May we know you sir?
My name is Peter Ogbudu, popularly known as Ghana Must Go. I am a comedian and also an OAP. I am a positive change and development advocate and also an entrepreneur. I am the seventh child in a family of eight children. I am from Warri, Delta State. I attended Pesu Primary School and then Esi and Ibru colleges, before proceeding to the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, where I studied Mass Communication. Afterwards, I came to Abuja and the hustle began.
What was your growing up like?
My growing up was fun. You know Warri is a fun place to be. I was a very good footballer. I have a very good history playing football. Football was my everything, then. I played for a couple of clubs: Asu, Young Warriors and then, Eleven Planners in Ughelli. I have a record of being one of the young players to be signed from one club to another. I loved sport. I was also involved in a lot of entertainment activity. I belonged to several social clubs in school: The Presbyterian Arts Debating Society (PADS Club) and the Social Variety Club (SVC); at some point doing comedy and acting drama. I was also a good personality when it comes to debate. I represented my school, Esi College, couple of times during debate competitions. My mum was a teacher so we lived in the school environment. I grew up with very young vibrant talented people. During my secondary school, I and I go die, I go save, MC Shaggy, belonged to the PAD and SVC clubs. I played football with stars like Christian Ogbodo, and trained with Wilson Oruma and a lot of others. The life we lived in Warri contributed to where I am today. For comedy basically, continuity is key and creativity is very important. The ability to assimilate and disseminate as quick as possible is utmost. Then, we do Yabise where people tease you (although some see it as an insult but it was for fun) and you are expected to respond as quick as possible. So, it actually built me into what I am today comedy-wise. My mum is a no-nonsense person. Though I grew up in a volatile area and it was and is still difficult to train children around there, but thanks and kudos to my mum. She was able to set the pace and we understood what was right and wrong.
What was your inspiration?
My inspiration was basically my neighborhood. While growing up, I had this feeling that the environment was not where I was meant to be. So I wanted to do something to get myself and possibly my family out of that environment. I wanted to be successful. So i drew my inspiration from wanting to leave that environment and I worked it out.
What is your daily routine like?
Ok, I wake up in the morning, say my prayer, take my bath, and go to the office. You know I run an entertainment outfit. In the office, I attend meetings and events, if any. If not, I stay in the office. But once it is 2.30pm, wherever I am within Abuja, all roads lead to the studio, my radio station, where I host a program called Na Wetin Dey Happen. I host the show on weekdays. It is an hour program: 3pm-4pm. After the program, I attend to other meetings, if any. If not, I go back to the office, fix somethings in an hour or two and then, off I go for the day.
Tell us about your business and career.
For my business, I bless God. We have done quite a number of events; very successful events. My career as a comedian has been quite excellent and blissful. These are the best ways to describe it. It had been a very smooth journey. Comedy has given me a lot and I have nothing to regret being a comedian. However, I have had my down times on stage twice or thrice or thereabout. Not just that jokes were not good but you know everyday is not Christmas. But so far so good. It is also worthy of note that I am the host and convener of one of the biggest comedy shows in Nigeria: The Vintage with Ghana Must Go. It holds annually at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
What are some of your challenges?
I think for now, it is basically the COVID which is, anyway, a global pandemic. It has really affected the show industry. People don’t really do shows again. I didn’t do show throughout 2020. My show brings together between 1000-2000 persons. So, that has been my challenge this year. Before now, we all know that the entertainment industry gets little or no support from the government; and every sector in an economy needs government’s favourable policies to boost her. They will tell you they want to give you loan to expand your business but the kind of requirements they would demand from you to enable you access those loans are actually frustrating and discouraging. We also have the problem of security because entertainment is mostly a night thing. So when the security challenges are high, the audience also fear to show up; the entertainer, himself, is afraid of going back home after the show. Entertainment venues are expensive too.
How have you influenced the lives of young Nigerians looking up to you as an icon?
I think my lifestyle is generally an exemplary one for the young ones. I just know that I do the right thing and ignore those things that are wrong. I also do as much as possible to encourage young entrepreneurs by way of advice and I have a few of them that work with me closely. So I take them along when I have events. They sit and watch to see what I do. Those who are good enough to go on stage, I try to give them the platform before I come. If I am the MC, I call them; if I am not the MC, I tell the MC to call them and give them 10minutes before I go on stage. The best thing every entrepreneur needs is the platform to showcase their talent. So, I do that a lot. I mentor young entrepreneurs in the best possible way I feel I should. I also go to schools and talk to young people. I tell them my story: How I became something from nothing. I organize trainings and workshops. Not just me; but the Abuja Body of Comedians, where we talk to and mentor young comedians.
What advice do you have for the young ones looking up to you?
First, know what you want. Secondly, be focused. Thirdly, be optimistic at every point in time. Lastly, accept every challenge that comes your way and do well to pick lessons learnt and move ahead. Don’t ever allow anything disturb, distract and divert your attention from the original goal you set for yourself.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years in the industry?
My next 5years in the entertainment industry? I want to build a training centre where young comedians can come and learn the routine and rudiments of the business. Beyond talent, comedy is something that is rewarding financially. The training centre will teach them how to combine the show and the business to live a fulfilled life. That is what I would love to achieve in the next 5years. To have a place where young people will be professionally mentored and shaped into the best they should be. I will also want to have more money in my account to be able to expand my coast of the number of children I pay their fees. That would give me a great joy.
How do you see the development of Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general, and what encouragement can you give to encourage development?
I don’t think there is anything like development in Nigeria. Rather, things are getting worse every second. Security, education, social amenities, etc., are all in bad shapes. Nigeria has collapsed. It is a sinking nation right now. But my advice is this: even if we have the opportunity to see the best angel and make him the president of Nigeria, his effort will still be frustrated and he will still not perform. So beyond the glamour of the office of the office of the president of Nigeria, a lot of people need to go. If we want a Nigeria that can compete globally in all ramification and by extension to Africa, all our politicians must retire. A lot of the political class in Africa today have lost touch of the reality. They only think of themselves. So for me, everyone that had held or still holding political office in Nigeria and Africa must just leave the scene. With the way they see politics, they can never give us something good. We need a new breed of politicians. Secondly, every civil servant from level twelve upwards must go on a compulsory retirement. They are huge part of the problem we have in this country. We must change the system. It must be a holistic thing otherwise development will elude us. Unless there is a special interest of God on Nigeria, there will be nothing like development. I don’t see it coming. Young people must rise up in 2023, stand and take what belongs to them. Go get your PVC, get ready to vote, stand to defend your vote and get the right persons into positions.