Many may know MC Lively as that comedian who dresses in ‘White and Black’ in most of his comedy videos. He always carries a black bag hung around his shoulder, moving from street to street and lamenting the nation’s state.
But there is more about this comedian that stands him out.
Born Micheal Sani, but popularly known as MC Lively or Barrister Mike, he is a Nigerian Instagram comedian, actor, and events Host/MC.
He is also a trained lawyer, solicitor, and advocate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from ‘Great Ife’, the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
MC Lively was called to the bar in 2016 but chose to be in front of the camera. He addresses societal issues and gets angry at injustice. People do similar things, but his skits stand out.
Mc lively Created an Instagram Account in 2015 and boasts over a 1.4 million followers today.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the 29-year-old comedian speaks about his career and the state of the nation.
PT: You are a trained lawyer by profession. What led you into comedy?
MC Lively: I had always loved comedy growing up. Comedy was beautiful to me, the fact that you could connect to people of different tribes, dispensation regardless of their financial status.
The mere fact that laughter could unite people was what I found mind-blowing, so I have always been interested in doing what could make people laugh. However, it is the law that was not part of my plan. It was not until we were writing JAMB that I picked law.
PT: Why law?
MC Lively: I wanted to be among the best students, the prestigious ones. That was why I picked law.
PT: How did your parents react to your choice of career?
MC Lively: My dad has always been an open-minded person. He was calm when he found out that I opted for comedy instead of law. He always mentioned that whenever we were done with our university education, we could go ahead and chase whichever career we wanted.
I come from a family of five, and we all went to Obafemi Awolowo University. We all studied different things, Pharmacy, Law, and Estate Management, and none of us is currently working with our degrees.
PT: What has been your major challenge?
MC Lively: The major challenge I had was to keep dropping content that people can relate to. People quickly get tired of a particular thing, so it becomes a task for me to drop something different that is relatable and matches contemporary issues in the country. Creating content that stands the test of time is not easy.
PT: People say some skit makers are not good movie actors?
MC Lively: There is no harm in trying. Did we know we were good skit makers? When we carried our phones and started making skits, we did not know we would come this far, but we kept trying and getting better, which is what art and entertainment are all about. People like to place comparisons, and it’s a big problem. You have seen that so many of us have done movies. Although we started with skits, some have ventured into stand up comedy, and it doesn’t have to be every skit maker that can do stand-up comedy or movies.
PT: When did you start making comedy skits?
MC Lively: I started making skits playfully in 2015 before going to the one-year compulsory law school course in Bayelsa, but it wasn’t consistent. Then when I came back from law school, I went for another year of compulsory National youth service. So I started doing skits full of names in 2017.
PT: Were there any criticism?
MC Lively: I had always received criticism before becoming a comedian. Since I was an MC, I went to OAU, where banter is like bread and butter. So the criticism I have received is a lot, but I don’t always receive criticism. I think I have developed a tough skin. If Davido can be criticised, who am I if Ronaldo can be criticised?
PT: When did you experience a break in your career?
MC Lively: I started seeing the dividends of the way from way back in 2017, after one of my comedy skits went viral in September 2017, then the subsequent years till this moment.
PT: What inspires your content?
MC Lively: My life experiences foster my content, a lot of personal daily life experiences inspire my content, and again I also have a team of content writers. I share my ideas with them, and they share theirs. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.
PT: No doubt that comedy skits speak a lot about the minds and experiences of Nigerian Youth. What do you think is the position of the youths as the elections draw closer?
MC Lively: Most Nigerians are not interested in Nigerian politics and elections, as almost all the youths are travelling away, almost all the youths are running away, and they don’t want to stay in Nigeria anymore.
PT: Why are Nigerian youths leaving the country in droves?
MC Lively: Can you blame us? I have always been an advocate for a great Nigerian. But unfortunately, the country’s situation isn’t encouraging. I hope things can change.
PT: How can we fix Nigeria?
MC Lively: Beyond elections, we need to change the mentality of people. We fail to understand that leaders are the reflection of the people. What they genuinely reflect on is the kind of leaders they produce. If the people are highly responsible, the leaders will be responsible,
PT: Do you think leaving the country is the solution to our issues?
MC Lively: There is no way leaving the country is better. Is it not in this Russia – Ukraine war we see that many Africans were not allowed across the border? Beyond that, there is still the issue of racism, and that’s why we have to make Nigeria a better place, there is no place like home, but people don’t care about this. They want to leave.
PT: Many people advocate a youth president. Would that solve our problems?
MC Lively: It’s not possible. Who are the youths? A youth being president is not even the solution. The solution is far from that. Of course, it would be nice to have a younger person become a president, but it is not the solution to the problem. The problems of Nigeria are not a function of a young person being the president.
PT: In a world of skills, talents and degrees, what would be your advice for young Nigerians to explore?
MC Lively: For me, I think at the moment, people should go towards their talent. They should invest their talents. Nigerians should invest their time, money, and resources and try and get experience because, in truth, what school teaches us the most is how to communicate with other people, share experiences, and grow as a person.
The school does not teach us how to make money, and the school does not teach us how to sustain relationships these things we learn ourselves.
I would advise that if anybody has a talent, they should jump into it.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999