By - Usman Sanusi
Adigun Omobolanle Valentina (Osh) and Oyedele Adebisi Yewande (Isko), popularly known as “Oshisko Twins” are one of Africa’s finest comedy duo. Omobola Valentina has an OND in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic, Ibadan; and also a bachelor’s and masters’ degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan. Adebisi Yewande, also known as ‘Mz Wandecrown’ graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan and she is currently pursuing her Masters’ degree in Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos. In this interesting interview, they shared with TIA AFRICA how the journey into the comedy industry started, their experiences in the comedy/movie industry and the challenges they are faced with. Enjoy!
When and how did you start comedy?
We finished from the same university and after service; we were working with different companies. There was a particular company I (Omobolanle) worked with and I was privileged to perform on stage. Someone from the audience met and applauded me for my performance after the stage play. He mentioned that I performed like (Yewande) – now, my partner. He asked if I knew her and surprisingly, she was my course-mate back in school. He said he was working on a TV series and he would love both of us to feature as we looked alike and our acting prowess was cool. He invited us on set and we worked together on a few scenes. On a particular day, while we were not on set; we stayed back in the room to relax; then we started to play around mimicking Yoruba comedians, which we recorded. We showed our colleagues on location, at that time, the videos we recorded and they encouraged us to upload it. We uploaded it and the reception was great. We have been thespians from the onset. We didn’t think we were going to go into comedy. Everything was somewhat divinely arranged.
How did your families take this new found passion of comedy?
Our families have been so supportive. We are one big family and they are actually our first critic. They are our number 1 fans.
How many skits have you done so far?
We have done close to about 500 skits.
Where has comedy taken you to?
Comedy has taken us to different stages, platforms and we have been privileged to meet great people. We have performed at Lagos Laughs, a show sponsored by the Lagos State Governement, movie sets and on huge interview platforms. We have been able to meet with some of nollywood finest actors, actresses, politicians and renowned musical artistes.
Have you worked with any comedian?
We have worked with a lot of comedians which include but not limited to Aluta Emir, Oluwadollars, MC Lively, Frank Donga, Emma Oh My God.
What projects are you currently working on?
We just concluded our short film, “Hospitocrazy”; though, it is still at the post production stage. We are looking forward to organizing our own comedy shows. We want to spread our tentacles and to avoid being stereotyped as ‘instagram comedy skit makers’. We want to be known for varieties. So, we are working more on films and we would be producing our full length film this year.
What’s your relationship with male fans like?
Our relationship with male fans has been amazing; though we are very careful of scandals. We set boundaries with male fans. People tend to misinterpret relationships with people but we just play it cool.
What challenges do you face as comedy duo?
Distance has been a huge barrier. At a time, we were in different locations as we were involved in different things. Sometimes, we had offers to do skits, adverts and promotions for clients. We had to travel long distance, just to be with each other; so we could meet the needs of our clients.
What setbacks do you face in the comedy industry?
Most of the projects we have been working on have been financed by us; and this has been a great limitation. Another major challenge we face is our brand name. “Oshisko” in Yoruba means ‘rubbish’. Many persons are very careful to associate with us because of the name. We are actually entirely different people when not acting or doing comedy skits.
Which comedian(s) inspires you?
A whole lot of comedians inspire us and we look up to many.
What projects have you been featured in the movie industry?
We have worked on Jelili with Femi Adebayo, The Ghost and the Tout, Jide Jendo and a few other TV Series such as Two Left Legs amongst many others.
What challenges do you face in the Nollywood Industry?
People limit us to advertisers. We sometimes feel we might end up being ‘type cast’ as people see us as twins that might not be separable; so they tend to limit our roles. We want to go beyond and bigger. We are thespians and we can interpret roles perfectly; it hurts to see people feel we can only perform to our optimal best when we act together as twins or advertisers.
Tell us something your fans don’t know about you
Most of our fans don’t actually know we are not blood related. And of course, we celebrate our birthdays on different day but many people still wish us ‘both’ happy birthday on our different birth days.
Any word of advice for fast rising acts?
Some people fail to realize that the sky is big for every bird to fly. It is not going to be easy. You will feel sometimes frustrated and those you look up to, might sometimes change their attitudes towards you. Sometimes, you might feel you are not good enough. But first, trust God; have belief in your abilities. Ensure that you don’t joke with people who truly love you and be ready to embrace criticism. Don’t always run after the money. People we have met always say we are down to earth and friendly. We support anyone doing good because people also helped us with comments that kept us going during our tough times. You can get connected by helping others…the sky is big for every bird to fly.
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