I have made more fortune since I left Lagos Television for YouTube—Segun Adisa aka Baba Labe Orun + How he became famous on YouTube

Chief Segun Adisa of Labe-OrunTV with YouTube Partner Operations Manager, Bulut Can

Chief Segun Adisa aka Baba Labe Orun is a
veteran Radio-Television presenter of over three decades in Nigeria. His show ‘Labe Orun’ (Strange but True) has
viewers across the world. Many years ago the show was very prominent on Murhi International Television—MITV—Lagos before an old sponsor Yemkem International fell out with the
producer and the program was finally moved to Lagos State Television (LTV8) where it attracted more cult
followership and made a tremendous come-back. It got the same evening belt it
got on MITV and many Nigerians were
always rushing home on Sunday evenings to watch the show which records bizarre happenings
in the society. The program equally drew several top notch advertisers who
struggled to get their products advertised on the show. However, last year
August, the show was suddenly removed from the airwaves courtesy LTV-8
management and many couldn’t lay hands on reasons for the yanking of the
popular program. However, as LTV lost the viewership base of Labe Orun on the terrestrial platform, the show’s YouTube channel gained
new entry with over fifteen thousand subscribers tripping in.
Early last week, during a YouTube
know-how-to-do-more seminar in Lagos, Chief
Segun Adisa was the cynosure of many
eyes as his channel was confirmed as a ‘Bronze Channel’ on YouTube. The two
days event (July 24th and 25th) had him and legion of
many young YouTubers in attendance. Your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter
blog, Asabeafrika spoke with him on
Tuesday evening after the seminar at Landmark Event Center—Lagos. He told us
the story of his rise from an analogue journalist to a digital journalist.
Enjoy the excerpts.

We just finished a 2 days YouTube seminar in Lagos, Nigeria. As a Television veteran who crossed into the YouTube technology, how do you feel as a

The GDA meets Baba Labe-Orun, Chief Segun Adisa after the seminar @ Landmark

I am not a
veteran because I am still learning; I am up coming. I still want to learn more,
that’s why I am here. I gained a lot plus what I have learnt before. I am a
knowledge seeking person. Like this same time last year, August to be precise,
I was in Delaware, United States of America. I attended
three Google/YouTube seminars, workshops
and so on. So, anywhere they say there is a seminar, no matter how much I have
done on the channel, I believe I will still get one or two in terms of
additional knowledge and add to what I already have because there is no end to
knowledge acquisition.

Baba Labe-Orun raising his hand for a question during a class session

The moment you think that you have acquired enough
knowledge, even if you are alive, you are dead because you will remain stagnant
and you won’t be able to move forward. You can be a young person but the moment
you think you are saturated in terms of knowledge acquisition, that is the end.
And even if you are as old as Methuselah,
once you have the energy and your health is very sound, nothing stops you from acquiring
more knowledge. There is no end to it.

A lot of people feel you are the
oldest student at this seminar, how do you feel mingling with young people?

The GDA & Chief Segun Adisa among many other students @ Anna Gradil’s Content Development Class

The same
thing happened in the US. I don’t
feel bad at all; it enables you to learn more. In fact you learn more when you
are amidst younger people than when you are with people of the same age bracket.
Your Show ‘Labe Orun’ has achieved the Bronze
status with over 10, 000 subscriber base and you are considered as one of
the leading stars on YouTube platform
in Sub Sahara Africa. How do you feel?

The GDA of Asabe Afrika TV, YouTube Partner Operations Manager, Bulut Can & Chief Segun Adisa of Labe-OrunTV after a two hours session in Bulut’s business class

We are
actually approaching 15,000 subscribers.
What does it translates to in terms
of revenue and mileage across the globe?
See, this
thing is not about money per se; just like one of our instructors said, what
you must have first is the passion. Don’t look at the aspect of revenue. If you
put revenue first, you may not get there and even if you get there, you won’t
be where you supposed to be in terms of rating. Put passion first because this YouTube thing, to me, I won’t deceive
anybody is harder than pushing a wheel barrow in the market. You know when you
are pushing a wheel barrow, depending on the weight of the load in that wheel
barrow, it will be pushing you back as well as you try to push it forward. So,
this one is harder; unless you are determined and you are resilient. How you
can one be determined and resilient is through the passion that you have
already created in you, that passion will never let you say ‘die’.

