What’s the earliest memory you have of your childhood and its influence on your love for the creative?
I’m the last of five children and I come from a very creative family. When I was younger my siblings and I would make home videos, sing songs, play instruments, reenact scenes from movies; it was fun. Almost everyone in my family has one creative ability or the other. My dad and sisters write, while others sing and play instruments, basically a Nigerian Vontrapp family.
Did you always know you would write and direct Musicals or did you just stumble into it?
I definitely didn’t know. I stumbled into it for sure. I have been writing for a bit, short stories, poems and my thoughts, nothing fancy. One beautiful day I was given the task by my Pastor to head the drama and dance unit. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to make it work. We started with 5 minutes skits and dance dramas. One day from no where I was inspired to write a musical. I had never officially written a song before or anything like that. I put my pen to paper, prayed and it came and it was so easy, song after song, before I knew it I had written 3 musicals in one year.
About the same time I joined a group of people to fast for 40days. The focus of our fast was for God to reveal our life’s purpose to us. There I was praying and fasting, God heard and revealed a special gift to me I never knew I had.
Who has had the most positive influence in your life up until this point? How have they influenced you?
My Family and my faith. My family because they never give up, irrespective of what they face, they usual come out stronger. They are hard workers and they always find the good in everything. My faith because it’s my core and center. God is my inspiration and the bible is my instruction manual, my entire life is directed by his word.
At what point in your life did you realize you had to bring your works to light?
After I finished writing my first script. It had 11 songs in it and it was about Hosea. I read it and I just knew I had to bring it to life on the big stage and share it with the world.
So you have been using the TWB Platform for your presentations any plans to take it to the big screen?
TWB has been an amazing training ground, the most amazing people go there. I have learnt a lot and it has provided an amazing platform. With respect to taking it to the big screen, I recently set up a production company that intends to do that and much more. It’s work in progress
Tell us about your recent award
The house of freedom is the parent body of my church, and they have an annual award/gala night. I was surprised to be nominated because most of the awardees were just simply amazing. I got an award for creativity and shared it with my group (Expressions) because they made it all happen. It was an awesome experience, makes me want to do more.
What’s been your greatest challenge?
Greatest challenge has been thinking small, mentally inhibiting myself and putting a cap on my abilities. Recently I have learnt to trust God and work really hard, trust me it’s easy to get lazy when you are driven by your own deadlines, you just keep pushing it back. Now I’m aware that God has come that I might have life and have it abundantly so the sky is the beginning. I’m pretty excited about what the future holds.
Vanilla or Strawberry? Which would you go for and why?
Vanilla. Cause its simple and can go with anything.
Pain or Pleasure? Which would you go for and why?
Pleasure. I’m at my best when I’m happy.
Money or love? Which would you go for and why?
Love. I’m a helpless romantic, love they say conquers all. Plus love has a way of making you oblivious of your issues and challenges.
Loads of young men out there wondering about this beautiful director, so are you taken?
LOL, I’m single.
Take us through a typical day in the life of Shayo Oke
I have a 9-5 for now so, wake up, devotional, exercise, work, home, exercise, devotional, emails and calls, sleep, wake up in the middle of the night to write, sleep and then the circle begins again. Trust me this is when I don’t have a project I’m working on, when I do it gets more intense.
Any words for aspiring creative people like you?Go for it, there is someone out there that needs your work, and if its just for that one person, its worth it a thousand times over.
Click to watch one of Shayo's works - The Love Triangle