06.05.2007 Interviews


Papa AjascoPapa Ajasco
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You are Papa Ajasco...

No, I'm no longer Papa Ajasco because I'm no more doing Papa Ajasco. In other words, I'm no longer playing the role of Papa Ajasco. It's another person that is playing the role now. So, I can always refer to myself as former Papa Ajasco.

But why did you give up on the role?

A lot of people have asked me this question. Well, it's not as if I gave up on the role. The owner of the job took his job from me. He said he didn't want to use me any more.

Were you not playing the role well?

I was, but what happened was that we went to Benin, myself, Mama Ajasco and Boy Alinco, where we attended a new year party for children somewhere in Benin. We took pictures with the children, had some handshakes with them because you know, children love to see Papa Ajasco and I promised the organiser of the party that I would be coming with some of my colleagues. The party was in collaboration with one company in Benin. We didn't go to showcase Papa Ajasco or Alinco or Mama Ajasco stuff. We went because of names and our faces. So, when we got back to Lagos, Wale Adenuga, the owner of Papa Ajasco Comedy show got to know about the party. He said that he has been warning us that we shouldn't use the name of the company to do such things. We told him that we didn't use the name of the company. That couldn't make any meaning to him and he said he didn't want us anymore, that he was tired of us. That was how I stopped since the beginning of this year.

But now that you are no longer playing the role, how do you feel when people see you and still call Papa Ajasco?

Well, I'm still Papa Ajasco I'm still the original Papa Ajasco, there is no doubt about that. All other ones are fake. I still say this even to my fans. How he is doing it now, I don't know. If he is catching up or not I don't know. But I do hear from my fans too that no matter how whosoever tries, he cannot be like me.

Is that why you change your familiar bald hair style you were known with?

Exactly! I'm not a bald-headed man. It was just because of the program that I used to shave the hair at the centre of my head. And I did that for nine good years. And because my wife said that I looked handsome in it, I decided to keep it. When we wanted to start the program, even the producer said that we should go and buy mask and all that but I said let's try and use my real hair and face; amazingly it came out well. So, I used it for that programme for nine good years. When it grew, I would shave it. I was virtually shaving it every week. I maintained the shape of the hair. But for the past one year now, I have left my hair the way it is because the thing happened December 2005.

Was it why you stopped wearing a haircut you said your wife liked? Were you scared you could be sued by your ex-boss if you had continued?

Well, not really. I know it's my head, I can still shave my hair to the style I like.

But why did you stop a hairstyle that brought you so much fame?

If I still feel like going for it, nothing will stop me. It is because I may have other programmes to do that may not, you know, warrant me cutting my hair as Papa Ajasco.

But that style was your signature of a sort?

Yes, I know but I'm no longer playing the role. But I'm missing the style if I should be honest. I am. I'm used to it. For instance, that centre I used to shave off now itches me, even now that I'm sitting facing you, that centre still itches me. But the only thing I enjoy now is the fact that I can stay in an airconditioned room for long unlike in those days when I was having artificial bald head. Cold could easily get into my body through that shaved part of my head. It wasn't natural and once you do things that are not natural, it tends to backfire on you. My fans still recognise me even without the bald. They get excited when they see me.

How about your big tummy, was it artificial too?

No my big tummy is real. (Rubs it). This is real. It is no pillow. Everything about me is natural except my hairstyle.

Is it only comedy that you are good at?

It is not only comedy that I do. As an actor, you must be able to play all roles. Before we started the programme, Papa Ajasco, I took part in one soap opera. It was in one television series that Wale Adenuga saw me. I played the role of a policeman. That was what he saw when he called me over.

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