Oluwaseyitan Aletile, popularly known as Seyi Law is one of Nigeria’s favorite comedians. He won the first ever AY Open Mic talent hunt show in 2006. Since then, he has tried to carve a niche for himself in the world of comedy. In this interview, he shares his views on life, marriage and why the comedy industry in Nigeria is growing.
What is your definition of comedy?
Simply put, comedy is life. It keeps life going; it is life for somebody like me.
If you were not in a comedian what would you have been doing?
I probably would have been a medical doctor.
Before you were discovered through the AY Open Mic show, what where you doing?
I have done a whole lot; bricklaying, I don cook rice sell before. But before I started comedy, I was a business system operator at Orile bus stop with my umbrella and my plastic chair where I used to sell recharge cards and make phone calls. After a while, I met Emeka Smith, who introduced me to Jedi and Jedi introduced me to AY, and I eventually won AY Open Mic competition that year.
Tell us about your comedy shows in London and Manchester
It was awesome. For me, it was just a show of God’s grace on my life. I know several people wouldn’t have thought a comedian would have been able to do three shows at the first quarter of last year, I did Lagos, then London, then we were also in Manchester. That goes a long way to prove that God is always good to his people and I am a testimony to that fact.
What kind of childhood did you have?
Everything about my childhood I love to remember. I didn’t stay with my parents. I lived with uncles and aunties and several other people. Most times I was in the boarding house; it wasn’t that rosy or interesting per se. At times, as children, we never really know the hurt; we always try to make ourselves happy.
Did you ever dream of being a comedian?
I never dreamt of being a comedian but I was always very funny and comical. In school activities I used to crack jokes, and say riddles, but I always thought of being a medical doctor and that was what I studied.
What was your first time on stage as a comedian like?
It was awesome; I was always performing in the presence of crowds. I was always involved in debates and quiz competitions and I used to do riddles and jokes in junior secondary school. The first show I went to as a comedian was a wonderful performance and from there, I got my first event. That was because I had a nice time on stage. There was nothing like stage fright, because I have always been in front of an audience, so I was able to conquer that.
What is the most challenging show you have ever done?
It was in 2008 when they brought Asa to Nigeria. People were really expecting the likes of Ali Baba and Basket Mouth to be the MC for that event. So when they saw a young boy Seyi Law, they were murmuring to themselves, who this is person? But I will tell you the truth; my performance at the show was so great that I got my first job in South Africa which was the West African tour of southern Africa.
Most remarkable day on stage?
I have taken every day as a remarkable one because every day is unique and they are always wonderful. I can count a whole lot of them, a night of a thousand laughs, AY LIVE first and second put together, and Tee A shows, Basket mouth shows. Memories and more memories of the shows that I have had because there is always something to talk about when I am on stage; I always want to remains those things and be happy.
What do you think about the comedy industry?
The comedy industry is one of the most united industries in Nigeria. The comedians have learnt to respect each other. The senior colleagues and the upcoming [comedians], everyone respects each other. And [there is] unity among us, which is wonderful.
The industry, apart from the music industry in Nigeria, is the fastest growing.
How are you enjoying married life?
I am happy and renewed. It was an interesting first year and we look forward to more joyous years ahead by God’s grace. Marriage is fun. It’s been wonderful and one of the best things that has happened to me in life. My wife sees me as everything. I have many reasons to love my wife more. Our love is renewed each day with sweet memories of the past as a positive driving force filled with forgiveness.
What has changed about you since you got married?
Nothing much has changed about me, but I don’t go out as I used to before I got married. Apart from that, I am still myself. Marriage has helped me to be more calm and happy. It has made me a better person than I was because I now see things in a different light. I think more of my family than myself; it is a responsibility that one cannot escape. When people see me these days, they say I’m looking bigger, and I tell them it’s one of the dividends of marriage.
What attracted you to your wife?
The way she laughs. I remember it was September 30th 2007 at Global Impact Church, Surulere that I met her for the first time. I was invited to perform and when I looked across the hall, there was this lady laughing her heart out and very jovial too. That caught my attention. She was genuinely happy, calm and excited too. I saw all that before I went on stage to perform.
After performing, I was leaving with my friend Emeka Smith, a comedian, when the same lady walked up to me and said ‘I love your confidence on stage. I am just seeing you for the first time and your confidence is out of this world’. I thanked her and we exchanged numbers. Fortunately for me, she was waiting for a cab with her friend like I was, so I got a cab that took us all. The cab dropped them at home, while my friend and I continued our own journey home. We just clicked. It was a match made in heaven.
Some words for aspiring comedians?
What you think is what you become. Do not try to be someone else, because when you do that, you become second to that person. I will always tell them that the you in you is the real you becausewhen you develop the you in you, you will become a unique being.