I’m far from being religious–Asiri Comedy
Asiri Comedy whose real name is Osundare Damilare has blazed the comedy circle together with his partner, Arole. In this interview with Olowe Praise, Solomon Odeniyi and Segun Odunayo, he explains his journey into comedy, the secularity of his jokes and his relationship with Arole. Excerpts
How did comedy begin for you?
Comedy for me started as interaction among my peers. Friends naturally gather round me because I was very lively and I throw funny jabs too. Later when I gained admission into the university I joined a drama group where I get to act the funny roles.
How long have you been in this industry?
I have been in the industry since 2010
What university did you attend and what course did you study?
I attended Obafemi Awolowo University Ile ife. I studied Microbiology
What has been your ups and downs so far in the industry?
The comedy industry in Nigeria is a battle of USP (unique selling point). If you don’t have one, you will be lost in the crowd. For me, every opportunity I get to make people happy is fulfilling. As for the downs, they are part of the plan to greater heights
What’s your unique selling point?
Depth, intelligence, spontaneity and observational strengths as well as creativity
Many believe Arole is your superior, what is your view about this?
(Laughs) It’s not a game of superiority. We are two individuals with diverse strengths. Our duo is a fusion of individual strengths that is why as individuals we still function in our respective capacity. We have been doing active stand up as individuals before the duo came to play. Even in the midst of the duo our individuality is still pronounced
So, you guys are not one?
We are not one. We are different brands. Our coming together gave us remarkable mileage
Many believe Arole grace bigger events than you do, especially as he travels outside the country to perform, do you think they are right?
Arole has paid his price and he has given to the industry. He deserves every bit of achievement he is getting now. It is not a competition between us. It is Friendship. We have our respective niche and audiences and it depends on what you mean by the big stages because we have graced the stage of almost all comedy events in Nigeria this year.
How did you come about the name Asiri?
I got it from Mark 4:11
It is given unto men to know the Mystery of the kingdom of God. Asiri means secret or mystery.
Are you a secular comedian or a religious one?
I’m far from being religious. I appeal to all cliques
So, why the religious inclination of some of your videos on Instagram?
Give me examples
Your videos tilt towards Christianity, isn’t so?
That is not true. It’s about dynamics. When I’m in a religious setting I stay within the confines of religion if that is what they can relate with. When I’m in a corporate setting I speak their language to them and utilize their registers to get their attention. Just recently I did a joke on Davido
Give us an insight into your background
I grew up in Ibadan. I have two sisters. I am the only male child. My parents were disciplinarians. I enjoyed reading a lot. I have read books like Oliver Twist, Animal Farm and Things Fall Apart since when I was just about seven years old
What’s your name and what secondary school did you attend?
Osundare Damilare Simeon. I attended Stars Comprehensive College in Oke Koto sawmill area, Ibadan. I was very stubborn then. I loved playing pranks a lot.
What’s your state of origin?
Who are your mentors in the profession?
I don’t really have my mentors in the comedy profession. However, I have great men like Alibaba, Bovi that I have understudied and learnt from them from afar
What should your fans expect from your stable soon?
I am staging a two hour stand up show soon tagged “InspiComedy”, I will be blending inspirational stories will full dose of comedy for two hours, It’s going to be one of a kind.
Will you be collaborating with other comedians or entertainers on this?
They will be around as guests, but it will be exclusively about me
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would have been a global voice
What has been your most embarrassing experience from a fan?
I was pressed this fateful day, so I hurriedly entered a mall. Few meters before getting to the rest room, this lady blocked me requesting for a selfie. I tried my best to oblige her. As soon as I allowed her, she beckoned on five other friends, I just ran off the scene. To my surprise, I met them still waiting while returning from the rest room
Thanks for your time Asiricomedy
You are welcome, thanks for putting me on the hot seat.