Nigerian comedian and actor, Nosa Afolabi popularly known as Lasisi Elenu sits with Chude Jideonwo host of #WithChude to discuss the way he dealt with losing his mother, why he got married last year, and how his first video went viral.
“Last year was a very significant year for me because I welcomed my daughter. Before now, I have been godfathers to kids, uncles to so many. I thought it would feel the same way but having my wife bring that child to this world was extraordinary. Also, my mum passed on last year. So, after my mum died then came Rain, and I also got married last year.”
Lasisi shared why he got married last year. “I think it is long overdue. I was one of those people who consistently undermined the essence of what you have. I just casually did things. I won’t say I am an emotionless person; I just quantify my emotions. Sometimes, my wife doesn’t know how I feel, ‘Are you happy? Are you fine?’. But then in retrospect to last year, it dawned on me that there was nothing else I was looking for. I had someone who is caring, supportive, loving, all those things put in one. So, what is left? Why is the decision making a big deal? It was one thing I had to do because my mum has always wanted me to get married. She was my biggest fan, from when I started. Her late years were very bad because she was very sick for 13 years. So, I saw her go through a lot phases. She wanted so much for me, I remember when she told my wife in 2021, when she was staying at mine for a while because she was really sick. She told her to take care of me. My dad always sits me down on my birthday to ask me, ‘when are you getting married, you can’t help everybody’. My sibling and I felt like my mum was getting to a point when the sickness was getting worse, and I wanted to hold on to something. Then my wife was there, she was very supportive, and I said, ‘let me hold on to this moment, before I look back and I regret not making that choice and I did”.
On what he missed the most about his mum, he shared, “It hurts to say this, but I miss her being the vibrant woman that she was.” He also recounted how he missed her being the strong woman who could support her family. “We saw my mum as a ‘stubborn’, ‘wicked’ woman, most of the characters that I created are a real replica of my mother – how she says it, how she speaks it. All of the things I say like, ‘blood of Jesus’, was a replica of who my mother was in those days, but not in the last 13 years of her life. Shoutout to my dad, he was always there for her. Before she passed, she’d always make comments like, ‘let me just go; I am tired’. So, it’s a sweet and bitter feeling because you still want her but then it hurts you to see her the way she is. She can’t walk, she almost can’t talk, she wants to laugh, she can’t even control her laugh. She had partial stroke. She had it about 3 or 4 times. We were changing hospitals so much that there were days you’ll just see her where she’s laying down, tears in her eyes, a lot of things happening to her. My older brother Uyi was pretty much the one that was everything for her in terms of being available. I was not as available as he was, so he felt it more than I did. As a matter of fact, he took her corpse from the hospital, he was there with her the day she died, he had just gone down to get something and by the time he’s back, she had gone. I remember when they called me and told me she had died, I was trying to do a skit that day. I wanted to shoot so I was in my room. I was in my costume, and he called me and he said, “Ehn mumsy…” The moment he said that I sat down, I didn’t cry. I was just looking, and I cut the call. I’ve had friends who lost people, but it’s never the same. I’d feel like everybody should stop everything they’re doing for you to feel what you’re feeling. So, when I went online, I’m seeing people post videos, I’m angry. I feel like, ‘these people don’t know my mother has died?’ It was so bad that I just sat there on my couch for minutes before I started crying”.
On the life altering moment his first video went viral, he said, “I just went online, Twitter, I just see say I dey hot. I just called my brother and showed him because I have never experienced that kind of thing before. Even when I dey do music sef, when we dey do music we dey run am. I give one person my 100k, dem say dem go do my page for me, baba make we no loud am. I no know where the ten thousand followers come from that time. They just told me I had 10k and I said ok thank God. That was what you could call organic, I experienced it. It was the first time in my life I tasted ‘Organism’. As I opened my page, for the first time in my life, Chude I put it to you, you don’t know how it feels to see 2000 views on your old videos, even videos you posted 7 days ago, you’re seeing 116,000 views. I say, ‘where dem from come? Who are you? How do you do what you do? What do you want from me?’ Bro! I was sweating. Baba, I say God, different people don fight, don talk, ha! I love Nigerians. Ha! una too much. They don analyze my life. oh! This thing that he’s doing now, this thing is so good, another person say ‘but do you think he can keep up with it?’ Another one reply, ‘but do you know that this thing he’s doing is different?’ Another one say ‘what if the filter goes tomorrow?’. And me I dey my house for Ayobo, dey wonder wetin dey sup? So, it was interesting? I went on Twitter, there were lots of engagement. People had reposted the video, so many people. Bizzle, Frank Edoho , Kate, a lot of people, and then I said, you know what? I still didn’t have a plan. And then a lot of people were advising me, ‘please be putting your handle on your videos’.”
Speaking about his stint in music, ‘At the time I gained fame as Lasisi Elenu, I didn’t want anybody to know about the music part because I was thinking I was going to return to music, and it would be a surprise. But I never explored it, I was like let me pursue this career, and see where it takes me. This is not the western world. Even for them over there, the ones who were able to sustain it were very few. I just thought that I should stick to the comedy, I think I can build a lifetime of greatness from there.”