Ace comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, is undoubtedly on top of his game as far as making people laugh is concerned. He has headlined shows throughout the country and beyond, and many comedians actually look up to him in the industry. In this interesting chat, he talks about his marriage, transgender persons, as well as the fact that being a celebrity doesn’t make one a role model and other issues. Excerpts…
What is your opinion on bad habits and addiction, should it ruin marriages?
I have always said that if a marriage succeeds, it’s because of a woman. So much responsibilities lie on the woman; she has to be the mother, father, sister, and wife. On the issue of bad habits, no one can change anybody; the best thing to do is to pray. And the man must be willing to change because everyone has a bad habit. For me, the family is a very complex unit, and only the guidance of God and the patience of the woman can make it succeed.
You started out as a comedian in UNILAG, how have you evolved as an entertainer?
I always tell people that the desire not to go hungry is what pushes me and I’m sure it works for other people too. In some countries, people do three to four jobs to make ends meet, and I’m like why don’t I just do that here in Nigeria as well. You must continue developing yourself because the day you stop developing yourself is the day you die. When people tell me that I do so many things, I tell them I’ve not done anything yet, because as long as there is money to be made, I have to continue working
What’s your opinion on the issue of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition to a woman?
My honest opinion is that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. If God created you to be a man, please remain a man. While growing up, I had a friend called Lanre who was shaped like a woman and he also had the mannerisms of a woman, so everybody thought he was gay. We used to harass him and call him Mrs. Lanre, but I knew he was just more comfortable that way. I grew up with a lot of women and I am more comfortable with them; I have lots of friends who are women, but that doesn’t make me want to be a woman. In America, I think they are too comfortable, that’s the problem.
What’s your take on celebrities that say they have their lives to live, and smoke and put all manners of things on social media?
The fact that you’re a celebrity doesn’t make you a role model. There are celebrities I wouldn’t want my children to be like, and there are some I would pray to God to be like. We mistake fame for responsibility; let’s talk about materials. Every comedian has a right to his own comic license; every footballer has a right to his own style, and sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves because we take ourselves too seriously. However, I won’t joke about Boko Haram. There was a time my team said we should do a skit on Boko Haram and I said it’s a no-go area. But everyone cannot be like me. I have children and I have a wife, and I know what is appropriate and what is not, but some people do it and they get away with it because the society accepts it.
Why the name Gbenga Adeyinka the 1st?
While I was growing up, my folks didn’t want me to go into comedy. They argued that after sending me to one of the best schools, I shouldn’t be going into comedy, so I decided that anything I want to do, I have to be the first in it. And when I got married, I incorporated the idea of senior and junior by naming my son Gbenga Adeyinka the 2nd, while I am the 1st.
How long have you been married?
I’ve been married for 22 years now. My father left when I was very young and I grew up with my grandmother. One of the most painful memories in my life is when I got to school and saw people’s fathers dropping them off at school. I then made up my mind that I was going to marry early and I would give my kids what my father couldn’t give me. I got married immediately I graduated from the university, and people came just to be sure that I was getting married, and I have been married to a beautiful woman.
Why did you leave your former house?
That place was not a good place, but kudos to former Lagos State Governor Fashola, he tried a lot. During my stay there, armed robbers attacked us, and they killed my security guard and two of my dogs. After that incident, I just said I couldn’t live there any longer. Anyway, I’ll say it was God’s plan for me to leave.
What next should we be expecting from you?
I have an annual comedy concert that I do in Oyo state which I call ‘banking the unbankable’ but I couldn’t do it this year because of the elections. I believe Lagos has become too saturated, and we need to take comedy outside Lagos, so we decided to take our shows to the South-West. We’ve done it in Ibadan, Osogbo, and I have plans to go to Abeokuta. I was planning on doing it in October, but my mind is telling me to relax till next year. So basically, what you should be expecting from me this year is that I’ll just continue being myself.