Tell us about yourself?
My name is OGEDEGBE STEPHEN ONOBROMA a.k.a Mr. Steve(CFR – Comedian of the Federal Republic of Nigeria)-Pikin wey God. Am a comedian, a talk for a living and am also a broadcaster/Presenter on Wazobia Max Television, Abuja. I am from Delta State, Ugheli South Local Government Area. My both parents are from Delta State. I attained my education from different states of the federation, I attended my Primary School in Kaduna, my secondary school in Warri, Delta State and attended Enugu State University of Science and Technology and funny enough I studied Metallurgical Engineering, so am supposed to be working in a steel or an oil company (giggles) but I guess am where my career took me, so I talk for a living now.
Being successful can only be attributed to God. Because without God in whatever you are doing, if God says it’s not going to work it will not work, so basically, I will attribute everything, my comedy and my career to God Almighty who has given us the talents to do whatever we are doing.
Tell us how you started?
I started in school as an Mc(Master of Ceremony) and a motivational speaker because I am always into motivational speeches, so in the course of my motivational speaking I discovered that one of the ways I can use in captivating people to listen to me is to crack some few jokes that I heard from people and in cracking those jokes you bring out the messages and relate it to whatever you want to tell them and with time people began to invite me to do MC for them in picnics and all that in school when I was in my second year and third year, so I will say I started from school. But I will not say I started as a comedian, I started as a gospel music artist, I was singing in church and was part of the fellowship choir in my school NIFES to be precise. At a point I became the music director and I knew I had the comedy tendencies but I was still doing music and I was also the lead praise singer in House on the Rock Churches in Enugu State, Port Harcourt and I started as the first music director in House on the Rock Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, so basically if you follow me very carefully in my comedy career I infuse in some elements of music but aside that I basically do gospel music and that has been one of my cutting edge in my career. People love to watch me sing especially when I go to do comedy in churches and all that and even some times I sing in some of the events I host especially when there is a live band on standby I can do anything with music because it’s one of the powerful tools which most comedians use now example Kenny Blaq, Akpororo, Emma oh my God and even Julius Agwu have actually set a pace for music in comedy in Nigeria.
What were the challenges you had?
Of course, every career you take up as yours, you must encounter challenges. Like I said before I graduated as an Engineer and I was thinking that as I finish school, I will use my credentials and get a job in an oil company because there are a lot of oil companies in Delta State but as I got along in life I discovered my purpose, what I had passion for, I discovered I have passion for talking and that has been my drive which has made me stand out as a professional MC and comedian in events. Everything that you do there is definitely going to be challenges, I relocated to Abuja 2012, I stayed in Lagos briefly then back to Warri and then to Abuja in 2012, so along the line there are a lot of things you will encounter, people looking at you and telling you “this your comedy thing you’re doing, where do you think it’s going to take you to and all that”, so those words actually posed as challenges to me because you have to look at your challenges as both positive and negative, some will come to spun you to do positive things while some will be to bring you down. For me I see challenges as a stepping stone, coming to Abuja, no place to stay but I kept pushing because you don’t give up even if your back is against the wall, your background does not give room for your back to be on the ground. Irrespective of the fact that most comedians say they are from a poor family, am not from a poor family rather am from an average family, so basically growing up was quite challenging and some people will say “out of frustration, na im make me go run enter comedy” (laughs) some will say “na when hunger beat you, you go discover your talent” but I didn’t see that as one of the reasons I got into comedy, I got into comedy out of passion and as I talk to people I discovered I can impact lives and that’s it.
Do you think you have gotten to the peak of your career?
I have not gotten to the peak of my career, nobody will ever tell you they have gotten to the peak of their career, we keep pressing to be better than what we are now and all that. But I will say by the grace of God I have gotten to a particular level of my career that I will beat my chest and say that I have tried. I have performed in most big comedy shows you can think of in Nigeria – AY Live Abuja, Port Harcourt, Night of a Thousand Laugh, I have done shows with Gordons called Gordons Comedy Clinic, I have done Stand Up Nigeria, so I have done a lot of shows with most A-list comedians in Nigeria. I was equally the third runner up in National Comedy Challenge that was held way back in 2010 because my comedy started in 2007 and that’s when I said let me see where this comedy will take me to. I have also performed in the Presidential Villa as a comedian so by God’s grace I have done a lot of stuffs but that is not the peak we are still pressing. I equally have my shows I do every year, I started with “Laughing gas with Mr. Steve 2013” where I feature most top comedians we have in Nigeria today, and when I came to Abuja I started doing “Gospel of Comedy 2015” and still pushing. At the moment am building my career as a broadcaster, like I said earlier am a presenter at Wazobia Max TV Abuja and Wazobia Max Tv is a Pigin English TV so I try to bring in my comic part into it because I never believed as a comedian I can anchor a morning show on TV where we discuss a lot of issues pertaining the economy, politics et cetera, because as a comedian you do jokes on the economy, politics, entertainment because everything is interwoven so don’t be surprise Mr. Steve will soon release a gospel music single*smiles* very soon and a comedy video CD coming soon too.
Who do you attribute your success to?
Being successful can only be attributed to God. Because without God in whatever you are doing, if God says it’s not going to work it will not work, so basically, I will attribute everything, my comedy and my career to God Almighty who has given us the talents to do whatever we are doing. Gordons, I will say played a lot of roles to my growth too because I have worked with him for so many years, I have done a lot of shows for him, he has sent me to cover a lot events for him and all that, I will say he is one of the main persons that brought me up when it comes to anchoring events and being a doing comedy. But as an individual you have to set targets and goals for yourself because it’s one of the things that propels me to do what I do, I set targets and goals and go the highest lengths to achieve them as a comedian and a professional MC. I equally get a lot of encouragements from my family and friends, a couple of my pastors I have worked with, they encouraged me to keep doing what I do, am good with what I do and so on.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
What advice do you give upcoming talents?
My advice to artists/talents is that “whatever you do, do it well, whatever gifts you have sharpen it, add skills and education too because a lot of people believe that talents it’s all you need but you need education, skills, you need to update yourself with what is happening in our world today because one God will send someone to invest in your talent. Just keep adding to your knowledge, skills because crude oil goes through a process to become fuel so every man will go through a process and one day the sky will be your starting point.