Everybody respects Mandy in the comedy world. She is damn good and she has been at it for over 2 decades. Infact, this is her 25th year on stage and she plans to celebrate it big at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. She has called the show Mandy’s Silver Linning. It comes up on Sunday April 9th, 2017.
She deserves to celebrate it big. Mandy is Nigeria’s 1st female comedienne. Last week, she spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about her career.
How do feel celebrating 25 years on stage
I am super excited, I am happy and greatful to God for bringing me this far. I am praying for another 25 yrs soon
When you were in school did you plan to go into comedy.
No. I never thought of comedy. I studied Political Science. I wanted to become my local government chairwoman, and move on to the House of Assembly, House of reps, Senate and maybe become Nigerians 1st female president. Well I am Nigerians 1st comedienne. Gods design
How did you get involved?
It all started 25yrs ago on the Charly Boy Show. From the CharlyBoy Show I went for Girls Nite Out, an all female event organized by Smooth Production. Hip hop world. That show was the 1st time Nigerians saw a female comedienne. After that show till date, despite lots of ups and downs, I never looked back.
Tell us about Mandy. Where was she born?
Mandy is the 4child of Philip and Philomena Uzonitsha, from Asaba, Delta State but my mum is from Warri. When she wanted to give birth to me she went to stay with her mum in Warri. Thus I was born in Warri and my mum later took me back to Benin because my dad at that time was the Administrative Manager with Guinness Benin. I attended New Era College but when my dad retired from Guinness Benin, we moved back to Asaba and I attended St Bridget College Asaba. I later attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Is Mandy your real name?
Mandy is the short form of Amanda. I have being using Mandy all my life. Sometimes I don’t remember my name is Amanda My names are Amanda Toria Uzonitsha.
Did your parents support Comedy?
My parents did not support comedy. I tell people I am from a family of lawyers and I was sent to study Political Science because of my cut off marks, they were like next year you will change to read lawyer. So you can imagine the shock for them when in my second year in the University I started working with Charly Boy. My brother, they did not find it funny. Even my mum a warri woman was like, you must put a stop to this nonsense. In fact my mums favorite swaying was, we’re did I go wrong with this child.
Mandy married or still single?
Mandy is happily divorced. I say happily because I am a much more better person now. My marriage did not last because of certain factors. Before I was bitter because nobody plans to marry and the next thing you are thinking of is packing out, Even ladies that marry ugly men, them still dey manage stay. I might remarry soon, when the economy is better because of EFCC and the economy we no sabi men way get money again
How do you see the Comedy industry today?
The industry is way better, We now have the internet helping comediennes with their dreams. We have comediennes of all ages etc, Emmanuella the kid comedienne. We even have Chinyere, the oldest female comedienne, way back na only NTA, Fame magazine and City People mag. If you are not good they won’t even talk about you.
The industry is growing. The journey is slow but I am sure soon we can boast of close to 30 to 50 comedienne. If companies use us as brand ambassador you will see parents directing their kids to become a comedienne. You will start hearing stories like this my daughter funny die. But since we are not even brand ambassador of pure water the industry for females will still be slow
Who are your contemporaries?
When I started it was Ali baba, the late Mohammed Dajuma, Alambow etc
How have you stayed relevant?
The God factor. His grace and favour surround me and also my motto is, be the underdog. No mater what, don’t over hype your brand. When you make so much noise about your brand and people watch you and go, that comedian is not funny, you are finished. Wow your audience. I make it a habit to make my audience want more that after each event I get close to 10 more event so every week Mandy is working and no noise. So when someone watch me for the 1st time is my God you are very funny please I have this event and on and on it goes.