There’s no disputing the fact that this dude is a very popular person in this town. Whether your bad belle allows you to agree or not,lol, it’s true. Many people wish they were as funny as he is, many girls wish they would one day be ‘Mrs Roby Ekpo’ but the interview we had with him showed that it’s game over oo! There’s a lucky miss somewhere already who’s just chilling and watching the rest of you in 3D probably, lol. Anyways, i’m sure they are still many people like me; just chilling and waiting for the date and venue… Rice things, lol.
In a short while, Robert has established himself in the aspect of entertainment and is far ahead of most of his contemporaries. His jokes, His life, His persona and all… he talked about almost everything… This interview revealed a determined, focused and serious-minded Robert Ekpo not just the regular ‘funny man’. I wish to be like him when i grow up :D.
- A brief intro. Tell us about you.
Okay! Robert Ekpo. I’m the second son, we are 3 boys. Graduate of Dept. Of Radiography in University of Calabar. I’ve always been into showbiz per say because right from secondary school, i always had favor from senior boys because i could dance and all that. In university, I was involved in one social event or the other. I found out that i was always around people making them laugh and all that. I actually had a group, my brother and i, we called ourselves ‘2Unlimited’. We started with dancing and then singing and sometimes, i would go on-stage and crack some jokes before my brother came up and we’d do what we had to do. And then, i graduated and i found out that people were still calling me back to emcee events like departmental weeks and then i started doing weddings and social events. In 2006, out of boredom, i went for a reality show, ‘NEXT MOVIE STAR’ that lasted for 31 days and there, i came 4th and won ‘Funniest housemate’. i performed in Rhythm Unplugged that year too.And after that, I had to do movie contracts for like 2 years. I did a sitcom that showed on Africa Magic for like four years, from 2007 to early 2011- Domitory8. I acted as one Igbo boy. And then, i started my comedy stuff and emceeing professionally. Last year, i was nominated for two awards; Celebrity Planet Awards:Celebrity Comedian of the year and i won that. We were six in that category. Also, i was nominated for Safari Young comedian of the Year, we were four in that category and i won that also. So basically, that’s what I’ve been into now, Compere, Comedy… I stopped practicing because of my flair for entertainment.
- So, as an entrepreneur, any challenges?
Oh yeah, yeah. Most times because i know a lot of people, they say “he’s our friend” and expect me to work for free. The only time i smile to the bank is when the shows are outside the state like when i went to Ghana. This year, i plan to rebrand myself…
- Horizon Inc. Is looking into the fashion culture in C.R.S. what’s your take?
That’s a very hard one because very few people have a good sense of fashion. I was arguing the other day with a friend on BBM. He put up a picture where he wore a coffee brown suit, checked shirt and gold tie and he was arguing because the shirt is Calvin klein. I had to put the picture up and ask for people’s comments but the guy was still arguing. A lot of people don’t know what it takes to be fashionable.
- Do you feel something is missing?
Yes. Big time.
- How fashion conscious are you?
I’m very conscious. I’d say 110%. If I’m going out, I ask for other people’s opinion before settling on what to wear. I’m that conscious.
- As a well known entrepreneur, what are the extra effects you put into staying on top?
It’s just to try to remain at your best. During the carnival, a few of my friends came in from outside and we were walking on Marian and people were just hailing me. They were so surprised and kept asking how I knew so many people and I told them that if I said I knew 50% of the persons, I’d be lying. Being an entrepreneur isn’t quite easy especially when you have to stay on-top of your A-game. I have to be innovative and create new ideas that would ‘wow’ the people. Every entrepreneur’s a millionaire but not every millionaire’s an entrepreneur. It’s about me knowing my onions where others don’t and accepting that it’s a risk worth taking. Furthermore, it’s reaping the benefits and rewards of my hard work, whether monetary or personal satisfaction. I never settle for less!
- What has been your lowest point so far?
My lowest point was when my parents died. I had an accident in 2009 and had a surgery that kept me down for 9 months. my mum died two days after my surgery then my dad died three months after her. That was a very trying time for my brothers and I. It slowed down my career a bit but it didn’t stop me from getting called for events too. I had to wear the POP with suits to the events.
- And the highest point?
The time I had to perform in-front of the President’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan at the Comptroller of Customs’ daughter’s wedding. Also, the first time I performed in-front of the Governor of C.R.S at the Carnival Theme Unveiling in Abuja. Another high point was when I performed for the Chief of Staff to the President of Ghana.
- Being the entrepreneur you are, was this always your dream?
Not really. I used to think I’d be a renowned artist. I always loved drawing. I’d pick a pencil and draw on any piece of paper. At some point, I found out that people were always laughing whenever they were around me. Then I started getting calls to emcee birthdays to departmental parties, etc. and before you knew it, ‘BOOM!!’ That was it! Everyone wanted a piece of Robert Ekpo for their events.
- Any Regrets? How’s it been so far?
For now, none. No regrets. You get to talk to friends that work 9-5 everyday and earn a reasonable amount. I only have to work like four times a month. People in Calabar wont’ agree to pay 100k per event so I’m happier when I get calls to emcee events out of town It couldn’t have been better. I just wish my parents were here to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
And now to the personal stuff…
- What’s a typical “Roby” day like?
Ah! I wake up, sleep, watch TV, sleep… I go out on weekends if I don’t have a job. But I co-emcee with Duke Emmanuel on Paradise FM on Tuesdays: Paradise Sunrise 8-11am and Saturdays: Weekend Jamz 12-5:30pm. It’s now temporary as my original co-emcee, Maryann isn’t there anymore.
- What designer labels do you patronize most?
For me, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on the clothes. I just always have to look good. Let me tell you now, the list is endless. Christian Audigier, Davidoff Champion, Decibel by Azzaro, Lacoste green, Silver Shadow by Azzaro.
- What’s your definition of a perfect outfit?
A perfect outfit has to be what looks good on you. People say I make outfits look good.
- What’s the most expensive item in your wardrobe?
I think it’s the Gucci shoes… I had to pay like five times for it.
- What’s the most treasured item?
I love my wrist watches and perfumes and my shades.
- Are you in a relationship?
Presently, yes. But I’m a very secretive person. By God’s grace, i’d get married soon. You’ll see her when we are walking down the aisle.
- What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
5 years… I notice we don’t have any event planning company in Calabar. So, I’d like to start that because most of my clients tell me to help get caterers, wedding planners and all that for them. I think having all these people in one places will be great. i also want to be the biggest Compere/Comedian ever to emerge from Cross River State and happily married.
- Any last words?
In whatever you do, you have to put in your best. There are times I wished I could have backed out but now, I’m glad I didn’t. My name has become a household name and I realize if I had backed out then, I wouldn’t be here now. There’s something I got, ‘swag recognizes swag and you’re looking kind of unfamiliar right now’: Just keep doing your thing and you’ll go far. Our destiny’s in our hands and the sky is just the starting point. people never fail, they only stop trying… Keep chasing your dreams.