Monday, October 05, 2020

Mimicking President Buhari Brought Me To Limelight---- MC Tagwaye



Can we meet you sir: Who is MC Tagwaye?

My name is Obinna Simon, popularly known as MC Tagwaye. I am a comedian and a business man.

Where are you from?

I am from Anambra State, but I was born and bred in Katsina State.

How was your growing up like?

(smiles) Ok! My primary, secondary and tertiary education were all in Katsina State. My growing up was also majorly in Katsina State even though my parents are from Anambra State and were in Katsina for business purpose. I studied Integrated Science in my National certificate Education (NCE) at the Federal College of Education, Katsina in 2009. Before then, I was teaching and currently I am doing an online programme that will earn me a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree. More so, an institution in Cotonou have contacted me that they want to honour me with a doctorate degree. They sent me a letter, we have replied them and I have accepted the honour so very soon, we will be going to Cotonou to receive the presentation of the honour.

How did you come about being a Master of Ceremony (MC)?

Like I said, I am a teacher by profession because that was what I studied. I taught for seven years and during that time, my MCing job was a side job just to support myself with the little income I was earning from the teaching job. As at that time, I was paid eight thousand naira. From that money, I would pay my house rent, take care of myself and feed myself till another month. So, I had to pick up the MC job to make ends meet. Nevertheless, I resigned from teaching and delved into comedy fully. Mimicking is a talent I have had for a long time. I have mimicked a lot of people but they are not prominent. Sometimes in my place of work I mimic people, even my proprietress, I had mimicked her. However, my mimic of Nigerian President, Mohammed Buhari is one that is more pronounced probably because of his position in the country.

Where do you get inspiration from?

As a child I heard many stories of Mr. President while he was in military such as how he tries to fight corruption, was arrested in the past because of it, and several stories, so I was a great fan of him and saw him as my hero alongside other children then. As at that time too, he usually comes to Katsina but visits his home town, Daura of which he needs to pass through ingawa. So as children, all we needed to do was wait for him by the road and while he is passing, he will just wave. So when he won the election in 2015, I considered it as an opportunity to showcase my talent so that was how the inspiration came.

Interviewer adds in: Wow, what a great experience that must been for you as kids then.

Are you married?

(Smiles) Yes, I am married.

Do you have kids?

For now, No, but very soon I will.

Interviewer adds in: Interesting. Well we need to get our Team in place then (laughs) because we can't afford to miss being there to celebrate with you and also not minding a magazine feature or coverage of the big day.

Replies: Of course, will be expecting to have you (smile) by God's grace. Thank you.

You are a twin. Tell us about your twin brother?

My twin brother is not into the entertainment industry; he is more of a business man. He has been in business importing phones and accessories from China even while I was teaching. I do a bit of business and then more of entertainment.

Do you have any show?

Yes, for three years now I have been running a show. It is called “Throne of Laughter” and it is hosted in Abuja at Transcorp Hilton Hotel. It is an annual comedy show where other entertainers such as musicians are also given opportunities to showcase their talents. It is always hosted on the first of October. However, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the whole world, we will not be hosting the show this year.

How has the show been faring?

It is faring well but sometimes, there are no major financial profits. On the maiden edition of the show in 2017, all my resources and even sponsorship were fully utilized for the shows. We ensured that our contents were of great quality without even thinking of financial profit. However, in subsequent shows such as in 2018, there was a great improvement in that, the hall was filled to the extent that we had to start refunding people’s money for gate fee because there was no space for them to sit. Generally we had a good publicity.

What is your relationship with the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari?

My relationship with him is that first, he is my president and again, we are from the same senatorial district in Katsina State so he is my father, although not biological. I have also been a big fan of him even as a child.

How long have you been living in Abuja?

I came to Abuja, I guess In 2016 and I have been doing well. All thanks to God.

Do you think the entertainment industry in Nigeria is thriving or is there a need for intervention?

Well, entertainment in Nigeria is thriving and I am an evidence of that. However, there are a lot of lapses that need to be corrected and some unnecessary competitions which needs to be checkmate or stopped. For instance, in the comedy industry, some people form gangs and when you don’t belong to them, there may be no recommendations. So when I noticed that, I became a one man show, I do my things alone and contact people only when necessary or probably when compulsory. If I am attended to, then fine; if not, I move on, I don’t get disappointed. So majorly, unity is lacking in the entertainment industry. In addition, as it is now, I cannot tell you that the government has any specific plan for the entertainment industry. This is simply because, there is no unity and where there is no unity, there is no voice. Thus, the government does not have recognition for the entertainment industry as a union.

