Efosa Iyamu aka Efex De Entertainer is a man of many parts. Aside being a comedian whose comedy show, ‘Seriously Funny With Efex’ is employed to promote up and coming entertainers in Edo State, he is also a politician with the heart of gold.
Efex served as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He later became Oshiomhole’s Chief Protocol Officer while he was the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview, Efex talks about comedy, foray into politics and passion for the less privileged. Enjoy it.
Tell us about your background
I was born in Benin City, Edo State. I grew up in a modest way and since then I have been imbibing the good upbringing that my parents gave me. I remember vividly growing up around the streets of Akpakpava, Mission Road etc. I had a good time growing up with lots of memories. I attended Agbado Primary School and then proceeded to Edo College, Benin City. Thereafter, I went to the University of Benin where I bagged my first degree in International Studies and Diplomacy. Then I proceeded to Dale Carnegie Institute in United Kingdom for a Diploma Course in Literary Studies and later went to Harvard in Cambridge-Boston, USA where I studied Strategic Leadership. I got an MBA from Metropolitan School of Business Management in the UK. Presently, I’m undergoing another Master’s programme in Peace and Conflict Resolution at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
How are you coping with the comedy business?
It’s been really tough for some entertainers who didn’t have back up plan during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even, for those that have, it’s been a lot of brain cracking, because nobody saw this coming. But thank God for social media that has helped put the industry in shape, and is providing more platforms for a lot of people. I see the comedy industry blossoming just like every other entertainment sector immediately after the pandemic.
Why did you stop your quarterly comedy show whereby you promote talent in Edo State?
My brand still does a lot of promotions, but not the same way it used to be. And before the pandemic, we were still organizing and participating in events to promote my colleagues and bring them to great- er stage. We will start sooner and more talents will spring up.
The creative industry suffered a lot during the lockdown, what’s the way forward?
I think we were able to manage it as much as possible, people were able to do their best to stay afloat, and proudly it gave some people the opportunity to re-strategize and come out even better.
What’s your take on the recent protest lead- ing to the looting of warehouses where palliatives were kept?
Honestly, I’m ashamed to say the least, that palliatives meant for poor people were hidden and some already getting expired and spoilt, how else is the heart of man wicked? The people just went to take what rightfully belonged to them and shared it by themselves in some cases; we even saw law enforcement officers joining in the looting. I’m so ashamed of the government officials who did all that.
What should we expect from Efex the Entertainer?
We grow bigger by the day and we pray God uses us to impact and continue to be a change ambassador anywhere and anytime. My dream is to forever build people, industries and legacies.
What does November 13, your birthday, mean to you?
For me, every birthday is a joyous one and I thank God for His love, peace, guidance and protection. My birthdays are usually days I reflect and try to touch lives of those close to me and also those not close to me. I empower businesses in my own little way through my foundation and I take care of street/ homeless kids, go to hospitals to sort out some medical bills and also pay school fees for some students. I don’t give because I have too much; I give because I know what it takes not to have.
You served as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. You also served as his Chief Protocol Officer as the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress. Most people believed that Osh- iomhole’s political career ended with the defeat of APC during the last governorship election in Edo. What’s your take on that?
That’s very funny. Comrade Oshiomhole is a vibrant man whose political career can never be tied to an election. He is an enigma and very much loved by many. I wasn’t loyal to his office, I’m loyal to him as a person because I wasn’t just an appointee or staff; I am his son. So, there’s no career in ‘sonship’ let alone of being political. Having said that, I wasn’t ready to do politics in the way some Nigerians did it. We need to change the narratives, we need to stand up for what is right and we need to always take the bull by the horn.
Your foundation, Efosa Iyamu Initiative has been impactful, what do you intend to do post COVID-19?
The Efosa Iyamu Initiative is going to continue its good works. My team and I are planning to open a food bank in Edo State, to further take care of the needs of some vulnerable people. And till date, we have lots of students under our scholarship scheme from primary to secondary, to institutions of higher learning. We take care of medics, we make school uniforms for pupils, and we pay rents for some individuals, among others. It’s been the grace of God so far and I’m happy seeing the impact on the lives of the people.
Could you tell us a bit about your family?
I’m married to a beautiful woman of my dream. My wife is a lawyer. She is a senior state counsel, public prosecutor and chartered arbitrator. We are blessed with three daughters.
What attracted you to her?
It’s her selflessness; she’s very simple yet a goal getter. She’s a beautiful Benin woman who knows what she wants in life and always goes for it. The first day I met her at an event, she was so calm and calculated. She was full of smiles and very polite; even when I asked for her phone number, she smiled and politely didn’t give me. I met her younger sister after about a week, we discussed and she gave me her number. Today, here we are after years of marriage.
How do you cope with your female admirers?
I’m still coping till today. They become friends and then clients or customers. I know when to draw the line if it’s getting out of hand, from the admirer.