I’ll quit comedy the day I run out of jokes, top comedian, I Go Dye – By AZUH AMATUS

I Go Dye

The story of wave making comedian Francis Agoda better

known as I Go Dye in the ribs cracking business is as

intriguing as they come.

Prior to hitting limelight and becoming famous both

nationally and internationally, he was turned down a

record four times at Nite of a Thousand Laughs, for

not being too good, in his quest for fame and

recognition as a comedian.

But like a Trojan Horse, very determined Agoda, from

Abraka, Delta State refused to give up until fame and

fortune finally smiled on him. Today, he is a

household name traversing the length and breath of

this nation and even beyond with his immense skill.

In this interview with AZUH AMATUS, Agoda, who has taken

the gospel of Nigerian comedy to over 50 major cities

in Europe and the U.S., opened up on how the rough

road to stardom began five years ago.

Enjoy the interaction!

I would like to begin this interview by asking about your historic deals with BBC and Fashion Page, respectively. How did you strike these deals?

Yes, I signed a mouth-watering contract with British

Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) last year. It was

basically to promote and project African comedy on

their African network. They also chose me as one of

the leading faces of African comedy on the continent.

I could not believe my eyes when they approached me.

We did some recordings in France, Dublin, Germany and

few other European nations. They were also part of my

Warri show.

Also, I recently signed a mouth-watering deal with this

international fashion outfit to manage my style and

image and also to help promote and package my

concerts. Besides, they will be clothing me whenever

I’m having a show. Mr. Destiny Ebagua, their Marketing

Director in Africa, made this deal possible. Since

they are mostly known in Europe and the US, they want

to use people like us to get into the African markets,

starting with Nigerian. They were also one of the

major sponsors of my successful show. They are also

planning of taking me on a world tour any moment from


In recent times, you have been embarking on frequent foreign trips, are special reason or reasons?

First and foremost, I want to thank God Almighty for

making these foreign trips possible. In the past,

people don’t reckon with comedians. My breakthrough

was in 2005 when Ehizoya Golden Entertainment took me

on a tour of Europe. During that tour, the Nigerian

ambassador to Germany hosted me. It was an experience

I will never forget. And of very recent again, I was

hosted lavishly by the Nigerian Ambassador to France,

during the last Nigerian Cultural Week in Paris. All

these outings opened the floodgate of many more

foreign trips for me. For an outstanding performance,

the Nigerian ambassador in France extended my visa to

one year. But before this trip, I just returned from

Ireland, where I dazzled at Nite Of A Thousand Laughs.

It was a successful outing. I’m even planning of

touring some parts of Nigeria with my comedy show in

collaboration with Fashion Paige soon. We will

commence with Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt shows

soon. Later, we will be touring Europe and the U.S.

How did your romance with comedy begin?

I actually started comedy as a kid, but

professionally, I took off five years ago and got my

national recognition two years back. My breakthrough

was through Nite Of A Thousand Laughs. I started

gradually in Warri, with the mock news programme on

Delta State TV. Truth is that it was not easy making

it to the top. For good four years, Opa Williams kept

turning me down on the pretext that I was not good

enough, but I kept trying, refusing to give up. I want

up and coming comedians to learn from my experience.

Even at a point, I told Opa not to even pay me, but to

give me the chance to mount the stage for just five

minutes. I eventually got Ten Thousand Naira for my

first Nite Of A Thousand Laughs, but today the pay has

increased with over 1000 percent. Life is all about

sacrifices. And looking back now, I feel so great

because no one even thought or believed I can even

travel to Ghana then. If I want, I can just wake up

and said I want to have lunch in London and come back

same day.

We would also like to know more about your background?

I’m Francis Agoda better known as I Go Dye. I’m from

Abraka, Delta State. I am single and very close to 30.

I’m quietly planning for my marriage with somebody

that I truly love.

As a famous comedian, how do you cope with ladies?

Ladies are the most wonderful people you can think of

in this world and without them; the world does not go

round. I have also discovered that ladies like hanging

around fun and funny people like us. So, in essence, I

share my happiness with them.

Did your parents endorse your going into comedy when you newly started?

When I started comedy then, my mum never supported me,

for my dad, I met him first in my life, just two years

ago. I will tell the full story some day, in fact,

very soon.


The inspiration to create your jokes, where and how does it come?

Before I answer this question, let me quickly tell you

that I’m among the very few comedians that do not

repeat jokes on stages. I create new jokes everyday by

perfecting my art. I spend 90% of my time, thinking of

how to make people laugh and that is why I’m more

creative and distinct.

How did you come about the name, I Go Dye?

I carved out the name from my surname which is Agoda.

You can see, my own is Dye and not die. It simply

means to transform, add and brighten the state of the

art. I have seen people who were christened Lucky and

Success at birth, but they turned out failures in


Why is there so much hatred and jealousy among comedians?

For every job you do, there must be a kind of

jealousy; it is even so among prostitutes. But what I

believe in and stand for is healthy rivalry. Another

mistake people make that usually lead to their not

succeeding in live is paying too much time to

unhealthy rivalry and dirty competitions. I don’t envy

people. I only pray to God everyday to help me get to

the top of my career and remain there till I’m gone.

How comfortable is I Go Dye financially?

I’m very, very comfortable because God has given me

life and without that life, you won’t be able to

assess your riches or millions.

What are your future goals and plans as a top comedian?

With God on my side, I want to be a world famous

comedian who will be known in all the continents of

the world. Recently, In Paris, in all the shops I

visited, I did not see the work of any Nigerian

comedian or musician, except that of Fela and Femi

Kuti, that increased my love and respect for them. I

was also in a Femi show recently and 90% of those that

attended were whites, this is my dream. Thank God, I’m

gradually making an inroad.

As a star comedian, what would you say is your unique selling point?

I think my natural jokes stands me out, they are what

I call my raw materials. Being creative and confident

on stage also stands me out. Again, as a creative

comedian, whenever I’m on stage, I usually ask myself,

when, what, where and how to deliver my jokes to make

impact and achieve results. I like studying the mood

of my people.

What are your views about the Nigerian comedy industry?

Comedy business in Nigeria is fast becoming very

lucrative and we thank God for that. These days, you

hardly go to events without a comedian, it is a big

plus for the industry. We are most grateful to those

who laid the foundation for us the new generation

ones, we won’t let them down.

Do you think government is doing enough for the comedy industry?

The government is supporting comedy big time

in Nigeria. From the local, to state and federal

levels, they usually include us in their functions.

And I have done shows for the government at all these

levels. It is also the government that makes most of

our foreign trips possible. I just returned from

France based on the invitation of the government,

which was facilitated by the ambassador. They have

tried for us but they should do more, because like

Oliver Twist, we are asking for more.


Have you ever run out of jokes on stage while performing?

It has never happened to me on stage. It can’t because

I’m always prepared and take time to research on my

jokes. Besides, I’m also a natural comedian full of

creative and humorous ideas. I will quit comedy the

day it happens.

Who are your role models in the comedy circuit?

God is my role model, but I love Chris Rock with an

undying passion, because of his flow and style.

What is your show, I Go Dye standing Live, all about?

I am happy that after several years of planning and

waiting, I finally did my own show. For me, it was a

dream come true and I thank God it was very, very

successful. I’m also happy the show gave me the

opportunity to entertain my fans for more than three

hours. It was a strictly I Go Dye show and my fans

thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

It was a total show and people of Warri, Delta

State where I started comedy from thoroughly enjoyed



 First published, October 2006


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