For quite some time now, COVID-19 has been ravaging the world. How has the virus affected the entertainment industry and you in particular?

Well, like I do tell some people, the people that need palliatives most are entertainers. The reason is that, we cannot do away with crowd when it comes to entertainment and crowd is the first protocol of COVID-19. If there are no crowds, entertainers cannot work. By extension, in the entertainment industry, those whose only job is entertainment have been jobless since the lockdown in March irrespective of their social media programmes. So COVID-19 pandemic really hit the entertainment industry real hard. For me in particular, the virus and lockdown affected me but not so much because entertainment is not just all I do. I indulge in farming too. Hence, throughout the lock down, I had been attending to my farm where I have cows, poultry and crops. So I have been busy in Katsina throughout the lockdown.

What is your relationship with God?

As a responsible human being, I always acknowledge God in all I do even though I don’t like discussing religion on my interview. But ofcourse, God is incharge of all we do and is the determiner of our achievements. I am not the only comedian in Nigeria but God has used comedy to bring me into limelight after many of my job-hunting moves in virtually all sectors in Nigeria such as the Air-force, Police Force, etc. However, as I speak to you, if offered a job in most places I sought for jobs years ago, I won’t accept the offer. I give people job now. So it is out of line for someone not to acknowledge God in all that he or she does.

Interviewer adds in: Definitely. We are super glad of your growth too and the phrase you just said " I give people Job Now" says it all. Interestingly, this is something Topflyers stands for too. Now we see more reasons to always say you are a TOPFLYER ; representing what being a TOPFLYER in a society entails.

Replies: (smiles) Absolutely. We all need to get to the TOP.

How do you relax?

I really find it difficult to answer this question in most interviews because I am a very busy man. Nonetheless, I like table-tennis, but I can spend like 5 months because I am a very busy man. So I hardly relax but maybe now that I am married, from time to time I might be forced to take a few days out of work and travel to different places to relax.

Can you do a freestyle comedy for us?

Ok. I am ready. You ask me a question as if I were president Buhari and I will mimic his voice and reply you like the president would.

Ok. Mr. President (addressing MC Tagwaye), recently the price of fuel and light bill have been increased by your administration. Nigerians would like to know the reason for the increase or if it was borne out of lack of compassion for the people.

(Mimicking president Buhari’s voice) Well, if you talk about me not having compassion for Nigerians, I think you are not being fair at all to me and my government. The need arose and that was why we had to. I cannot deliberately put Nigerians into hardship because I am a Nigerian too. So if I put Nigerians into hardship, then I am putting myself into hardship too. So that I am a president does not mean I am not a Nigeria-made; I am also a Nigerian. So if it wasn’t necessary, It wouldn’t have been done. So what was done was done for the interest of all. We all know the price of petrol now worldwide and our major source of income is petrol.  Apart from that, I think you should go to internet and search for information. This current situation was predicted in 2012 and that is why we are suffering. A lot of Nigerians thought it would be magic when I came in but to my surprise, what I met when I came in power was beyond what I thought.

Your excellency, is there any hope for Nigeria?

If there is no hope you won’t be here. I believe you believe in Nigeria that is why you are here to meet with me and then you meeting with me I think you have a lot of hope, you can pocket some if you want (Laughter).

Interviewer adds in: That was so hilarious and apt.

Please What is your message to your fans?

(Switches to his original voice) My message to my fans is that they should believe in what they do. A lot of people will discourage you from what you do but don’t give up. Once you believe in it, continue. When I ventured into comedy, my twin brother doubted how possible it was that I could go on radio and make people laugh to earn income. He wasn’t convenient with the idea being that he was a business man and was doing well but I refused to listen to him and I continued. But a day came and he was the one managing the brand and answering calls for bookings. In essence, whatever you believe in, don’t give up. A lot of people will challenge you saying "why would you stoop so low to do certain jobs" but none of them would come to your rescue when things go very tough.

How important is the social media to you?

It has a good and bad aspect. However, I encourage everyone to pick the good aspect.

How do you feel being Topflyers Magazine International’s Entertainer of the Month?

I feel delighted because this is an international magazine and it is an honour to be recommended by my people. So, thank you Topflyers Magazine for this interview. Special Thanks to your team too and the world generally for taking out time to know some more details of me. You can see more of me on my social media page on Instagram @mctagwaye

One love Nigeria!

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