"I keep telling people that the competition should not be amongst we comedians. We just need to learn to work together with ourselves instead of hostilities".
Peter Adeleke, professionally known by his stage name , Peter Trailblazer, is a Nigerian comedian, actor, and on-air personality. He loves to describe himself as a 'corporate mad man.'
He is best known for social media comedy videos in the role of a 'Corporate Mad Man.'
He is known for creating spontaneous and organic videos that reflect visual realities.
Peter Trailblazer was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but is from Ibadan, Oyo state.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Lagos.
In this interview, he shares some insight into the interesting world of social media comedy.
PT: Who is Peter Trailblazer?
Peter Trailblazer: I am a graduate of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University where I studied Microbiology and earned a Masters degree at the University of Lagos.
PT What were you up to before IG comedy?
Peter Trailblazer: Before Instagram comedy, I spent time gaining experience in cinematography and theatre from different film institutes in Nigeria.
PT: For how long?
Peter Trailblazer: I have always seen myself as someone that inspires people via acting. So I spent 3 years gaining experience in cinematography and theatre from different film institutes in Nigeria to develop and gain capacity
PT: Isn't that a deviation from your course of study?
Peter Trailblazer: I actually followed my passion. Career is different from the profession. I wanted my career to align with my vision.
So I believe education and skit-making go hand in hand. Education is continuous learning irrespective of the environment. It keeps me abreast of the latest skills and keeps me relevant in the entertainment industry. Education has given me the opportunity to harness my skills in filmmaking
PT: Do you think Instagram comedians have pushed standup comedians out of the business?
Peter Trailblazer: Evolution is something that is constant. When Instagram comedy began to make waves a few years ago, I was a huge fan and embraced it. Though most of us who do online skits are comic actors, we also creatively bring what we do online into the mainstream act too.
So I wouldn't say social media comedians have pushed stand-up comedians out of the business. We have just decided to move up with technological innovation and that definitely comes with the pros which are topping the game. Every industry needs a digital space. In this generation, social media is more powerful than even television.
PT: Critics say Instagram comedy is like a fast passport to fame or success. Does this hold true for you?
Peter Trailblazer: IG comedy is relative when it comes to being a fast passport to fame. It now depends on the purpose and techniques involved in how it is being done. I just love to create organic and spontaneous videos in shorter versions and it's fulfilling to me seeing my work inspires people. Instagram comedy is now very competitive, and there are a lot of factors that influence one's success. Such as having engaging and relatable content as well as being able to utilise trends opportunities. Getting on the big scenes requires hard work and consistency.
So while I work towards opportunities to act on bigger screens, I engage in social media skits to make me more relevant in the industry.
The economic crash down, covid 19, and recession have brought a lot of depression in Nigeria. so I'm doing it to entertain people and make them happy.
PT: Why comedy? Why not another career path?
Peter Trailblazer: I grew up in Lagos with an interest in comic acting and I decided to explore my talent with skit making. All I wanted was to "edutain" and inspire people and I became better as I kept doing it. I love to use memes to create satire and sarcasm. I also use my comedy skit to promote brands. I just see myself as someone that inspires people while passing across salient messages to them. I just love to see people happy and entertained and take away depression from them. Recently, a fan almost committed suicide but after watching my skit, he changed his mind and I was happy I lifted a burden.
The entertainment sector is job-rich. It is now reputed to be the second-highest employer of labour in Nigeria after agriculture. Skit-making is becoming lucrative because creativity is what runs this generation. Comedy is just an expression to me.
PT: Who are your role models in Nigerian IG comedy?
Peter Trailblazer: Lasisi Elenu is doing a good job and he is really inspiring. And many others. I can't mention everyone.
PT: What do you find striking about him?
Creativity is what runs this generation. I admire his creative ingenuity, tenacity, and consistency just like many others too.
PT: Who is your favorite between Taoma & Maraji?
Peter Trailblazer: I actually like both of them. I appreciate the fact that Taaoma brings out content based on lives' experience and from the family perspective. Maraji is known basically for switching between accents and vocal pitches to suit each character. However, I just feel that Maraji's consistency played a huge role in inspiring Taaooma today.
PT: Your industry is quite stiff & I hear there's bad blood?
Peter Trailblazer: Every sector has its own challenges. Just that in the entertainment industry, there is a need for creators to improve on supporting each other rather than seeing each other as competitions. That's because the industry is very competitive. I keep telling people that the competition should not be amongst ourselves. We just need to learn to work together with each other than having hostile relations with each other.
PT: Do people take you seriously as a comedy skit maker?
Peter Trailblazer Being a comedian has so many challenges. People sometimes think you are joking when you are actually serious. Most people don't take me seriously as a comedian because they have linked my career as a comedian to my image. So I have learned to always switch in between characters to make them know that I can also be very serious. Yes, that is why I try not to be a comedian everywhere, every time. I will just be myself.
PT: How much do you make on the average doing skits?
Peter Trailblazer: Social media has given many of us the platform to showcase our talent to the world through creating content for brands as well as YouTube channel monetisation. I make enough to sustain myself and to do relevant things in my life. If a job doesn't pay well but the audience had a good time, it helps ease the pain of poor returns.
PT Can you give a figure or range?
Peter Trailblazer: Between 1.5 million to 4million per year.
PT: When did you get into comedy?
Peter Trailblazer: I started making skits in 2015 on-campus at Obafemi Awolowo University during which I began with a funny Life Partner series that went viral on campus.
PT: Are there times you feel like quitting?
Peter Trailblazer: There are always downtimes, but my passion and motivation keep me going.
Q How much do you charge to make skits?
Peter Trailblazer: It depends on the brand and what kind of affiliations they want. It varies actually. But currently, I charge N150,000 per brand advert.
I create content that is unique to every brand by creating a hilarious conversation around the brand yet ensuring that the message behind the brand promotion is clearly passed across and resonates with the audience.
PT: What's the endgame for you?
I love to inspire people. That's why I'm keen on it as my career because It brings fulfillment to me when I inspire people via comedy skits making.
I just want to be continually known for consistently delivering top-notch entertainment in the world
PT: Advice for up and coming skit makers?
Peter Trailblazer: Persevere. The beginning will never be easy. I did a video on my YouTube channel titled, "why upcoming artistes won't blow" where I talked about important things upcoming artistes should know. As an up and coming artist, know your audience, focus more on your content, be creative, be consistent, persevere (because the beginning will never be easy), stay humble, and don't give up.
PT: What would become of your brand should Instagram end today?
Peter Trailblazer: My brand didn't originate from Instagram. So my brand cannot end if Instagram ends. Because my brand has been in existence before Instagram. And my brand has come to stay. However, when Instagram evolved, I only embraced and tapped into Instagram.
There are other platforms aside from Instagram.
I also have a YouTube channel and Facebook page and I always ensure my materials are top-notch to meet global standards. Evolution is continuous. We keep learning, unlearning, and relearning.
PT: Are you in a relationship?
Peter Trailblazer: No, I'm only dating my craft. I am in a relationship with skit-making. I just keep friends who connect with me and believe in me.
My dream woman is a God-fearing lady who believes in me and supports me.