Samuel Perry Animashaun, better known as Broda Shaggi, is an
actor, singer and voice-over artist who became popular with his
comedy skits on social media. He talks about his roots and current
engagements in this interview. Excerpts:
Take us through your journey to the stage?
I”ve always been a student of the Theatre. I read Creative Arts at the University of
Lagos (Unilag), so I”ve always been on stage; it’s like I”ve spent most of my acting
career on stage. I’ve done quite a number of stage plays. I”ve written stage plays as
well. I”ve directed stage plays and I”ve choreographed dances for stage plays. That
was where I started from. I started from the stage as a thespian, before I started
using social media.
Social media appears to have made you more popular than the stage?
The Theatre culture in Nigeria was dying at a point but I think it is getting better right
now. It was dying at that time. I wanted to explore my talent, and I wanted everybody
to know me. That was when I started using social media. It travels fast, even faster
than the stage. Just a few people come to watch stage productions.
You experimented with several characters before settling for Broda Shaggi.
What interests you about the character?
As I said, I am an actor, and an actor should be able to play any role regardless.
Before Broda Shaggi, I had different characters. I was playing Inspector Perry while I
was in school. That was when I joined social media. I was doing Inspector Perry,
then later I changed into Professor Dele, then later I changed into Akande Ibadan,
from there I moved to Broda Shaggi. I didn”t continue with these characters because
they didn’t get recognition as Broda Shaggi did. When Broda Shaggi blew on the
internet, that was when I adopted the name and I took over the character.
Broda Shaggi is a bit of a complicated character, and a lot of young children
like him, but Broda Shaggi is not exactly an exemplary character. What do you
I think the character, Broda Shaggi is one we all see on a daily basis; young, old,
everybody. You’ve definitely met one ‘Agbero’ [tout] somewhere, even if you are a
rich man. Buhari sef, as e be president, himself know to say e don meet Agbero.
Nobody when no know Agbero. And these people have different personalities. Some
people see them as thugs, very razz, but there are some of them who are very calm,
who are very jovial, who are very funny, who are very accommodating. Broda Shaggi
is one of those characters.
I”m just trying to use this character to tell people that there is beauty in being razz,
there is beauty in illiteracy sometimes. Broda Shaggi didn”t go to school. From his
interviews, you can tell that he is not learned, but people tend to want to hear more
about him, people tend to want to watch more of my skits regardless the kind of
language that I speak. It is something people can definitely relate to because it forms
part of the day to day activities here in Lagos and everywhere.
Do people treat you more as Broda Shaggi as against your real self?
I”ve been able to differentiate my characters. When I started, almost everybody
thought I was a real tout. The first video I did was the one asking people what they
would do if they see Jesus in Mushin. So, people felt that was real until I started
uploading some of my pictures, then people started knowing that I finished from the
University, they started knowing that I was just acting. That has really helped in
building my character because when people see me now, they know that I”m learned
and I”m only acting. They don’t treat me like Broda Shaggi. I”ve been able to separate
Samuel from Broda Shaggi.
How is the transitioning into movies?
To be honest, I”ve been doing movies before I started comedy online. I had been
taking up some supporting roles, or waka pass as people call them. But right now,
it”s better because people know the brand, Broda Shaggi and they want him in their
movies. So, I”ve had the opportunity to express my talent in movies.
What exactly influenced the Broda Shaggi character? Did you at any point in
time live close to an agbero or have any encounter with one?
To be honest, I never had any direct encounter with anyone. We all see these
‘Agbero’. My job, as an actor, is to create characters. So, it”s not like I have lived in
Mushin. I”ve never lived in Mushin. Till today, people think I live in Mushin or I once
lived there, I”ve never lived in Mushin. When I started Broda Shaggi, I was on the
Island. I was living in Lekki when I started the character. But, my job as an actor is to
create characters. And I”ve had other characters before, but none of them was
bringing in income, none of them was bringing in popularity, so I had to look for
something different, something unique. Something no one had done before.
Did you understudy any tout at some point?
I didn”t have to do that. I just think it is God and the talent. It came naturally to me.
During your time at Unilag, did you encounter any harassment from your
A lot happened in Unilag. I didn”t personally encounter such.
What are your thoughts on sex for grades?
This actually happened when I was in school. I don”t want to mention the name of the
lecturer. But we had a lecturer that a girl accused; that he was about raping her in his
office and she bit him on his back. They sacked the lecturer after investigations. A lot
happened in school then that we came to accept as part of life. We learnt from such
incidents. It is not something good. We are in school to learn, we are in school to
become someone. By doing that, you are cutting short someone”s future. That
person can never be in class and concentrate, especially during exams, the person
will definitely fail because you are threatening that person. She can;t even say it
because they will think she is lying. There have been cases like that. No matter what
you say, people will think you are lying. I just feel such behaviour should be
eradicated, especially in schools.
What makes you happy?
Music. I don”t smoke and I don”t take alcohol.
don”t your friends mock you because of this?
They do, but they understand already.
I am hyperactive already, so if I take it, I might
go overboard. I just don”t like alcohol.
What of ladies, do you like ladies?
Baba mi, God is able (laughs)