Thompson Amaefula, popularly known as Mctj Holdsomething, is a popular stand-up comedian in Nigeria. The uniquely bald-headed humour merchant, who is also an actor and a TV /Radio presenter, has been in the entertainment industry for over a decade. In this interview with TONY OKUYEME, the Imo State-born artiste reminisces about his career trajectory and the challenges. He also talks about marriage, his role models, and why, from the onset, he wanted to be a reverend father or medical doctor
Tell us how you became a comedian and event host…
Comedy is in-born and it is what I love to do. When I was a child I used to anchor children’s birthday parties for free. I always make people laugh and people keep telling me that I am funny.
Did you really set out to become an artiste?
When I was a child I wanted to be a Reverend Father or medical doctor, but things changed as I was growing up, I started hosting roadshows for Econet and other companies. People kept telling me that I am good and funny. That is how it all started till today, since I don’t need to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) to go into entertainment. That is how the dream of being a medical director or Reverend Father ended.
Apart from being a stand-up comedian you are also an actor. Tell us about your first experience on stage and on set?
Apart from being a comedian, I am also a professional actor. Every actor or a comedian faces what we call ‘stage fright’. As a human you must have the fear of facing the camera and people, but you have to put your best because either you are in or you are out. People that come to watch you ‘no send you’; they all want the best. In fact my major fear then was how to break into the industry, what to do and how to do it right, because there are so many good actors. And for a producer to feature you, you have to do a lot of work to stand out.
As a stand-up comedian do you have any preferred events?
As a stand-up comedian I don’t have any preferred event, as long as money is involved. And I am a versatile comedian; an Igbo man. In fact I have performed in a show where nobody came, only the organisers did. I took my time and performed well and collected my balance. I don’t go for free shows.
How does a typical audience inspire your jokes?
A typical audience inspires my jokes because my jokes are real; I use things that happened around us. I am a motivational comedian, I advise while I perform, and my jokes also depend on the kind of event I am going to. I study my audience very well. And I make sure I go to event on time to see the kind of people coming
How has it been as a comedian?
As a comedian it has been great. I am a ‘one man Mopol’. I don’t do ‘follow follow’. I believe in myself and God has been wonderful to me. I try to be original. I am a comedian that works Monday to Sunday. If I am not on stage I am on set.
Who can you point to as your role models?
I have many mentors. In terms of business, Koffidaguru is my mentor, for jokes and performances, Julius Agu. The people I am praying to work with are: AY, comedian Oga Boss, Basketmouth, Funke Akindele- Bello. These are the people that if they hold you, poverty will no longer be your friend.
Have you been embarrassed?
As a comedian I have never been embarrassed before on stage or after stage because I prepare well and my clients know me well. If I come to your event late and you are angry once I hold the microphone, your anger will go. Many times my client has walked up to me and said, “now I know why you dey do shakara, because you are good”. If I feel embarrassed, I will just do my thing and be mature because I need everyone. A person that doesn’t like you today may become your big fish tomorrow. He or she may not be in the right mood that day. I always want to meet people that don’t really like me. Because I want to make sure they do like me next time. That is why I don’t delete or block people so that my enemy will see my progress.
You recently unveiled your magazine. What is it about?
I unveiled my comedy magazine called ‘My Life’. It is a yearly magazine that tells more about me and my background. People see only people’s greatness, they forget about their starting point. We all have one or two difficult times when growing up. Before you want to be like Mctj Holdsomthing, did you know that I helped bricklayers to carry cement in Econet office at Oyin Jolayemi Street to Victoria Island, Lagos, before I became one of their major contractors? I helped people carry loads to the bus stop at Ladipo Market in Lagos. I sold underwear at Idumota Bridge, also in Lagos, and I washed people’s clothes to make money to sit for the GCE exam.
Why was it so important to publish a magazine of this nature?
Apart from letting people know how I started, I also want to encourage the youths that you can become something if you work hard and believe in yourself, and to appreciate everyone who has been there for me.
Are you married?
I love this question. I am married with three beautiful kids. And my marriage is over 10years now.
Tell us how you met your her…
I met my wife back then at Lady Lack, Bariga, Lagos. She was in Senior Secondary School 2 (SS2). And we dated for 10 years because I have to wait for her to graduate from Imo State University. And after her youth service we got married.
Who really is Mctj Holdsomething?
I am a stand-up comedian, professional actor, founder of My Life Comedy Magazine, and the CEO of Ubaamaka Universe Company. I am also the producer of the TV magazine program titled, “Societile Impact, and ‘One Chance Salon comedy’ series. I have been a contractor with reputable companies such as Econet to Vmobile Nigeria, and was one of the contractors that handled MTN rebranding before moving fully into entertainment. I am from Ohaji L.G.A of Imo State, but I stay in Ikorodu, Lagos State. I studied Media and Performing Art, and also I have a diploma in acting from Pefti Film Institute, Lagos. I am the ‘comedy Balee’ of Ikorodu because I brought comedy to Ikorodu when other comedians were running away from Ikorodu. I have featured in many films and television series such as African Magic’s ‘Battle Ground’ as Chop Bottle, ‘Face2Face’ as Okey Mally, ‘The celebrity’, ‘Son of the Soil’, ‘Royal Out Laws’. ‘The Offsprings,’ Omalingwa, an epic film and many more.
I have no regrets being in the industry because I know where I am going to. In the next two years, by His grace, I will be competing with international comedians. I’ve gone to some African countries to perform. So, I have no regrets; if you are mentioning comedians that hold a place, Akporo in Okokomaiko, then me in Ikorodu. So why should I regret it? All I need is to keep working hard.
How would you describe the comedy industry in Nigeria?
The comedy industry in Nigeria is doing well and we will get there. Thanks to our senior comedians for the platform.