Money is my best asset – Teju Babyface
Teju Oyelakin, host of the popular TV comedy show, The Teju Babyface Show, draws old and young both inside and outside the entertainment industry to his platform, making his show rank as one of the best entertaining shows on TV. The multi-talented comedian in this chat with Vanguard Showtime Celebrity talks about his show, comedy, his marriage and more…
•Your show is always flooded with A-list celebrities; what’s the secret?
Getting guests for my show is one of the biggest challenges of running the show especially when I was not known. At the same time, I can’t remove the element of luck. However, for every guest that shows up on the show, there is one who will not be able to make it.
My dream is to get to the level of having a waiting list of A-list guests, waiting to get on the show.
•How long does it take to get your guests?
•It varies and depends on the guest. I can liken this to when I was wooing girls. I don’t believe in ladies who keep a man waiting. When I work on a guest for a while and I can’t see the green light, I will leave the person and may check back in a year’s time or so.
I do not knock the same door every day. For instance, I have been trailing Prof. Wole Soyinka for five years and I have not given up on him. But that will not stop me from working on other professors.
•Which of your show do you consider most memorable?
Every show and guest is memorable to me. I remember every person who has come to my show and it’s been a wonderful experience. I remember how I feel before and after the guest arrives. And even my sentiments when he or she leaves. Every interview or interaction on the show leaves a signature on me.
•How has The Teju Babyface show affected your career?
The greatest ingredient a man needs to outstanding success in life is equity. The Teju Babyface Show has brought me influence. What some people will have to queue for, buy with their hard-earned money, will come my way for free and without stress.
The brand ‘’Teju Babyface’’ will make me come to your office even when I know nobody (though I don’t do that) and still get attraction. These and lots more are things Teju Babyface Show has done for me. The Teju Babyface has brought me brand equity.
Why the name “Teju Babyface Show?
It’s a brand; there’s no point changing a winning formula. We are building a structure that will house everything from the brand name.
•You’ve brought more celebrities even outside the entertainment industry on the show. How did that idea come to you?
It was the combination of many things. I’ve always loved the Johnny Carson show and I wanted something like it. Something that will give me a platform and stand me out. So that was how it started. I’ve spent years building a brand as a comedian, after a while I knew I had to diversify, walk into other territories and make my mark.
I prayed about it, talked to God and the people who inspired me. The show was born out of the zeal to create my own number one spot in life.
You hardly attend comedy shows or mingle with comedians.
Comedy is only a means to an end for me. It is a college of life that I am currently enrolled in and not necessarily the reason for going to the college.
I graduated from the school of comedy into doing a talk show that is much applauded and celebrated. Teju Babyface has mainly music and interview content with a pint of comedy. I am not a comedian essentially.
•How would you describe yourself?
My calling or profession is to captivate and inspire a mass audience using the media through my vocal and creative talent to influence them for a greater cause. I am an African man who will never pretend about it.
•How has marriage affected your career?
My marriage has improved my career and also made me responsible. My marriage is great and gets interesting as the day goes by. I fended and thought for myself as a single man. I was also a bit reckless then. I am more responsible as a married man.
•Would you describe your wife?
I married the best woman on earth. Sincerely, I got much more than I deserve in this regard. She is the best of all women.
•How do you mean?
I am an expert when it comes to women and I know a good one. She is one of the good ones and I will always appreciate her. She was kept for me.
•Can you recall your most romantic experience with your wife?
My wife is far from the traditional romantic woman, which is the exact reason I married her. She is not the type who would jump at a gift without knowing the reason behind it. She is a very serious minded type who does not really need a man before getting things right.
She doesn’t crave for attention like many women do. There was a time we forgot our wedding anniversary and when we remembered, we laughed at it. I would not have lasted with a woman who will nag or sob at things like that. She is a strong woman.
•Some celebrities endorsed candidates in the last election but you didn’t. Why?
I have no reason to endorse any political candidate publicly. I have not gotten to the level where my political choice will influence a large percentage of Nigerians. So endorsing one politician is a waste of time.
I pray a time will come when politicians will seek my opinion. Seeking my opinion is an index that my opinion counts. And that is only when my opinion can influence a large number of the populace.
•Which asset do you value most?
Money is my best asset. I can get almost every asset with money. I am crazy about cars too.
•What has been the lowest/highest fee you charged for a show?
My lowest was N3, 000 and that was my first show at the University of Lagos in 2000. Unfortunately, the producer absconded with my money before I noticed it. I have done many shows for free. The highest money I have received is in millions.
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