He is one of Abuja’s impressive stand-up comedians. He is better known as Onome da Saint, but his real names are Francis Onome Okpor. He hails from Delta State, but has lived in Abuja since 1991. He thus believes he is from the FCT. He bares his mind to https://www.nigeriafilms.com in this exclusive interview.


Actually, my number one career is stand-up comedy. Basically, I anchor events in form of Master of Ceremonies and comedy. One good thing about comedy is that, if you really know what you are doing, it goes beyond your performances. But apart from comedy, you can act as an event manager; package and brand events. I intend going into it fully.

The beginning

It all started from my secondary school days. I have always been funny; let’s just say I grew up as a comedian. Having watched my first ever Night of a Thousand Laugh in Abuja, where I saw the likes of I go Die, The Don and others, I felt I could do what they were doing. From that time, I started doing it, but not as a profession, because I had the intention of travelling out. However, I wasted a lot time trying to secure a visa. While doing that I was performing in churches. Then a friend of mine, Cecilia Egbele of NTAplus, invited me to X-strangers maiden edition of Names on Platinum where I did my first official performance. She introduced me to so many people who were into event management; that was how I started in 2005.


It was Ali Baba and I Go Die that gave me a lot of inspiration. They made me feel that everything I was doing then was worth doing well. Comedy had always been a child’s play until the era of Ali Baba. He single-handedly made comedy what it is today.


Yes, it is a thing of joy, whenever you talk and you see people laughing. There is always an inner satisfaction within me whenever I know that people are laughing. Beyond that I want people to understand that we are also doing it for business. In the area of financial reward, I might say I am not completely satisfied, though it pays. The likes of Ali Baba charge between N1.5 to N2million for a show. While the likes Basket Mouth and Julius Agwu and some others in their fold, charge up to N1.2 to N800.000. But in Lagos, the minimum amount you can pay a comedian is N150.ooo depending on the client; otherwise, they can get other comedians. Again, they feel that the artistes in Abuja cannot give them as much as they want.

The comedy industry

Actually, I can say the fastest growing industry in Nigeria is the entertainment industry. The same too with comedy; the reason is that a lot of people want to ease tension and so there is a high demand for it. If you look around, there have been celebrations here and there and the services of a comedian are always needed. Though the market is large it is growing rapidly.


Well, during my leisure time, I spend my time reading and watching movies, because that is the only way you can, update yourself, otherwise you will run yourself out of the market. Again, during festive periods, you hardly have time to sleep due to the series of calls you get every minute. I hardly have time for myself, that’s the only challenging part of it. When people are enjoying, you are out there trying to put one or two things together.


If you must know they are very proud about it, because whenever they go out people recognise them as my sisters. Initially, my dad was against it, but today he is very proud and they always support me through prayers.

Worst moments

There is no comedian that does not have his ordeal. Sometimes, you will be on stage and people will not be moved. It has happened to me and other comedians on several occasions. There are times you meet a big crowd and you make a mistake, they will capitalise on it. The average comedian is better because people take them for granted and because of that they step on their bounds not knowing that that same person making you to laugh can also make you to cry.


The truth is that comedy is tasking, because your brain has to be at work 24hours. And you really have to see humour in anything around you. Sometimes, you don’t have to think, it just comes but, you have to make sure that as you are saying it you don’t hurt somebody. And again, we get lots of materials on a day to day basis.


I have more male fans than the female ones. They are the ones that call-the ones that appreciate me more. It depends on your line of comedy. Let’s put it this way, for now, I am a very uncommon comedian, I am not everywhere. Basically, ladies attend that kind of event, that you will be everywhere. I mostly attend private events where you have more serious minded and matured people.

Crowd pressure

If you ask people around town, they should be able to tell you that I am among the best here in Abuja. But, you see, it’s not as if I am running away from the crowd, because it, first and foremost, gives you that popularity, but the private event gives you money. The event that gathers crowd does not pay you much because the organisers are people whom you have relations with, some as colleagues.


Laughs… I am not yet married, but I am looking up to doing that.


Wait, no dey rush me… I will get married soon, but, I don’t know when.

To who?

Eh well, I have met a number of ladies, but I have not thought of marriage. In fact, I have nice friends…

Which you can select from?

Wait, if you talk am like dis e go be like sey I get plenty babes. Okay, yes which I can select from.

Overseas trip

Okay, for the same reason that drives young men out of this country. It is usually a matter of frustration, so to speak. You and I know that things are not working in this country and every young man wants it where it works. But let me tell you the gospel truth, I am very happy I didn’t go, because I feel more satisfied. So, I had the mentality of an average Nigerian.


Life has taught me to take it the way it comes. If you take life to be difficult, it will become difficult, that is how I see it.

If not entertainment

I will like to go into international business. I have also had the crazy nerve for politics. Basically, I just want to make money and rest.


I am doing my comedy video, which will be out soon. And above all, work on my popularity and fame; I want to steal the market.

The video

It’s basically comedy. I just have a working title for now Onome da Saint on rampage, which might not be the original title at the end. It is a video that was shot in a particular scene; and is all about telling jokes about happenings around. The beautiful thing about it is that I am using the state-of, the act facilities for the production.

Message to fans

Let me first of all thank them for keeping me up there, because without them, my broad, nothing o. They have really given me the courage to go on. I want them to keep praying for me, I will never let them down, and may God continue to bless them. I want to say thank you to the likes of Oma Oma, Dr Ayuba, Fr Tony Isonguyo and others I can’t really remember now.