To many of us who reside in Ibadan or those of us who seldom visit the city of Ibadan, from all other parts of the country, the name of this young prominent man should ring a bell, whether through gist or on radio. OJOBARO Babatunde popularly known as Mister Rain is an On Air Personality with Space FM 90.1 Ibadan, a Stand-up Comedian, Event Compere, Spoken Word Poet, Public Speaker and a passionate “give back to the society” influencer. In an interview with Richard Oluseye, on behalf of Glitz Plus Magazine recently, he parleyed about how it all started and how much the entertainment industry is contributing to the Nigeria economy. Narrating how the journey in the entertainment industry started for him, he recalled how he met his match as a dancer in primary school (what a long time it was).
Read and share the interview below;
GlitzPlusMag: How did it start?
MC Rain: “How did it start” is certainly an ambiguous question but let me assume the question is referring to how entertainment started for me. Well, like most people entertainment started from a very young age. I am a gifted and talented dancer and that’s how it started, winning lots of dance competitions, always eager to dance at any time of the day. I remember people who live around will just call me to come dance for them and they will give me money. It’s funny when I remember stuffs like this, it was always a delight when I get into any dance competition because it was almost certain I would emerge winner, one day I met my match ‘sha’, one girl who just got admitted into my primary school, the judges couldn’t decide who the winner was. They had to ask us to decide for ourselves and for the first time since I was in that school and anywhere else, I conceded defeat taking second place. By the time I got into secondary school I had become a sensation in dance, I got admitted into Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2003, I met some guys and we formed a dance group, we were three in number, Ayobami ‘kaka’ Ogunfuwa, Shobawale Dare and myself, it was called The New Dawn-TND- and within a short while membership grew to about 25/30, all the while I had also been a funny guy, so one day I got the opportunity to MC a birthday party in 2004, it was a good experience and that’s how comedy also started for me and from there I went on to put up my first comedy concert in OOU in 2006 ‘laff for dia sake’ -a comedy concert dedicated to the motherless babies- and another in 2007 ‘imagine’ -a comedy concert to create awareness and stop the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS. I went ahead to take another degree in University of Ibadan, studying Theatre Arts, it was there I honed my skills properly and in 2010 I put up another comedy concert- MC Rain UNATTACHED …one man standing -this was also dedicated to people living with disabilities and we worked with Chesire Home Sango, Ibadan-. It was fashioned after Basket Mouth’s Uncensored where I performed alone for about four hours just taking little breaks in between to allow for dance and music. In 2011 I launched another comedy brand “Komedy Kafe” it was a monthly show in University of Ibadan and of course the first of its kind and since i graduated I haven’t heard of any. In 2013 Komedy Kafe came to Lagos, in 2014 Komedy Kafe went to Benin, in 2015 Komedy Kafe came back to Ibadan. Same year I found myself in the broadcasting industry as a Radio On Air Personality on SpaceFM 90.1 Ibadan. That’s the Journey so far and it’s only by the grace of GOD that I have been able to come this far.
GlitzPlusMag: You are certainly multi-talented, what’s your motivation?
MC Rain: It is GOD who gives talents and I am grateful to be one of the people who has been blessed with diverse talents. The motivation has always been within, there is a reason GOD gave me the ability to be able to do many things, so none of the talents should be wasted. I keep discovering that I have yet another talent and I have GOD to thank for that.
GlitzPlusMag: Really, who are those that influence you; home or abroad?
MC Rain: My Father- Mr Albert Oluwarotimi Ojobaro is my first influence and my only role model. Every other person who has succeeded in my area of specialization have also rubbed off on me in one way or the other. Alibaba, Teju Babyface, Ellen de Generis, Steve Harvey, are a few I also study their works and lives.
GlitzPlusMag: What project are you involved it at the moment?
MC Rain: The ‘Buy A Book Save A Life” project is a spill over project from 2015 and that’s what I am trying to complete as soon as I can, hopefully before the end of the first quarter of this year. The project is a campaign against Teenage Pregnancy. I was opportune to stumble on the statistics of teenage pregnancy and it was really alarming so I decided to contribute my quota in reducing this terrible problem. The idea is to buy a particular book which contains certain information on how young girls can avoid it and then distribute it to secondary school girls. We intend to buy one thousand copies of that book and distribute freely to one thousand female students. The title of the book is ‘SECRETS” written by Yetunde Lawal. By the grace of GOD this carry over project will be completed within the speculated time and then the 2016 project will commence. I wouldn’t want to talk about that now but all I can say is, it’s a laudable project, something entirely different and new and I am positive that it will be accepted and hopefully trend.
