‘MY GIRLFRIEND OF 7 YEARS LEFT ME FOR A YAHOO BOY ... OMO JESU
Isiwele Daniel, the 'bishop of comedy,' is fondly called Omo Jesu. He tells ADAEZE AMOS why and what inspires his jokes.
Why did you choose to answer Omo Jesu?
The name Omo Jesu was given to me by my fans because of my constant stories about the gospel and the church. So anywhere I go, people keep saying 'that boy has come,' 'that Jesus pikin,' 'he will start telling us about God now' and that was how they started calling me Omo Jesu. I was using my personal name as in M.C. Daniel. But at a point, I just discovered that people kept saying Omo Jesu because of my stories. And it was like that because you don't give something you don't have. I have always been a church boy. I grew up in a family of four and my father died as a bishop in the 80s. I have always been a guy who has been doing church things. I have always called myself a pulpit boy.
They used to say church rats in those days; it was not actually rats they were referring to. They were referring to those that you would always see in the church. So, that is why my stories revolve round churches. I have come to see the good, the bad and the ugly of the church. I tell you what pastors do that they should not; I tell you what members do that they should not. I also try to pass the message in a comic form.
I gave a joke sometime and I said don't go to any church where the pastor is a bachelor because if that pastor is not married, he will never preach messages that have to do with marriage. Now if you walk to him and tell him that you have seen a sister you want to get married to and the same pastor has seen the same sister, what happens?
How long have you been in the comedy industry?
I have actually been in comedy since I was a child. But professionally, I started three years ago and as God would have it, my first joke of three minutes fetched me N20,000. That was when I knew I actually had a career in comedy.
You have taken comedy to another level. People now listen to your jokes even in their cars as they drive. How did you do this?
The audio comedy CD idea came in the effort to be creative. How many times do you watch television in a day, how many hours even in your office? You don't have time. So, I was like if I have an audio CD, you can be in your car and listen to it. You can drive and listen to jokes. And I also discovered that it would not be too good to give you jokes that would actually make you laugh naked.
What do you mean by laughing naked?
What I mean laugh naked is when you have to open all your mouth and laugh out and forget your name. They are not jokes like that. I tried to get jokes that would interest you even as you drive.
Why did you restrict the audio CD comedy to the gospel?
If I hadn't restricted it to the gospel, people like Baba Suwe and Uche Ogbuagu would tell you I have done it before. So, I now restricted it to the gospel and I titled it Laff and be Holy with Omo Jesu. It's the first of its kind.
Who do you think is the funniest among the comedians in the world?
None. Nobody is funny, we are just trying, but God is helping us all. God was the first to actually tell a joke. Remember when God told Sarah 'you go born, Sarah laughed.' And for Sarah to laugh means she heard a joke.
But God was serious.
Yes you are right; likewise every joke you hear. They come in form of jokes, but they are meant to pass a serious message. For instance, you can address fuel scarcity with jokes, is it not serious business? But it can come in form of jokes.
How come you are wearing bogus beads on your neck and wrist on suit?
As an artiste at times, you want to do something that will make you look unique; something that a common man wouldn't want to do.
Where do you get your jokes?
My jokes are from realities, real things that happen. I try to pass serious messages through jokes. When I'm in the church and a pastor is preaching, all that I'm seeing is the comic aspect of the message. That's why I go to church a lot.
What is your love life like?
I actually had a lady that I dated for seven years. She was one of the solo singers in my church then. Just imagine she left me for a Yahoo person. And that was a lady I dated with full responsibility.
What do you mean by full responsibility?
When I say full responsibility, it means you are in charge like a father to her and after seven years of serious relationship, she left me for a Yahoo Boy and since she left me, I have not found love again.