“It Hurts To Hear Another Comedian Perform Your Work” – -Olu Salako aka SLK

By Ikenga Chronicles February 27, 2016

“It Hurts To Hear Another Comedian Perform Your Work” – -Olu Salako aka SLK


A comedian is a professional entertainer who tells jokes or performs various other comic acts. He is a performer who makes people laugh, maybe through jokes or recreating amusing situations, or acting like a fool–as in slapstick– or employing prop comedy.  Ikenga Chronicles caught up with OLU SALAKO one of Nigeria’s finest who is fast making a name for himself‎. Below are excerpts of his interview with Murna Danmadami:

IC: Who is SLK? ‎

SLK : SLK is a young comedian, actor, writer whose real name is Olu Salako. His father is from Sagamu in Ogun State but he was born and bred in Lagos. Second son of 2 children. That’s pretty much SLK in a nutshell

IC: Do you write your own routines?‎

SLK : YES! I write my routines. I NEVER use any other person’s materials. Hence anything you hear me say or write, except otherwise stated, is mine.

IC: That is really impressive. So where does your inspiration come from?‎

SLK: Most of the time, my jokes come as an epiphany. I might be having my bath, taking a dump or driving and, boom, a concept hits me. I learn from my environment. Soak in a lot. I also use a lot of true stories. Well maybe slightly exaggerated.

IC: That is pretty much a lot of hardwork, but what happens if the audience doesn’t laugh?‎

SLK : Well, it is usually advised that you go up stage with back up jokes. Some jokes are called “the big guns”. They hardly ever fail. So if you try out some new materials and they didn’t work as well as you thought, you simply bring out “the big guns”. Wait…I’m not about to divulge the secrets of our trade!

(General laughter)

IC: All of these must of course come with some degree of stress and pressure. How do you handle stress and pressure?‎

SLK : I once heard a quote from a legendary Thespian. “Absolute confidence is given to the untalented as compensation”. Meaning nervousness is common to our trade. It is okay to be. It sets you up for a great performance. However, if you prepare well, once you get on stage, the audience doesn’t see it. And once you get your first laughs, you are fine. Since what we do is completely live, its normal to feel pressure to deliver. But that pressure must be channelled into positive energy.

IC: Have you ever handled a difficult situation with another comedian?‎

SLK : Well not really. I’ve worked with quite a lot of them. I have no issues working with other people. But the problem I have is hearing my joke from someone else. It saddens me, especially when the person doesn’t acknowledge me at all. It hurts!

IC: What are you most proud of?‎

SLK: I’m proud of the fact that I actually set out to do this. And I’m achieving already. Even though I’m not so old. I already am on the path to making a name for myself. I’ve been through a lot for a boy of my age and from my type of background. And looking at my life in retrospect, I have every reason to be grateful to God.

IC: It is amazing how far you have come, against all odds. I must tell you that Ikenga Chronicles is also proud of you! On a lighter note, what kinds of things really get your excited?

SLK : When I hear people tell me of how much my jokes mean to them; how they had been having a bad day and they stumbled on my instagram page and it brightened them up; or how they so much enjoy my performances. Those things give me joy. This is why we do what we do. I love seeing people having a good laugh.

IC: Tell me about your work experiences as comedian; how has it prepared you for a career?‎

SLK: I’ve always worked along my career. Never done a 9-5. It’s been my career from the onset. Started comedy 6 years ago. I started really young. And I’ve learnt a lot over the years. Worked with comedians and each of them taught me vital lessons.

IC: Okay. What was the most complex job you have had?‎

SLK: I’ve had to anchor state functions involving Governors. Lots of protocols to be observed and much care to be taken. You need to get the introductions right. So you need to be meticulous. But the beauty of this profession is that, every job you do has its own challenge. No two events are totally the same. Each has its own unique challenge.

IC: How do you think other comedians would describe you?‎

SLK : I can’t say what they really think of me. But I can only say what they tell me. I know they say “I love your word plays” a lot. “You are creative” “You are very original” “You are good”. I thank God they have good things to say.

IC: What has been your biggest professional disappointment?‎

SLK: I don’t consider them as disappointments especially when I look at them in retrospect. At the early stages of my career, I think I flopped twice on stage. It was devastating then. But in all, I only learnt how not to crack jokes. I dusted myself and moved on.

IC: Did you ever postpone making an event?

SLK : No. Never postponed making an event.

IC: What have you learned from mistakes in the comedy business?‎

SLK: I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve improved my oratory skills. I’ve picked up negotiation skills. I’ve learnt how to relate to everyone(because a DJ can mar your performance). I’ve learnt to relate with my colleagues in the best possible way to avoid strife and bad blood

IC: What parts of your education do you see as relevant to your career?‎

SLK: For me, my journey in comedy has been auto-didactic. I have learnt to learn, unlearn and relearn. You need to know about a lot of things. Maybe being good in Maths helped me with my intelligent humour, word play and all.

IC: What is your personal mission statement?‎

SLK : To keep giving out world class content, world class performances. ‎To put my country on the global map in terms of comedy and all that it entails, and ultimately, to be a blessing to humanity.

IC: What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you to make?

SLK:  Sometimes it could be difficult not to compromise your faith in the course of your work. Drawing the line might be very difficult. But in the end, your faith has to take precedence.

IC: Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job?‎

SLK: Like I said earlier, it hurts me to hear my joke from someone else. I have had to confront some comedians about my jokes. But I do it in the most peaceful manner. I’m a very peaceful person.‎

IC: How well did your university experience prepare you for this job?‎

Comedian 2

SLK : Well, spending 5 years in the university helped my career( not really the things taught in class!). The fact that I was in my school’s drama group helped me a lot. Then I performed first in school to my school audience. I anchored several events there. I got paid for the first time there. So my school really helped. But not my classes.

IC: What is the most difficult situation you have faced?‎

SLK: Adapting to a difficult situation is part of the job. You hardly get the “perfect” situation. I’ve had to anchor weddings with poor sound. I’ve had to crack jokes without a microphone because I was on stage and there was power outage and it was taking too long.

IC: How would you describe your presentation style?‎

SLK:  My style is calm. I usually speak more of English, then some pidgin or Yoruba when necessary. I like to use wordplays. Then I try to teach my audience one or two things. I do less of slapstick but can use a lot of descriptions when needed.‎‎

IC: What are your expectations for the future, especially as it concerns your career as a comedian?‎

SLK: The future can only be bright for me. More and more quality shows. More events, skits, my sitcom will be done. My movie likewise. My one man comedy show too. But we are taking it one step at a time. With God on my side, I will surely get there.

IC: Thank you so much SLK, and we wish you all the best for the future

SLK: Thank you!

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