Although humour merchant, Ayobami Ajewole, popularly known as Woli Agba, has been in the business of ‘cracking ribs’ since the early 2000s, the young man’s fame fizzled out of the industry shortly after, at a time the ovation was loudest.
In his absence and with the emergence of social media, another brand, Woli Arole, emerged and wormed his way into the hearts of Nigerians by making them laugh. Now, Woli Agba seems to be back and aims at holding sway like he used to.
In a chat with Saturday Beats, the comedian said that contrary to what people might think, there is actually no rivalry between himself and Woli Arole. In fact, he said that Woli Arole actually motivated him.
“Woli Arole is a very good person and he is one of the people that encouraged me. He told me to do these videos. I remember when we met at an event in Lagos and he told me that he had been looking for me. He said that some of the things he was doing, he got the concept from me.
“He asked for my Instagram handle and when I got back home, I received his call. He said that he had checked my Instagram page and that I had only 1,500 followers and that it was not good enough. We later did a video together where we prayed for P-Square and it went viral and with that, my followership shot up. He really tried and kept urging me to do more videos. I did not really know what kind of videos to do, so I studied what he was doing and I tried his style a few times, but it did not bring out the originality in me.
“It was not my way; besides, I cannot hold a phone while trying to express myself in a theatrical manner, I would be restricted. So I went back to the drawing board and I came out with my new skits. Arole was one of the people that motivated me,” he said.
Woli Agba was quick to add that there was no basis for comparison because their styles of delivery were different.
He said, “People do not really get confused because Woli Agba has been in the industry for a very long time and what Woli Arole does is actually very different from what I do. They are two different things. He is always holding his phone to record his skits but I make use of cameras because I act.
“These are two different ways we record our skits; probably it is because we both bear the name ‘Woli’ that gets people confused. But the fact is that I have had the recognition all this while even with the Alfa Sule skits so people would easily relate. There were few times when people tried to remember my stage name and they had to mention Woli Arole to jolt their memory.”