Lepacious Bose: Large and In Charge: Big Lady Cracks Ribs in Accra
Story by Ololade Adewuyi for STAR Newspaper, Accra
“I don’t know why slim girls are so insecure,” she says as she pauses on the stage all the while making the audience kill itself with laughter.
Then she continues in the manner of a broken hearted girl; “He’s cheating on me, I can’t believe he’s cheating on me. What more does he want? I’ve got all it takes”. Still more laughter. Then the punch line; “Me I get three times extra, they still dey cheat”, in obvious reference to her round waist. Then the audience looses it and erupts in loud applause.
In a world where slim is the fad, Bose Ogunboye makes fat sound cool. She is not your average fat chick as she’s got a big mouth. Standing at 5’7 inches and weighing in at almost 200 pounds, she is a comedienne who knows how to throw her weight around. She rocked hearts of comedy lovers in Accra at the recently held Laugh and Rock show. Such was the power that the comedienne a.k.a Lepascious wielded over the crowd making them laugh throughout her ten-minute act.
A trained lawyer, Lepascious said in an interview with The Star that she has been doing stand up comedy since her undergraduate days at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. While no longer practising as a solicitor, she takes to the stage in the vibrant Nigerian comedy scene alongside her male colleagues like Basketmouth (who was the emcee for the event), Gordons, Malekem, and so many others.
In a business dominated by men, how does she survive? She says she decided to personalise her act to talk about her size due to “personal experiences” of hers. Some of those experiences have been less than amusing and would have weakened the faint hearted.
“As a fat person”, she explains, “I always get fat jokes thrown at me so I’d rather take it out of your mouth (audience) and say it for you to laugh”.
“I was wearing a curvaceous dress when a group of boys in the crowd started chanting H-I-P for the hip…for the hippopotamus”, she remembers thirteen years ago when she was still in college.
And did she feel embarrassed?
“For a second it was shocking. But you know the fun of stand up comedy is that you can always have a comeback. And so by the time I finished with them, the boys were all quiet and the crowd was behind me solid”.
She says it is harder for women making a head way in stand up comedy citing the sex appeal that the male comics can sell to their female audiences.
“As a woman, you need to have materials whether you’re good or not because it’s a very difficult terrain. There’s a lot of creativity required and there’s no one out there to hold your hands down the road. You have to fight your way through”.
How about her constant dissing of slim girls? Does she have anything against them?
“I have absolutely nothing against slim girls, neither am I insecure about being fat. Sometimes I just wonder what is wrong with them. They’re beautiful and gorgeous but they still feel insecure. On the other hand you see fat girls who really are comfortable with their bodies”.
Bose plans to make people laugh even into her old age.
The Laugh and Rock show brought together established funny men from Nigeria and Ghana to spice up the Independence Day celebrations. Live music was provided by Afro legend Orlando Julius and Latoya Aduke alongside the Afro Hi-Sounders. Obrafuor and Mzbel also performed to the delight of the crowd.
The show was organised by Nigeria’s comedy merchant Opa Williams of the Night of a Thousand Laughs fame for Point Blank Media.
Graduate of University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. Chief Editor, Goal.com Nigeria edition. Former Online Editor and West African Correspondent based in Ghana for TELL Magazine, Lagos. Alumnus International Institute of Journalism (INWENT), Berlin; Reuters Foundation and Agence France Presse (AFP) Foundation. Photographs published in USAToday, BBC Focus on Africa magazine, AllAfrica.com, The Guardian, ThisDay, The Punch, Showbiz and Daily Graphic (Ghana). Photos exhibited in Krakow, Poland. Nominee Journalist of the year at The Future Awards, Nigeria 2010.