Wale Adenuga reveals, “I am well celebrated in Nigeria”
Veteran TV series producer, publisher, and cartoonist, Wale Adenuga, opens up about his journey into comedy, also acknowledging he is well celebrated in Nigeria for his achievements
Despite no formal training in cartooning, he credits his sculptor/artist grandfather for sparking his interest. Adenuga reflects on his achievements, including the recent Nigeria Comedy Awards organized by his company.
He said; “When it comes to cartooning, I never learnt it from anywhere. I was born with it and I am happy I was able to achieve something with the talent. In Ikebe Super, I created all the cartoon characters. I also drew all the magazine cartoons for the first three years.”
Adenuga shares the backstory of the Nigeria Comedy Awards, revealing that he won the franchise in 1997 but only brought it to life this year. He emphasizes the focus on comedy in his career, from producing the first Nigerian English comedy film in 1984 to starting Papa Ajasco, the longest-running Nigerian TV series, in 1997.
Addressing whether comedians should own their events, Adenuga believes an independent organization like his should moderate, fostering healthy competition among comedians and pushing them to excel.
When asked about his recognition in the Nigerian comedy circuit, Adenuga proudly mentions receiving the National honour, MFR, in acknowledgment of his contributions to the industry. He expresses contentment and feels fully compensated for his efforts.
Looking ahead, Adenuga aspires to be remembered as one of the pioneers who elevated the comedy business in Nigeria. While answering a question about if he has been well celebrated in Nigeria or not, he answered “Of course yes. Don’t forget that the National honour, MFR, bestowed on me was on account of my contribution towards the development of comedy in the country. Comedy takes most of my input in the entertainment industry. With MFR, I have been rewarded more than enough by my country. I don’t think I have been shortchanged in any way. Rather, I have been blessed by the Almighty creator of creativity. I’m happy, I have no regrets at all. I have been fully compensated for my efforts in the industry.
He also shares a personal anecdote about meeting his wife during his university days, where his role as the Chief Cartoonist made him popular on campus.
He said; “My comedy business pre-dated my cartoon magazine, Ikebe Super, which I launched in 1976. But before then, I have been practicing comedy in the form of campus magazines. I gained admission into the University of Lagos in 1971, and in the same year, I became the university’s Chief Cartoonist for the campus magazine. That means I started dishing out humour five years before I launched Ikebe Super. My role as the Chief Cartoonist of UNILAG magazine really made me popular on the campus as an undergraduate. My wife was my course mate. We studied Business Administration. It wasn’t the campus magazine that attracted her to me, but at least it added to my value as a suitor”
Reflecting on his artistic journey, Adenuga reveals his natural affinity for cartooning, starting as early as 7 years old. He emphasizes that cartooning is part of his DNA, inherited from his talented paternal grandfather.
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