Tuesday, April 7, 2020 2:33 pm
By Nehru Odeh
He is comedy himself. A mere look at him makes one roll with laughter. Not because he was born Samuel Animasaun Perry -though he is a born comedian- but because he later became Broda Shaggi, the instalgram sensation, singer actor and comedian.
This is the grass-to-grace story of Broda Shaggi, who lost his father, a teacher at Mayflower Junior High School Ikenne, when he was young and had to live with his widowed mother, who never remarried after his father’s demise.
However, the stunning thing about his rise to stardom and fame is that it was hunger that drove him into comedy, a career he has made huge social and economic capital from.
Shaggy disclosed this on Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 in an interview via Skype with presenters of WakeUp Nigeria, a breakfast show on TVC.
“It’s hunger that inspired Broda Shaggi. When hunger nack your head, you will find your talent, you will find your square root. Trust me, I just wanted to make a living for myself and I wanted to prove that I could bring in something different, something unique. That was how Broda Shaggi came into being. So I looked back at all the characters and I just said why can’t I bring in something unique, something they haven’t seen before, something they can easily relate to. If you go out, you meet Agbero. Everybody knows Agbero. So that was how I came about the character,” he said.
Asked when he actually made the move to become a comedian, he said: “Basically, it’s just like this. What’s happening right now – this lockdown. I was locked down for like two months after school, after Unilag. I was living with my mum. So I wanted to change the story. I wanted to be able to put food on my table, to put food on my family’s table. My dad is late. So when I stopped living with her, I came to the island to live with my friends. That was when I discovered this character because I just didn’t want to sit at home all day doing nothing. So that was how I started and I say ‘Okay let me come out with something different, like I said before by creating this character, Broda ShaggI,” he reminisced.
Indeed, Shaggy has created something different, something everybody can relate to. Little wonder he has become not just an instalgram sensation but also one of the most popular comedians in Nigeria today. His interpretation of characters such as Inspector Perry, Akanni Ibadan, Professor Dele and Broda Shaggi, the prototype of An out- and-out tout and labourer known in local parlance as agbero is almost perfect.
Still, the way he came about that stage name, Broda Shaggi, is as ludicrous as the character itself.
“The idea of Broda Shaggi came to me in December 2017. I was with my mechanic while he was fixing my car and I overheard some guys talking. One of them asked the other to buy something for him but his friend refused, so he jokingly asked the guy are you okay, have you forgotten that you were once my apprentice in Yoruba. He sounded like a lout and I noticed everyone around laughing because of the way he spoke and his mannerism. I liked the way he spoke and that was how I got the idea. The next thing I did was to get a name that would suit the character. I thought of Musiliu, Shaggi Don Baba, but eventually, I decided to use Broda Shaggi, he once said in an interview.
Shaggi is a bundle of talents. Aside from being a comedian, he is also an actor and a fast-rising artiste. He released his single, Bolanle in 2019, which became an instant hit and a national anthem of sorts.
However, as a comedian, Shaggi did not become an instant hit like the way Bolanle was. He had done comedy skits for five years before he shot into limelight.
“For me, comedy has always been something I have loved since I was a child. Ever since I was a child, I always got compliments from people that I am a hilarious person. I decided to join the Nigerian comedy industry in order to leave my impact and also to make a difference. I have always dreamt of doing something creative and different from what everybody else has been doing and that is how I came across the several characters I have developed through my skits. Although I recently shot into the limelight, I have been doing comedy skits for about five years. I actually started acting in comedy dramas while I was still a student at the University of Lagos. I would say that I was doing the regular style of comedy and skits but that did not bring fame my way, so I was prompted to adopt the ‘agbero’ style and it worked like magic.
Indeed Broda Shaggi is his Open Sesame. Asked what he is working on now, Shaggi said he plans to release an EP this April. “I am dropping an EP soon. I am dropping it in April. It is a combination of the two sides of me – the Samuel A. Perry and the agbero side. There are different tunes in the EP. I am dropping a. EP of five songs,” he enthused.