Personality File: Up-close with Tee-Kay

Comedy Empire: Welcome to Comedy EmpireLet’s begin with the cliche question.who is Tee Kay?
T.K: Tee Kay is a complicated guy with Nigerian and Ghanaian descents but I’m more of a Ghanaian. I’ve been in Ghana since I was a child. I started my basic education in Teshie Nungua at Daras School Limited and later wrote my BECE in Evangelical Presbyterian school around Achimota. From there, I proceeded to Tema secondary school where I was their Prep Prefect and also the student director for their drama club.I’m currently at the Ghana Technology University College pursueing a degree in Computer Engineering.

Comedy Empire: How did you cope with being a foreigner in a Ghanaian class?

T.K: It was quite funny at first because by then I knew nothing about Ghana. My friends always laughed at me when it came to singing the National Anthem or reciting the National Pledge. The scariest moments were during a Twi class but it got better with time. I think it came to me naturally.

Comedy Empire: Ok. So let’s talk about your comedy career. How long have you been doing this and how did you get yourself into this showbiz?

T.K: I’ve been doing comedy almost all my life but I started professional comedy exactly two years ago.It all started when I went to X FM for a modeling audition.I wanted to be a model by then. I guess I was confused (he laughs). That was where I met ID James Brown and I told him I will also like to feature in his shows, that’s Comedy Bar.I had my first performance over there and I got some few laughs that day.Then I said to myself if I can make one person laugh then I’m capable of being a comedian. It wasn’t easy at first. There were times I even struggled to get a smile from the audience so I ended up laughing at my own jokes but I never gave up I kept learning and observing then one day I had my breakthrough.Since then I can boldly say I’ve never failed to provide the audience with laughter.

Tee Kay at his best

Comedy Empire: Tell us about the breakthrough.
T.K: Well I think I’ve now graduated from being an opener at events to being the content.I’ve performed in almost all the big platforms in Ghana and anytime I’m on stage people laugh.

Comedy Empire: Early on you said you were a student director for your drama club, did that in anyway influence your decision in becoming a comedian?

T.K: Yes it did but what I believe it’s done best for me is it gave me the confidence I needed on stage because I was used to acting on stage so it helped me to overcome stage fright.

Comedy Empire: Talking about stage fright, how did you feel when your name came up as one of the acts for DKB’s and Ghana’s historic stand up show, Point of View? Didn’t you feel it was a huge hop cos people who didn’t really know you would be like, “Where from this guy?”

T.K: I was glad because I had the opportunity to mount a bigger stage and a large audience. For the giant leap, yeah that’s true but I believe everything starts from a point and my points were the little gigs I had and exposure I had on several platforms.I’m sure the next time they see me they will not need any intro

Comedy Empire: Wow. Interesting. So to la jour-j, Point of View, when you got and stage, what was running through your mind?

T.K: That day the first thing that came to mind was what if they don’t laugh or my jokes are not that funny.

Comedy Empire: But you got the laughter you expected. Didn’t you?

T.K: Yes I did. I was the first act for the night and by the time I was performing a lot of people were still not in but I got my laughter.

Comedy Empire: It was quite relieving I suppose

T.K: Yes it was.

Comedy Empire: So after the show, how have you been able to combine the fame with academics and your personal life?

T.K: Hmmm…it’s not been easy. Now people see me to be some star and expect me to live some kind of luxurious life but I tell them, “Oga make I enjoy my low-key now” .I’m trying my best to keep up though.

Comedy Empire: How did your parents react to you trying to do comedy?

T.K: They were surprised I could actually talk in public because they’ve always seen me to be a quiet shy boy but they were happy and always have given me the support I needed.

Comedy Empire: Talking about support from family, tell about the family

T.K: They’re nice people. For now, that’s it.
Comedy Empire: So what inspires you in doing what you do?

T.K: I believe everyone have their passion.I can say comedy is where my passion lies.I love comedy.

Comedy Empire: So would you choose comedy over engineering

T.K: Yes please. But I believe we all need to be educated so the certificate is very important for future references.

Comedy Empire: Looks like y’all think alike. Can you say the pay from the Industry is good to be able to put engineering aside?

T.K: Comedy is a very lucrative business and besides I believe talents pay more than certificate but it’s not all about the money though.It depends on what makes you happy.

Comedy Empire: So are you happy with the Industry?

T.K: No I’m not happy with the industry.I believe we comedians are not being accorded the respect we deserve but I think it’s improving bit by bit. We shall get there.

Comedy Empire: When you say respect what do you mean by respect? Is it the public respect or respect from major expected stakeholders in the entertainment industry?

T.K: The latter.

Comedy Empire: So if given the chance to change something about the Industry what would it be?

T.K: Changing the perception that if Charter House does not give you a platform, you don’t qualify to be a professional comedian.

Comedy Empire: Interesting. Who is or are your favourite comedians, both on the local and international front?

T.K: The comedians I really look up to internationally are Trevor Noah for his contents and Kevin Hart for his business ideologies. Locally I respect DKB, Foster, Khemical , Augustin Dennis, OB and any other Gh comedians you can think of for their creativity.When I go to Nigeria I respect AY and Basketmouth a lot.

Comedy Empire: Tee-Kay outside comedy. What is Tee-Kay? The last time, I heard it’s Ti K3se3………What is it?

T.K: Tee kay was derived from my name Taofeek.I took the first alphabet and the last alphabet and combined it. My full name is Onifade Taofeek.

Comedy Empire: So aside comedy and drama, where do you find interest?

T.K: I’m also interested in acting.I’m part of a production which has the best interest in mind for the youth .One of our TV series is currently aired on TV3 and GH one or so. The title is Game Over a youth TV series. I played the role of Abu Morocco.

Comedy Empire: So during your leisure, when there’s no gig or on set shooting, what do you do?

T.K: Then I’m a student or at home watching movies or writing new materials.

Comedy Empire: With all the fame and exposure, there should be someone aside a family member who is female who got your back and your heart. Who is that special one?

T.K: Oh that special one broke my heart and we are now good friends.

Comedy Empire: Before the fame or after the fame?

T.K: Almost before the fame

Comedy Empire: So if you’re to request a song for her what would it be?

T.K: The song I have in mind will not go well with the public.

Comedy Empire: Maybe you should call Pappy Kojo for a collaboration.

T.K: That’s a good idea

Comedy Empire: Haha…..Before we end this interview, I’m going to mention some names or some things. Use one word to describe each
T.K: Ok. Let it roll.

Comedy Empire: John Mahama

T.K: Dumsor

Comedy Empire: Ayariga
T.K: Joker

Comedy Empire: Akua Donkor

T.K: Outmoded

Comedy Empire: Marriage

T.K: Maze

Comedy Empire: Final one, TKAY

T.K: Complicated

Comedy Empire: Siging out, encourage someone who looks up to you and give some shout outs if possible.

T.K: Alright I will like to say a big shout out to David Crypto, Nagove, Alo Wess, Chopstick and all the comedians out there.The journey is a tough one and the road itself is not easy but once u get to the top you will appreciate all your efforts

Comedy Empire: Thank you TKay……’s been an honour hosting you.

T.K: You are welcome and thank you too. Wait, no item 13?

Comedy Empire:……….*cuts the call*

Tee Kay (L) standing tall against Lekzy De Comic (R)