My parents give me ideas for skits – Samspedy
Content creator, Samuel Asubiojo, aka Samspedy, who has 373,000 Instagram followers, tells BLESSING ENENAITE about his career and other issues
What is the story behind your brand name?
While in secondary school, our class representative once asked us to come up with nicknames. My classmates gave themselves several nicknames that had ‘don’ in it. When it got to my turn, I gave myself ‘Don Spedy’. I did not plan it initially. I used the nickname for a while but after ‘Don’ stopped being in vogue, I changed it Samspedy.
What informed your decision to become a skit maker?
No one inspired me from the beginning. I just slept and woke up with an idea, which became my first video on YouTube. It was about five things that could make people angry. Back then, I did not have a camera or software to edit. As of then, my phone was not even good. I was a medical student at the Zaporizhzhia State Medical University, Ukraine, at the time, and I eventually got my Indian friend to lend me his phone, which I used to shoot some parts of the video (content) in class.
When I uploaded the video on Facebook, I got a lot of comments from people who commended me for being funny. They encouraged me to shoot more videos; and that was how my dream became a reality in 2015.
What are the challenges you face as a skit maker?
In the early days, I faced many challenges because I was in medical school. Combining medicine and comedy was a very big task. My friends were wondering how I was doing it, and they were also worried if I was going to pass my exams and graduate.
But, I usually created time for studies and for making content.
Also, I faced the challenge of getting ideas for content. I have come this far because I put a lot of creativity in my work. I cannot let my fans down by just shooting anything, and coming up with ideas that would meet the standard I had set for myself. Even though I have a script writer, I end up writing most of the scripts myself.
What inspires the kind of skits you make?
I started making skits about lifestyle. At some point, I thought I could portray African parents better than just shooting lifestyle videos. I started as an African dad. When I started as an African dad, I realised that it was not attracting the audience I wanted. Then, I switched to acting like an African mum. When I started that, people were shocked that I could act as a woman. Then, I did not have beards and some people did not even know I was a guy. When I started doing that, I was getting a lot of views, and even my parents encouraged me. Although my dad asked me to focus on my studies, he still supported me. His support was inspiring because he was paying my school fees, and he still encouraged me to create content.
At times, they give me ideas for skits. My mum could inform me that my dad did something to her and she would suggest I make a skit about it. My siblings also encouraged me.
Comedians, Basket Mouth and Bovi, also inspired me. They were stand-up comedians but I felt that they were so good, and I wished to be popular like them.
Which of your skits gave you your first break?
It was the one with the character, Mama Ojo; and that was why I stuck with the character. The skit had to do with me stealing from the kitchen. It went viral and people liked it so much.
Have you dumped medicine for skit making?
I did not dump medicine for skit making, because I still have my certificate. However, I fell in love with content creation. The next thing I was supposed to do (after rounding up my studies in Ukraine) was write my medical exams, do my internship and youth service in Nigeria. That will still happen though. I am just trying to train people in a way that when I pause content creation, I would be able to further my medical career.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
Actually, yes! That is because portraying three characters comes with a lot of sacrifice, time and energy. It often takes me all day to shoot content with just one character. I would then have to change to another character and start all over. That could be very draining. However, the passion I have for it is what keeps me going. I love to see people happy. It drives me to keep pushing, even though I am tired. Sometimes, I just want to rest for about two months, but I can’t stop because it is my job.
Have you ever thought of creating new characters, other than Mama Ojo, Papa Ojo and Ojo?
That is where Samspedy comes in as a different character. I have two YouTube channels. One is for the Samspedy character, where I publish any video I desire; while the other one is for the three specific characters I play. Creating videos for Samspedy character is much easier, but I don’t have much views on that channel compared to the other one.
Sometimes, when I don’t make videos for two weeks, I get emails from people telling me that they would unsubscribe from my channel because I am not consistent. I believe they send me those emails because they love my content. That is why I put so much energy into the channel for the Ojo characters.
What are your memorable moments as a skit maker?
In Ukraine, I remember when I used to shoot during cold weather. I would intentionally go outside under the snow to shoot, and my friends were concerned about my health. However, it felt like fun because it was something I was passionate about.
Have you ever had any embarrassing moments as a skit maker?
The majority of my skits were shot in Ukraine, which is not an English-speaking country. Sometimes, people there did not understand what I was saying. Even when they said something to me, I did not understand either.
However, I have not really had any major embarrassing moment as a content creator. In Nigeria, most of my contents are created indoors, and I shoot them in my house, which is my comfort zone.
How did you cope with the language barrier while schooling in Ukraine?
There were English and Russian platforms for teaching by lecturers. However, the Russian medium was less expensive than the English medium. I was studying in English. Regardless, we still had to learn Russian language. I learnt a few words and I could communicate to the best of my knowledge at that time.
But, there wasn’t much of a language barrier because most lecturers spoke English.
How do you handle advances from your female fans?
About 60 per cent of my followers are females. The kind of content I do makes people respect me because I don’t make skits that glorify sex and other vices. I shoot content that relates to African mums. There is really no form of disrespect from anyone. Some people are even scared of the character, Mama Ojo (laughs).
Did you have a strict upbringing?
Yes. My dad was a strict man; though he is no longer like that. I grew up in Abuja but I don’t know anywhere in that city. It is that bad because I hardly went out, and I could not bring friends home either. Some people think Mama Ojo is patterned after my mum; but my mum does not behave like that. I simply exaggerate it.
What are your hobbies?
I like playing the piano. I was a choir master when I was in Ukraine. Also, I love to play table tennis, listen to music and travel. However, I have not had time to travel and explore places because of my work.