Adigun Omobolanle Valentina and Oyedele Adebisi Yewande are young comediennes gaining popularity on Instagram for their comedy skits which are inspired by the way Yoruba films were advertised in the 90s.
Although actors, they started the skits out of boredom and posted it on their Instagram page after so much encouragement from their friends and loved ones.
Just after they posted their first skit, “Pata Ojiji,” the response they got from it was huge with their fans begging them not to stop especially with that kind of comedy.
Today, what they started as a joke has given them opportunities they never thought of and now, they don’t think they will stop for anything.
In a chat with Woman.NG, they tell us more about themselves and their career. Read below:
My name is Adigun Omobolanle Valentina. I attended the University of Ibadan. Before then, I attended the Polytechnic Ibadan, where I studied mass communication and then I went to the University of Ibadan and studied Theatre Arts. We have to stress our educational background because some people comment or say to us “Come and register in our film school,” but then we are actually graduates. I’m from Oyo state.
My name is Oyedele Adebisi Yewande. I finished from the University of Ibadan and I studied theater arts. I’m from Lagos state.
How long they have known each other
Adebisi: We met in school. She went to the Polytechnic Ibadan before she came to UI. I started 100 level in UI, but she came in 200 level and then, the moment she came in, my friend that was with me that day was like, “Bisi, see this girl, she has a similar stature as you,” and that was the attraction. I was like “wow, this girl is as slim as I am,” and then I was happy that at least I will have a look-alike in the department.
It won’t be just me, the slim girl, and then some people started saying you guys don’t look-alike, you are just slim-alike. And then we started calling each other twins. It was just a kind of compensation to make ourselves feel better and make something out of it. So, it just happened, it was just a natural thing, we didn’t plan it. We’ve been friends for 5 years now.
Does comedy come naturally to them or because they studied theater arts?
Omobolanle: I wouldn’t say it’s because we studied theater arts, I would say it’s something that started naturally. It just started out of fun. In school then, we used to joke a lot and we play around. Because we used to have a lot of rehearsals together, we had time to be together and we used to remix songs. And then everybody will just laugh and say these girls are unserious. So, it started that way. We didn’t plan for
Adebisi: Then, when we used to remix songs, and people say, “You guys have something in you, why don’t you just do this thing and show people or make it a stage play.” We had a lot of stage plays then in school, so, people told us we can just come up with something and make money out of it. But we were just like, “this thing is just for fun.” So, any production we were in then, to an extent, we entertained the cast and crew. We just did it whenever we were bored.
The motivation for posting their videos on Instagram
Omobolanle: After school and NYSC, we still maintained communication and then, I used to work for the Thespian Family Theatre as their project manager. I had the opportunity to act on the stage play“ITAN,” which was quite popular. There was this man who handled the video coverage of the play then, she (Adebisi) knew the man, and had worked with him before. The man saw me and was like “wow, you look like one of my girls, she’s also a very good actress, you need to meet this lady, she also went to the University of Ibadan,” we continued the conversation and then it happened that he was talking about her (Adebisi).
He called her to come and see the play and from there, seeing us together and our connection, he included a set of twins in his TV series which he had already scripted and we met at the location.
Adebisi: Before we met at the location, she came to my house so we could select similar clothes that will make us look like twins. Oh, I forgot to say that I am a fashion designer. So, we picked up clothes and people who saw it was like “wow, who costumed this? Are you really twins?” and it started like that. When we got to the location, we didn’t do anything for the first three or four days, so, we decided to record something.
We did a joke and showed few people, they commended us saying the skit was good and encouraged us to post it. We posted it and by the next morning, there were friend requests and a repost from Funny African Pics and then we got comments like, “please don’t stop, keep doing this.” They went on to say that we should continue in that area of comedy because it was different from others.
The inspiration behind the Yoruba advert comedy skit
Adebisi: Naturally, we are critics. We studied theater arts, you can’t study theater arts and see a play and not critique it. Usually, whenever we see a movie, we’ll be like, “why would a movie be like this?” Back then, the adverts always started with a song and after it, the Aha comes in and then the funny movie titles and you’ll be like “what kind of title is this?” So, we just thought of mimicking an advert.
Meanwhile, there was something about the way the advert was done, it was like the advertisers then, made something quack look beautiful because there’s this melodious tune that comes with it.
Then, being a critic, if you can laugh at something that doesn’t look or sound so good, the thing must be funny. So, we were laughing at this thing and we felt that if it was funny to us, it should be funny to others. So, we did the skits, added the flowery voice, mimicked the adverts and we saw that people were entertained. Some people will just slide into your DM and tell you how it made their day. We started doing the skits since March.
