Otas Igo Save whose real name is Otaghware Otas Onodjayeke is one of the biggest names in African comedy, he came into the limelight after performing at Opa Williams night of a thousand laughs in 2000.
The Warri born comedian steadily rose to stardom over the years, the moment he launch his comedy show I Go Save back in 2009. Quite unusually for a comedy show, especially in Benin City, I Go Save sold out before the show date. Ever since, I Go Save has become an annual event, firmly established on the Benin City Comedy calendar.
The popularity of I Go Save with his audience is just on of the several feathers in his cap. He is very popular with critics too, his witty jokes and spontaneity has won him dozens of awards including Daniel Merit Award for Best Youth Comedian, Pink Awards Nigeria for Comedy of the year, Akwaba Awards Ghana for comedy of the year, Ehiglad Entertainment Recognition, Settlement House honor as youth peace Ambassador, EBS Recognition Awards, RCORN Organisation Awards for humour brain of the year, NDDA as comedian of the year and many more.
Otaghware Otas Onodjayeke’s talents is not limited to live stand up comedy alone, he is an actor as well. He has starred in a several Nollywood Comedy Movies including Warri Connection and My House Help. Mr Onodjayeke was kind enough to find time from his busy schedule to grant an interview to Bubemi Ekengbuda of Haba Naija.
Otas I go save was Born may 20th 1979 in Warri delta state to the Onodjayeke’s family, OTAS I GO SAVE hails from Ethiope East local government area of Delta State. Attended Aileru primary school and Essi college all in Warri, Delta state and later Federal Polytechnic Auchi where he studied painting and general arts, graduated in 2004 and served his NYSC in Lagos, in 2005. In 2010, his annual I go save unusual got bigger and better.
Bubemi: How will you describe your sojourn in the entertainment industry?
I Go Save: We just do most of the physical which we always see as the best but i give God who oversees and guide my steps to th right path all the glory, so i would not say i am a sojourner since i have God by my side and i keep working hard daily to upgrade and sustain my brand of comedy, Otas i go save is enjoying the trade of making people as it gives me joy to see others happy. Rita Mae Brown once said ” moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television” so the passion for Otas I go save in doing what he loves keeps him going i go save sleeps, eats, drinks, and thinks comedy, and how to emulate laughter encompasses my thoughts daily since There’s no retirement age in comedy. It is not like music or football and that is why you still find Steve Harvey in the trade.
Bubemi: What does it take to be a toast of big comedy shows home and abroad ?
I go save: As you grow in a job so your commercial value increases and constant research to be informed, challenging yourself of making non offensive happenstance to emulate laughter and most of all self decline has been the major key.
Bubemi: If you take a trip down memory lane, would you say everything is working according to plan ?
I go save: Well that is why i don’t stop thanking God, they are working more than i planned.
Embracing comedy as a teenager made all plans towards a direction but as you grow in what you do new decisions and goals starts coming in, though there are some plans i am yet to execute because of few set backs but they must be achieved as i have told myself so i see a lot them and even some i never planned for working and some not, “i believe in serendipity. one of the things I have found out about life is that it has a way of surprising you; you don’t know what’s around the corner”
Bubemi: What are some of the survival strategies of I go save ?
I go save: I pray, because i think that when human strength, ability and intelligence are exhausted, then its the good lord who can do it. i think happiness is a decision and i try not to allow what is happening to me decide the temperature inside me.
Bubemi:: What don’t you fancy about being a comedian ?
I go save: Well i love being a comedian and it has its hazards like every other job, one thing i don’t fancy is the fact that people fail to distinguish you on and off stage.
Being a comedian does make your life a comedy and most times people fail to realize this, like when i am on stage i am I go save the funny or very crazy dude and that’s for the job, but when i am not on stage or when i am not performing in any kind, i am Otas and you should try to connect this distinction. When i am Otas, i am like a very normal man that have have his dos and don’t s but most people just feel you are to be performing when ever you are seen, they see you as the unserious man on stage all the time even when you are very serious making your points. I see this as the hazard of my job so i just wisely deal with it.
Bubemi: what is the highest point of your career so far ?
I go save: In regards to this, everything counts because my carrier has been a chain of reactions and actions to many things and they all contributed to what I am today. Everything that has happened in the past, present and future are all highlights in one way. If I have to name a few; performing on same stage with Joe, Akon, Busta Rhymes and performing all over Europe and the UK. The double success of my annual shows I go save unusual was a top up.
Bubemi: If you were not doing comedy what would you have commit to ?
I go save: I would have been a full studio painter which i studied or a professional footballer.
Bubemi: Does stand up comedy for you mean you can veer into acting and other genre of entertainment ?
I go save: Presently i do stand up comedy and i love it, but you know, this country can change your destiny “na him make engineering student go do IT for police station” (Laughs…..)
Bubemi: The comedy industry in Nigeria is becoming flooded due to the success of pioneers like yourself, what is your take on this ? Because most “new breed” now recycle your jokes you used back in 2003/04.
I go save: Ok in that case i will do a break down for you, we have born comedians and they are the ones born with the comedy talent, then, we have comedians by association and they are those who became comedians because they were close to one comedian and saw how lucrative the business was for him, they pick up jokes from comedians, Blackberry broadcasts, magazines et all and they pick up a name and join the struggle.
After this we have the family motivated comedians, these set were motivated by their family based on how they dance funny at home or made them laugh at the dining and the family think they can be comedians, they motivate them to go on stage and some succeed in it.
So if my jokes are being recycled it’s allowed since you must use a way to make your way.
Bubemi: In Nigeria comedy is taking a new dimension, we now have shot clips of comedy made by comedians, like Bovi, AY and recently from you an a hit video clip you titled “The Crush” which your fans can also watch below. Please talk to us on the concept of this video and about this new dimension comedy is taking?
I go save: Art is a means of self expression and it comedy is not left out of this web, to me i see it as way of entertaining your fans and a means of expressing what you think about any issue or to correct wrong doings in our society.