Event organisers used to pay me with prayers – Comedian Buchi

Nigerian comedian and stand-up act, Onyebuchi Ojieh, popularly known as Buchi, has revealed that in the early stage of his career he used to be paid with prayers.

He said that despite doing gigs for free before getting his big break he never thought of quitting comedy.

According Buchi, some factors that have brought him far are his unique style and versatility, which is what made veteran comics like Julius Agwu and Tee A to scout him.

He said;“I am always excited whenever I am on stage, making people laugh. It has always been that way; right from when I was using my money to travel by night bus to perform in churches, and then they would pray for me. That was when it was free, and I have never stopped since then.

When I got into the industry, there was no one doing what I was doing; and that was a big boost for me. Back then, I used to do a lot of ‘freestyling’. The first big events where I showcased myself were those of two other comedians— Tee A and Julius Agwu. At those shows, I was just ‘freestyling’ from one seat to another, and making jokes out of anything that came to my head.

It was spontaneous. Those performances got me noticed by some people in the industry, including Opa Williams of Night of a Thousand Laughs. For the next edition of the Night of a Thousand Laughs, I did not audition before I was selected to perform.

The right people took note of my works, because I was doing something different from what they had heard before. The fact that I came out with something new and spontaneous brought me this far. Also, in my early years in the industry, my friend and colleague, Basketmouth, met me at one of the shows of Night of a Thousand Laughs, and he was wowed. He walked up to me and commended me. He said he had not seen anything like that before and wanted us to work together.”

Speaking on his friendship with Basketmouth and Bovi and how they resolve quarrels he said; “We always resolve our differences over drinks.”

Buchi explained;“In whatever relationship one is involved in, there will always be issues and disputes. My friendship with Basketmouth started around 1998/1999, and we started working together in the early 2000s. Thereafter, Bovi came along. He was still an actor when we met during the Night of a Thousand Laughs tour. He (Bovi) came into the industry with his own materials, and it was good.”