"Comedy called me!" - Wale Gates

"Stand-up is my life. The mic is my weapon and the stage is battle field," says Wale Gates - a UK based professional compere, comedian and ranter with a passion for Politics & Naija music. We caught up with him while he was visiting Long Island, NY. Enjoy the interview!

Who is Wale Gates?

Wale Gates is a comedian, entertainer – a social commenter!

How long have you been a comedian?

Since 2002…kicked off in UNILAG! I actually started off modeling and sucked at it. I eventually ventured into stage acting and liked being alone on stage. I liked the feeling I got on stage and I must say comedy called me. Comedy must call you, it called me!

It’s quite obvious that you love what you do, what else do you enjoy doing?

If I’m not on stage performing, I’d be seen cracking jokes with friends. I just cannot see myself doing anything else and I am grateful that it pays.

American Comedy vs. British Comedy – what’s the difference?

British comedy is quite different from American comedy. There’s lots of sarcasm, irony, double meanings. Most times, it’s in form of a story and it’s quite descriptive, Americans don’t do that. You have to think fast to get British comedy. Sometimes it takes a week and at times, you might never get it [laughs]

I don’t know too much about British Comedy but I find this fact interesting. So, what sets you apart from other comedians?

My genre is hard core. I just say what I think the way it is.

Do you see yourself switching profession along the line?

Again, it’s a calling! It’s something I will be doing for a very long time. I am not afraid because I know there are no boundaries.

What part of Nigeria are you from?

Ogun state…I’ve done more shows in Lagos though.

The Nigerian Entertainment industry is undoubtedly booming yet lagging in some areas, what’s your take on that?

Show business can and should change! Da Grin’s death hurts - he shouldn’t have died, the situation could have been handled differently. A lot of work must be done to change many things in the industry. Education is first! We need more education and detailed documentation (signed contracts). The industry is not for drop outs. Gone are the days where people drop out of school to venture into the entertainment industry. Any fool can make money, not any fool can keep it! Show business is for people who want to make it; not life rejects.

For this change to occur, we must:

Educate and Celebrate! We must celebrate the people who have degrees because it will encourage upcoming people. We just have to do it!

I like the spirit and agree that we ought to celebrate our own people and believe in change. With that said, what’s your take on the Enough is Enough movement?

It’s fantastic to see young people standing up for change. I have the utmost respect for them.

Same here! Thank you so much for your time Mr. Wale Gates

Thank you Olamild Ent.

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