social media and how can a person leverage on it to showcase his talent?
Social media is a very big platform beyond what people see. While some people think it is just for posting pictures, others see the social media as a big market; their office. I remember when I started, people told me that I would run out of ideas because I posted skits daily but I did not listen to them because I saw it as my career; my job is to do comedy. Today, the messages I get are my source of motivation. For instance, there was a day I was unable to post some skits and by the time I got to my phone, I had received messages from people telling me how bad their day went and they looked forward to my skits to make them happy. I had to apologise to them individually. So I see social media as a big platform and my office. This is what I do every day.
What inspires the stories behind your skits?
I am not an activist but when you watch my skits, you will see that beyond the comic aspect, I am actually passing a message. Basically, what inspires me is trying to be different and making a living out of it at the same time. I have always wanted to put a smile on my parents’ face knowing the situation of things at home. My background also inspires my skits.
Tell us about your background?
My dad is dead but my mum did not remarry. I was not born into a rich family. I have three brothers, and I am the first.
The first skit that made you popular, was it shot with a mobile phone or a proper camera?
I shot it with an android phone.