GlitzPlusMag: Any awards, which ones are most memorable?
MC Rain: Well, back in the University, I won so many awards, from entrepreneurial awards, to academic awards, to sports and comedy, from 100 level to 400 level. Since I came into the professional world I have won just one award which is the Scream Award 2015 Entertainment Ambassador. Though, I have had the privilege of being nominated for several awards. The ones most memorable for me right now are
- I was rated among the top ten hottest OAPs in Ibadan for 2015 considering the fact that i am just a little over a year old in the radio business
- I also have been nominated in the MoreKlue All Youths Awards in the category of RADIO PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
- This is like the biggest for me so far. My name appeared in the Award Categories as a nominee in the Nigerian Broadcasting Merit Awards- NBMA – I have been nominated for Best Indigenous Presenter and Outstanding Radio Programme Presenter of the Year. The NBMA is the zenith of all awards when it comes to the broadcasting industry just like Headies is to Hip hop in Nigeria. So you can understand why it is the biggest for me so far, even if ‘ano win sef’, I am really happy that I am being recognised. All glory to GOD who always make things happen for me.
GlitzPlusMag: Life as we know it is full of challenges, as well as surprises; what challenges(s) would you regard as worst-off, that you faced as you built your career and what are your most memorable ones?
MC Rain: Challenges are meant to be succumbed and defeated, challenges are meant to make to you stronger and better. The real truth is nobody finds a challenge easy, no matter the level of challenge you are faced with. I don’t want to set a target and situations are making it seem impossible, it doesn’t feel good. So at the time of facing that challenge it may be a bitter experience but after you persist and succumb, it becomes a memory. So I can say that all my challenges are memorable. The challenge of having to raise funds to execute a project, the challenge of “if my idea will be accepted” the challenge of being recognized. So many challenges but the joy is they are now behind and getting ready for the new set of challenges. “Bring It On” lol
GlitzPlusMag: The entertainment industry, especially the comedy and OAP sector is fast rising in Nigeria; what do you say and how can the industry support/improve the Nigeria economy?
MC Rain: The entertainment industry itself is a big boost for the country. It has certainly increased employment opportunities. Youths who ordinarily would have become nuisance to the society have been kept busy. The entertainment industry has brought Nigeria in to the global view. So it has already, better still, it is playing its part in improving the Nigerian economy. However, with more energy, creativity, consistency and most importantly the support from government, the entertainment will do better than it is doing now. For me it’s still a resource that has not been fully tapped into. I have been buried in some research work about Comedy and I can tell you on good authority that this genre on entertainment is way much more than what we have seen around. Comedy is a professional career, like law, medicine, architecture etc., in a short while people will study comedy in school. For instance, comedy isn’t just stand-up-comedy, skits and sketches we see on TV and stages, there are types, forms, kinds, level, theories of comedy and they are quite deep, you will need to study and read well to understand or practice them. Talent alone will not be able to sustain you and that’s why I said the entertainment industry is a gold mine.
GlitzPlusMag: Among other talented MCs, OAP and comedians, what stands you out?
MC Rain: I just want to be ME, do my stuff, and be original. I don’t want to be conscious of weather I am standing out or standing in. I want people to see me or listen to me and say this guy is good. So I am busy discovering myself, exploring all options, testing new grounds and praying for success.
GlitzPlusMag: We have seen you set targets for yourself and achieved them in no-time; what will you be doing in the next five years?
MC Rain: let’s just wait for the next five years, that’s 2021. Fingers crossed.
GlitzPlusMag: Any last words for people out there (young and old), who need inspiration, because certainly, you are an inspiration to most of us.
MC Rain: don’t be bothered the achievements you see in others, be bothered you are doing nothing but looking at them.
Thank you for reading, drop your comments below;
You can also follow Mister Rain on Twitter: @TundeMisterRain
Thank you for reading, do like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter: @GlitzPlusMag