Apaokagi Adedoyin Mariam, popularly known as Taaooma wears many shoes as a skit maker and content creator. In her popular skits which has endeared her to many- with a large following of 751,00 on Instagram and 183,000 on Twitter, she either appears as Mama Taaoo, Taaooma, Baba Taaoo or Tayo, her brother. In this interview with Chiemelie Ezeobi, the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management graduate delves into the Taaooma phenomenon, which has garnered her the Best Online Comedian of the year at the Gage awards, clinched her the Top 25 Under – 30 Nigerian superstars and also made her one of Leading Ladies Africa #100woman
How did the Taaooma phenomenon begin?
Firstly, people get the spelling wrong all the time. It is Taaooma with double ‘A’ and double ‘O’. Not Taaoma or Taoma. Taaooma is an abbreviation of all my names. I decided to use the abbreviation of all my names because it was quite hard for me to find a good nickname, So I took from Mariam and Abisola as well.
What are the major influences on your choice of skits to push out
Everyday African parent-child lifestyle, African mother – child conversations and ways of life and also what happens in our general lives. (Day to Day activities). If you notice I try to infuse some trending words(footballers names etc) So people can be informed about things around them.
How rewarding has it been?
To the glory of God, it has been rewarding. And I still pray for more rewards (inshallah).
You portray a typical Nigerian mother, was your upbringing anything like that?
Special recognition to all the mothers in the whole world, training a child is not a joking something(in Mama Taaoo’s voice). Most African parents train their kids like that but without the slaps. A lot of people think this is how my mum slaps me all the time but does not know that the slap is just a SIGNATURE I have created for myself to always add to the skits(Trust me it’s that slap part everybody waits for when watching any of my skits).
My mum does not slap me like this, I just added the slap to exaggerate the humor. Some people talk about my skits supporting child abuse but do not know that the slaps are just for humor and has nothing to do with child abuse.
How many years have you been on this?
About five years now, I started 2015.
You have garnered more fans of recent with your fans comparing you with another female skit maker, how do you plan to sustain the tempo?
That’s in God’s hands, I will just keep trying my best and leave the rest in God’s hands and I do not have control over that. My fans are wonderful and I appreciate everyone of them.
Take us through the process of making a normal skit
Where should I start from (thinking)?
*Costume – If I am going to play the four roles: Taaooma (Taaoo), Iya Taaoo (Ronke). Tayo (Taaooma’s), Kunle (Baba Taaoo) in a skit for example. Iya Taaoo’s costume is constant A, I need to get a dress for Taaoo and Tayo (Taaoo’s brother), Tayo is a guy so I need to get a dress that suits a guy more and for the Dad is costume too that is constant.
*Make up – Nothing serious about this because I am not a make up person, so the only people I get to wear make up for is Tayo because he is a guy and Kunle (Baba Taaoo).
*Concepts – I develop concepts, which I mostly write down in my “story book” and ponder on it for a while. When I am feeling the story at the time I want to shoot it, I shoot, feeling it in the sense that there are so many stories I write down and when its time to shoot I don’t really feel its the best one to shoot at that time.
After shooting, I edit which can take up to five hours if I am not lazy to edit. If I am, it takes up to three days for me to finish editing a skit and then I upload.
How do you appear as different characters in a skit and still make it authentic?
It is done through an editing process called cloning. However, the characters comes easy to me whenever I am in each one’s costume and also the fact that I have experiences of both parents, it allows me to act out the characters easily.
Who is Taaooma?
Taaooma is 21 year old girl named Apaokagi Abisola Maryam. A Muslim From Kwara State. I had part of my primary school in Ilorin then I moved to Abuja before traveling to Namibia, an instagram comedian, with a God loving spirit.
Yes, I have a Bsc in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management. I graduated from Kwara State University in 2019 and currently serving in Lagos.
Any plans to act?
I have plans for my own movies in coming years which will be made under the production of The Greenade Company. So help me God. Although if I get offers in Nollywood, I will gladly take it.