MC PASHUN: My sojourn into comedy is spiritual
Diribe Chidi Richard, popularly known as Mc Pashun, is a standup comedian, compere and actor. He came into limelight by playing the role of ‘Titus’ in the TV series, ‘My Flatmates’.
An indigene of Arochukwu in Abia State, Mc Pashun holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Uyo. He was discovered by comedian Basket Mouth and has continued to perform and feature in comedy shows. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he shares his passion and craft in comedy.
Tell us about your growing up.
THINKING about growing up always gets me teary as dad works too hard to make ends meet. I was in a hurry to grow up and support. Growing up was tough with nine kids from my mother, but I got my eyes on the goal. If you can see the ultimate, you will survive the immediate.
Share with us your sojourn into comedy. How did it start?
To me, my sojourn into comedy is spiritual because I never chose to be a comedian, instead, I will say comedy chose me. My dad told me that they knew I am a reincarnation of their late multi-talented brother when I was born. They watched me grow till I started winning dance competitions. Fellow kids and adults always laugh and are happy to be around me because of my sense of humour. I became the centre of attraction when it comes to making people happy. So, when I advanced in age, I decided to take it to a professional level by studying Psychology at University Uyo.
Did you know you would make a career path in comedy?
Yes, I saw my elder siblings cry while searching for jobs after NYSC. So I made up my mind never to work with my university certificate because I know talent will take me where certificates can’t. It’s not easy but with consistency, I am pulling through.
You are a comic actor, compere and standup comedian. How are you able to develop and nurture your skills?
While carving a niche for myself, I nurtured and mastered my skills by watching these veteran actors, comedians and comperes – Osuofia, Mr Ibu, Basket Mouth, De Don, I Go Dye, Frank Edoho and Ebuka Obi Uchendu. I develop materials myself and from people’s experiences, also the things around me. I love reality and interactive comedy. It cracks up the audience as they get shocked which gives a feeling that I am peeping through their daily lives.
Share with us your role in Flatmates. Would you describe it as your big break?
Playing the character ‘Titus’ is a very challenging role, which demands steady focus syncing into character. And yes, it’s a big break and it’s paving way for all my talents. This has made me more on demand, as fans know I am also a stand up comedy and compere.
What challenges have you faced in the course of your career?
Being a multi-talented person, it’s been challenging on which talent to hold as a priority, whether music, acting or comedy. I had to stick to comedy, as others needed more funds and more stress to thrive. Coming back to Lagos, ‘the state of my birth’ after school and leaving Uyo where I’ve been known for six years and getting a few jobs was challenging. Tribalism and nepotism had a negative effect on survival, but I worked harder not to be pitied but to be wanted. Well, no risk, no reward. Now the rest is history.
What new project are you working on? What should we expect this festive season?
I hosted my first major event, Pashun Live ‘Beast of the Mic’ this year at Muson Centre. It was a huge success. I saw my fans live! I hope to have a tour 2023 across in Nigeria and overseas.
What does fashion mean to you?
To me, fashion depicts behavioural patterns, it’s a statement of who you are and your values. It’s beyond putting on clothes.
What is your style?
I like abnormal styling, normal is boring. Since I am known as the ‘Beast’ of Nigerian comedy, I dress Beasty always for comedy shows with my Durag steadily on my head for performances. It makes me fierce on arrival.
Who are your role models?
They are Basket Mouth, De Don, Okey Bakassi, Buchi, Senator, Destalker, Acapella, Osuofia and Mr. Ibu.
What is your favourite local dish?
Pepper soup rice and Afang soup
What would you have been doing if not a comedy?
I would have pursued a master’s degree in Criminal Psychology because I love societal cleansing. I got some DSS instincts.
What are your hobbies?
I love travelling and activism.
Describe Mc Pashun in three words.
Beast, Kind, Effortlessly Funny.
How would you describe the industry and its growth process?
The stand-up comedy industry’s growth has really skyrocketed but the creatives aren’t earning much as only music get active royalties for now. A lot of comedians make skits now to meet up with the cost of living.