Intelligence meets comedy: Layi Wasabi

CALABAR─The Nigerian comedy scene has witnessed growth and advancement from the standup comedy era dominated by Basket Mouths, AY, Bovi amongst others to the comedy docu-films of Yawa, Mark Angel, Thespains to the comedy skits era of Sabinus, Brain Jotter, Oluwadollarz amongst others.

Amongst all these, it is almost as though these comedian follow the same script or style albeit exceptionally but then there comes Layi Wasabi, the contemporary skit maker who has been lauded for his exceptional intelligent jokes where he embodies different characters notably, the “Lawyer” where he settles court cases under a tree, “Mr. Richard” where he teaches and encourages people to join his Money Making Investment Scheme (GNCC) WhatsApp group to become a millionaire in a week or two weeks and “Officer” where he mimickes the Nigerian police in a funny way.

As “Lawyer”, Layi Wasabi settles court cases about land disputes, family inheritance, disagreements and most times, unsolicited advices and in so doing, showcases his brilliance in the use of pun and satire.

As “Mr. Richard”, Wasabi advertises a quick earning scheme that has likened to Longrich and the dubious MMM that sucked Nigerians of their hand earned income some years back. Wasabi advertises his quick money scheme using quote from successful financial advisers. But funny enough, no one has asked why he is still trekking.

Born on 11 July 2001, Isaac Ayomide Olayiwola hails from Osun State, a state in South-Western Nigeria. Mr. Olayiwola was trained by his mother after losing his father at the age of 2. He attended his primary, secondary and university in the state having graduated from Bowen University, Iwo with a bachelor’s degree in Law. Mr. Olayiwola did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at the Ministry of Justice, Ibadan and did most of his internships at Osogbo.

A picture of Layi Wasabi | File Photo

Starting up with a stand-up comedy group in secondary school called “The Emerald Star”, Mr. Olayiwola got inspiration for his comedic acts from different source. As a member of the Redeemed Christian Church Group, he mimicks the devoted women of the church and their manner of approach in his skits. In this way, he mimicks them as academics who do not agree to any form of malpractice, mothers who instill the “fear of God” into their children. He also parodies the hammy acting and deus-ex-machina resolutions of those Mount Zion movies that amused nearly every Nigerian Christian home from the 80s to the early 2000s, morality soap operas written, directed and acted in by any number of the famed Bamiloye family.

Layi does some physical comedy, too, like when he wears the kind of comically outsized coat you expect to see on those peripatetic Jehovah Witness evangelists who are rich in heavenly terms but broke in their earthly life.

Layi’s comedy thrives mostly for his facility with words and his acting skills, the former lending his skits a kind of bookish mien, the latter affording it complexity while telling you his time in Nollywood is only two train stations away.

With the likes of Layi Wasabi, one is sure that the Nigerian comedic scene is only getting better.


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