HAVING grown up in Shomolu, Bariga, one of the slums in Lagos, Bashiru Ahmed Adekunle was able to make a name for himself against all odds with commendable achievements in the comedy industry. The comedian, host, compere and actor speaks with ADENIYI ADEWOYIN on his grass to grace story, the comedy industry among other issues in this interview.
The comedy industry has witnessed some drastic changes especially with the invasion of online skit makers, do you think the stand up comedians are being threatened with this new wave of humour merchants?
Yes we have witnessed some drastic changes in the comedy industry but I don’t think the online skit makers can give stand up comedians a run for their money because we are doing different genres of comedy. For example, outside Africa, we have people like Mr. Bean, who is not a standup comedian and we have people like Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle that are standup comedians but the end product is to make people laugh but basically we are doing two different things so I don’t think there’s any need for a run. If you want a standup comedian you know what to do but if you want a skit maker, a content provider, we are two different people. You don’t expect Broda Shaggi to be competing with Basketmouth because they are doing two genres of comedy so there is no competition at all.
Do you see any competition between online skit makers and stand up comedians like yourself?
Like I said in the first question I don’t see any competition, it is very easy for a standup comedian to be a skit maker though it’s all about ideas but it is very hard for skit makers to be standup comedian. I always told people that it is one of the hardest jobs in the world, so I don’t see any competition. The environment is so big for everyone to perform.
Would you consider also going into skit making?
I have done skits before, skit making is bringing a lot of money and I have a lot of them. I did one ‘Kaka the Learned Tout’ and ‘My Opinion’ which is also a skit. It’s not about considering, like I told you the other time a standup comedian can be a skit maker, can be a presenter – comedy is so big that you can go into movie making and stuffs like that so I’m even making skits, maybe I will go back to it and start making more.
In recent times, social media seems to have become a law court where marital issues are settled. What’s your take about bringing personal issues especially marriage issues to social media?
First of all, I’m a very private person when it comes to my personal life. As an entertainer you can see me on TV and everywhere but it’s very rare to know more about my personal life as I love my privacy. It depends on the person, some people make money from putting out their issues on social media but for some of us we believe that our private life is different from our business life. So basically, I don’t have a problem with it as long as you are being careful. People that bring their personal life should be ready for the feedback because a lot of Nigerians no well. Anytime I have top stories all I do is just go to the comments to just laugh.
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How would you describe the personality known as Bash?
Bash is a complete package of entertainment which I think I’m still expressing. A lot of people don’t know I’m a rapper, I do music – play live band, a lot of people don’t know I’ve acted in movies so those are the things I need to explore now and I used to be a TV presenter for Dynamics on TV, I used to be a sport OAP (Sport Blast) at the University of Lagos and a lot of other things. Bash is just an encyclopedia of entertainment but I need to explore myself more.
What is your grass to grace story?
I am a Shomolu- Bariga – Akoka boy, it’s been wonderful. I don’t say tough again because those experiences are one of the few things that are pushing me up and making me go stronger. Thank God for education, exposure, my talent and God’s grace. My grass to grace story is a story of an average Lagos boy from a poor background that moved it up to make a name for himself and we thank God we can do better.
What strikes you most as a comedian and actor?
We have to go off the line to satisfy people even though you are sad, your audience just have to be happy. You have to deliver.
What’s your type of woman?
Like I told you the other time, I am married but that is my private life. I love a supportive and prayerful woman. My wife has been there, has been supportive, it’s a journey and we are still going.
It is one year after EndSARS. What’s your opinion about the crises and how best do you think such social issues can be addressed?
A lot has happened in one year but I think Nigerians are not ready, that is what I used to tell my friends. I am not one of those people that believe in violent revolution but there are better ways. For example, at the one year anniversary, the police were getting out of hand and they needed to be controlled. We fought for EndSars but they still went back extorting so I need a total rehab of the military, the police and the government. A lot of them are using those guys, if you go to the police barracks, it is crazy so you don’t expect a man that is not filled putting on a black uniform under a black sun in a black nation and a black man, he would think black. I think a lot still needs to be done. It’s not about EndSARS, it’s end corruption, end poverty, end everything because Nigerian politicians are milking the citizens and we will find a way. We have to do total rebranding as a nation.
Do you have any strategic moves on being better than you were in previous appearances?
That’s why I am keeping a secret. I’m starting one very soon. It’s called ‘The Humor Mongers’. I’m always thinking out of the box, I don’t want to do the normal typical comedy show. I’m still doing a lot of work on my look, my brand and every other thing. I pray everything falls in place.
Looking back at where you started from and now, how would you describe the metamorphosis of Bash over the years?
Looking back at where I am coming from and where I am right now, may Allah be praised. Thank you very much for the grace of life, thank you to my family and fans who I also call my family.