I am Otolorin Kehinde Peter. Popularly known as Kenny Blaq. I am 24 Years Old. People call me Grace ambassador these days. I started comedy in 2008
Comedy was never the plan, it just happened. I wanted to be a performing artiste. I was with a band. In fact, I had over ten different Juju music bands that I did back-up for. We would trek from Ejigbo to Isolo, Ijegun, and Mushin, begging to perform at shows for free. Sometimes we got the chance, and sometimes we didn’t. I always returned home teary eyed
One day, a friend visited and challenged me to start comedy since I was always making people laugh at home. So, I began at a rally called ‘Miss Ejigbo’ and I was to be the hype-man. I had no idea what that was. All I was told was to grab the MIC and say things about Miss Ejigbo. Instead, I sang about it and people laughed. A week later, they had another show and I was asked to pick a stage name. For some reason I still don’t understand, a lot of ridiculous names were suggested for me, like blacksmith, and then some. I had to go back home and think about it. I decided on Kenny Black, and on getting back to them, I found they’d already made a poster with Kenny blaq as my name
Breaking into the comedy industry was a Iot of painful hard work, especially with my small stature which made people see me as a small boy. However, I came with something different, which I think made it even more difficult to break through. Because it is hard for people to accept new things, I was made to perform at the beginning of shows when the hall is still very scanty with just a little over four people. This did not discourage me, I would still perform as if there were thousands of people in the room
My parents didn’t really like the idea though, especially because I was just 15 Years Old and most of the shows were late night shows. They insisted I finished school first, but I was passionate about my dream. It wasn’t only my parents, a lot of my friends weren’t supportive as well. In their opinion, I was making a fool of myself because I also performed at children’s parties as a clown and would return home with N150. I was paid N300 and transportation usually cost me N150. Sometimes, I get paid an advance of N100, and get the balance later. Sometimes, if I eat at the party, they may refuse to pay me, since I’ve been fed. I kept hustling. I had no plans, since I didn’t know where God was taking me. I just allowed him take the lead. I kept working tirelessly
I was never about the money. I just wanted to make a difference. A lot of people in my area in Ejigbo had talents too, but didn’t know how to go about it. So, I wanted them to see me as an example and believe they could do too it if I could. platforms won’t look for you, you have to look for them, and let grace do the rest. I just wanted to make my family, street and environment proud, so I kept working
God bless Yaw, he’s such an angel. I saw him backstage at an event in 2010 and said “Bros, I’m going on stage soon, please watch and tell me what you think”, and when I was through Yaw came on stage and endorsed me. He told everyone that in the next two years this guy will take over the industry. I finally came into real limelight at the 2016 edition of the Alibaba’s January 1st Concert
It’s been God’s grace since then and back to back successful shows. These days, I even get sprayed money. I’m like the Ayefele or Kwam1 of comedy, and I make sure to always pack my money myself
My parents who saw me as a clown then now see the business oriented man I’ve grown to become. My brothers were all in school then, but they will call and threaten to deal with me on their return if I didn’t desist from what I was doing. Now one of my brothers is my content developer, and the other is my studio producer.
DANG: From your experience, what do you have to say about timing?
KENNYBLAQ: I’ll just say God’s time is the best, and that God gives you the right people to work with. God chose these people for me. Everybody I’ve met have been examples to me, either good or bad. Nothing was ever given to people like me on a platter. There was no ready platform we could hinge on. There were senior colleagues who I thought were going to push my career but none of them offered me a free pass. I hated them for that, but I didn’t know they were preparing me to write my own story. They wanted me to go through the process of hustling, mostly so I could know how to spend my money when it begins to come. You don’t spend your hard earned money lavishly. There’s a difference between a money you were given as a gift, and the one you worked hard for. One can’t cherish a gift as much as something they buy with their money. For example, I give you a bag worth of N10m, but you don’t know it. Then you buy a bag worth the same amount for yourself. You’ll cherish the one you bought more than the gift, so that if it gets lost, you lose your mind
DANG: Do you ever have stage fright?
KENNYBLAQ: Yes, I still have this stage fright, even when I’m booming on stage. I don’t know why. I think it’s mostly because I always want to do something different from my previous performance. My comedy is like music you know. People always want me to do one song or the other. There’s always demand. They want to listen to their favourite songs sang in another way. So, the fright comes with the demand. It’s confusing when I think about it like, ‘I’ve done this before, and I don’t want to repeat it, but some people are asking for it’, so it’s a question of how I can satisfy those who demand for it, and those who are probably tired of listening to it at the same time. I have realized though, that people still laugh despite the fact that they’ve heard it before, because I do it differently from the last time
You’ll be the first I’m telling this, I’m having my UK and US tour this 2017
DANG: Wow! That’s ambitious
KENNY BLAQ: It is. But it will be done
DANG: You’ve not gone to Uni?
KENNY BLAQ: No!
DANG: Do you honestly wish to go?
KENNY BLAQ: I want to, but not now. I’m running a lot of programs though. I just finished my FRCN course. So, I’ve graduated as a broadcaster. I did basic presentation. That’s why I can speak well and anchor cooperate events
DANG: Who officially endorsed you as “The Grace Ambassador”
KENNY BLAQ: People keep asking if and when I’ll get an endorsement or brand ambassadorship deal but then I heard a voice that told me I am God’s grace ambassador. That is the mother of all ambassadorships, as it doesn’t expire or need renewal, and I don’t have to sign anywhere. Once you’re an ambassador of grace, other kinds of endorsements will follow. It’s just been God’s grace for me, looking back at how I started in Ejigbo and how I will get stoned and booed off the stage. Look how far I’ve come today
DANG: Final words…
KENNY BLAQ: Trust God, and believe it’s possible. Focus is the key. Your focus is on the crown, and you have to be determined that come what may, you’re getting it. I’m not saying to not have plans, but spontaneity is important. Be ready to take other options if your plans doesn’t pan out. For example, you want to buy a house at Ikeja, have in mind that if you don’t get a house there, you can opt for Ilupeju. The question will be if that of Ilupeju will suit you and fit into your plans in terms of environment, and if it won’t, begin to consider grooming the area to fit into your plans. Don’t let anyone discourage you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to people. No. Listen to everybody, but always pick out the ones that will work for you. There’s always sense even in a mad man’s talk. One must have a discerning mind. Map out what you want to achieve per time. Keep working without rest. Know that nothing comes easy, and see whatever comes easy as a plus