On scripting their skits
Adebisi: When it’s improvisation, we just have the synopsis and then we split the lines but when we do it for people, like advertising products, we have to script it.When it’s improvisation, we just have the synopsis and then we split the lines but when we do it for people, like advertising products, we have to script it.
Asides comedy, we also do serious spoken words. Those ones pass seriousbmessages across. We pick a topic on something happening, like suicide, abandonment of children and domestic violence.
Some people tag their friends and the friends drop Comments like, “you’ve just saved a life, you don’t know what you have just done,” This is really heart-melting.
On opportunities that have come their way since they went viral
Omobolanle: It started out as a joke but we have gotten various opportunities. I would say Nigerians are the best and very supportive. Nigerians also in a way help you push your talents. I am a gentle person; I wouldn’t have seen myself doing this kind of thing years back, but with social media, people send messages and tell us they are fans from UK and Canada. I wouldn’t have pushed this but Nigerians pushed us and helped us.
When you discover what you have, you need to use it to get what you need.
We have gotten proposals from far and wide but we can’t accept everything at a time and we are taking our time because just as we have good people, we also have people who just want to exploit us. We’ve had a lot of offers from people from the UK but we are being careful. Our last job came from the UK. We were asked to promote a song using our skit.
On the advancement of Yoruba adverts
Omobolanle: Adverts play a very important role in the marketing of a film production. Nobody would want to see a movie in the cinema if the advert is not tight. I would say filmmakers and marketers have improved and it’s a very good start but we can do better. We are part of this industry, so, I am not trying to castigate anyone but we can do more.
We can retain the flowery voice but use very meaningful contents. It’s not bad when you have a nice advert and a nice movie. You can’t have a 70 percent good advert and 30 percent good movie. Meanwhile, sometimes, personal advert(people who have seen the movie advertising to others) does more than the professional movie adverts.
Adebisi: The industry has really advanced. They do trailers now and you’re like I must see this movie. There are some movies you can’t use professional and solemn adverts for but there are some movies that if you don’t do this kind of advert, people won’t see it. To an extent, if we are going to be retaining the flowery part, the movie must be on point, so that people don’t people don’t over-expect.
On how rewarding contracts for skits are
Omobolanle: We are just coming up, even though we are being accommodated and encouraged by people. We love what we do so, we don’t want people to see us like we are just doing it for money alone. So, I would say, so far, we’ve been very fair. We are very affordable.
On their long-term plans
Adebisi: We didn’t know this was going to bring us this far. Without sounding spiritual, I’ll just say, let God take the wheel. That he has taken it up to this moment, it’s better we let him take us as far as he wants to. We have our own plans but we’ll rather leave them undisclosed.
Has any actor has reached out to them?
Omobolanle: A lot actually, in fact, we get follow backs from some of the celebrities. We have gotten mind-blowing responses and that is the more reason we have not stopped. There are some people we look up to in the industry that gives us thumb ups. People like Kunle Afolayan. We know that his movies are always on point. So, for someone like him to comment on our skits, asking us to keep it up, this is really encouraging. He once called us on phone and he was mimicking our “Iya Re” advert.
There was this follow request from someone we respect so much. We were not even following him. We were so amused.
How the comedy skits have impacted their career
Adebisi: Well, we’ve been doing films even before now, maybe not many. But we’ve been doing more of adverts lately. people will say come and do a comedy skit for me to advertise my products because it’s a unique kind of comedy. But we have not pushed aside our acting career. It’s just like adding comedy to the already existing career. But the thing is, if there is any film that is comedy-like or any serious roles that may come up, we are ready for it because we are actors and we should be able to interpret any role.
Adebisi: Three years before now, We would never have thought that we would be looking stupid on screen just to make people laugh. Wearing funny costumes and acting ‘insane’ but if this is the only thing or one of the things that we find satisfaction and fulfillment in, then we are happy about it.
Just anything can inspire Nollywood movie titles sha😀 Oshisko Films and recording is back again😛 Where are all ye lovers of 'Pata Ojiji' (Strange Pant)? We bring it back again: 'Iya re' (This is suffering) (Recession naija)😂😂😂 #Popular Nollywood advert style# #Funny Nollywood movie titles# @omobola_val and @mz_wandecrown
Ok, they say two heads are better than one, I say when two thespians are in a room, they give birth to creativity. So while on set with this crazy being, during lunch break, we decided to fool ourselves. Acting isn't about looking fine always Let's try looking stupid for a while. #nollywood#funny movie titles#advert# If you don't understand Yoruba, you definitely won't understand this. I'm sorry😀🙈🙈🙈 @mz_wandecrown is a fool and she knows anyway😀 @funny_african_pics @deeoladiwura @gbengaadeyinka1stgcon @laugh_republic @cintilatin @emmy_yvng