By Gbenga Bada
Olufemi Ademola Fagade might not ring a bell but at the mention of Omobaba 1, entertainment lovers will start laughing.
Such is the ability of this seasoned comedian to evoke giggles and cause his audience to titter with words and jocular expressions.
In a brief chat with The Nation, Omobaba conveyed the importance of comedy clubs, which is now on the increase across different states in Nigeria.
His flagship comedy club is known as Unknot your tie and it takes place every Wednesday at Sidewalk restaurant and lounge on Victoria Island.
“Comedy clubs are actually a hub for comedians to hone and perfect their skills. More like a platform where you can test the waters, test your jokes and feel the reaction of the people before going to the main stage,” he began.
Continuing, he said, “A comedy club is where you oil your engine and you fire it on anytime you have your show. Most weekends, we get shows or events to perform while the weekdays are often free, so rather than getting idle, why not get a place to myself and entertain people that understand and value standup comedy.
“The biggest venue for standup comedy is 6,000 capacity. For me, that number does not justify the number of lovers and fans of standup comedy in Nigeria. So, I said to myself, as a comedian, it’s not only on the big stage that you can prove yourself, you need regular training like footballers. Yes, you might be training in the corner of your rooms but you need regular interaction with people.”
On how he began the idea, he said, “I began with my late friend, Nomoreloss. He was doing a live band and I will just come in to do a few jokes but as time went by, I decided to start a comedy gig every Wednesday at Rodizzo in Ikeja GRA while he maintained his Saturday live band. From there, I moved to another venue before Sidewalk on Victoria Island, where we now hold Unknot Your Tie comedy club every Wednesday.”
Why the name Unknot your tie and he says, “For me, it’s Unknot your tie not drop your books, so, it’s somewhere people can come and laugh, unwind. It’s for the working class from age of 20 upwards and also having something to show for being around so long without staging a big show. I started developing younger comedians and giving them the opportunities to learn, chip in input, test the waters, and groom yourself ahead of the big show.”
Omobaba recently returned to the scene with his comedy club after a 12-month hiatus and he said the move was to display responsibility as a notable comedian.
“Unknot your comedy club is coming one year after COVID-19 because as a responsible comedian, it’s my responsibility to ensure we don’t expose many people to the risk of getting infected by the virus and that is why it took us this long before returning. Many people have begun holding events and shows but we decided to take our time and be responsible. The platform is a strong voice when it comes to comedy clubs in Nigeria and this first edition for 2021 had Alibaba, Princess, Kojah Kaze, Dan d Humorous, Odogwu, Elvis, and many others.