The eldersly Baba Labe-Orun among a group of Young People inside Bulut Can’s class during the seminar

You will
just want to continue. Fine, there is nothing bad in getting tired. But getting
tired does not mean you are going to withdraw. I remember in my days in
secondary school, I did fine arts. In fact in my WAEC then, I scored A1
in fine art. Do you know what our teacher used to tell us then? We call that
teacher ‘Baba Oyo’ then, he will say ‘when you are drawing something maybe
still, live or something, the moment you start feeling
dizzy’ and you will see it yourself that you are not getting this
things right again, the next thing you do is that you should leave that thing
there, walk out. Take a cool breeze, if possible, go and take a nap. Sleep for
like 5-10 minutes; refresh your brain, because our brains do get tired. When
you come back, you are now going to see a lot of errors which you did not see
earlier on because of the boredom. So, the same thing happens here. A lot of
things I have done and that I am still doing online and on YouTube and other platforms, I think I do more than 80% of it by

You don’t mean it, sir?

The GDA with Chief Segun Adisa @ the YouTube Academy Seminar in Lagos

I mean it, I
do them by myself. They told us something in the seminar in Delaware but unfortunately none of our
instructors mentioned that here; they said ‘learn
how to hover your cursor on your channel’.
You mean there is wisdom in doing
Yes, just be
dragging it round because a lot of things are hidden there, unless your cursor
discovers it. Some people will tell you that they don’t know how to put in
their channel trailer, it is not written there. But when you continue to hover
your cursor, it will pop up. And you will be like ‘ooh, this is where you are hiding!’ So, you must learn how to
hover your mouse and some you will be familiar with the several technicalities.
A lot of people will never believe
you are this techno-savvy; many people have a view of you as one old back
street man with an opportunity to be on Television?

Chief Segun Adisa raises a point in the class as others listen

Well, I am
not. It is when you start playing with your cursor that you will now say ‘Haa, so this is how it is done?’; You
can’t destroy the computer, you can’t, at worst the computer may shot down but
you cannot destroy it. Then, in this our old era a lot of things are fast
changing. Most of the things we are being taught in the last two days are good
for us. It is good we are mixing together to learn new things but a lot of
these things you can even search for them on Google, you can learn how to do it on Google by yourself and you will see it there but most of our people
are very lazy.

Chief Segun Adisa in a Class session with other YouTubers

Then, when you are on your channel and you reach a particular
page where they wrote ‘Learn more’. They may just write
one line and they will highlight ‘Learn more’. Most people turn away
when they get to that place; but there is a line there and they wrote ‘Learn
. If you click that ‘Learn more’, you may end up having
ten pages hidden under that ‘Learn more’. People should
cultivate the idea of clicking on the ‘Learn More’. People that put it
there that you should ‘Learn more’ know what they are
doing. So, you must take advantage of it and learn more. Always learn to task
your curiosity and task your brain as well.

Let’s talk about your program—Labe Orun, since you left MITV and moved to LTV 8 and later left LTV 8 under some
interesting circumstances, majority of your viewers have stopped watching those
TV station and today your program on
YouTube has garnered close to 15,000 subscribers and earning you a Bronze tag on
the global platform of
YouTube. Can you share the circumstances that led to your exit from LTV 8 with us because there were divided
opinion about your exit, while some said you were owing the television station
huge monies, others said the station fired you because of your presence and
success on

Chief Segun Adisa of Labe-OrunTV with Ms Adeshola Komolafe of OakTV

I wouldn’t
say much about that, I will just say that the bottom line of the whole issue is
a situation where some people want to reap where they did not sow especially
these government officials. They don’t know where you are coming from, they are
stagnant, and they are antiquated. They don’t want to task their brains, they
believe in rocking round town. Gbenga, we have spent two days here
now, some of our other colleagues are in town rocking life all over, drinking
and just playing around. But, look at the knowledge we have acquired since

Chief Segun Adisa explaining a point to Anna Gradil after first session in her class asthe GDA and others looks on

A lot have been achieved. So, when you now put all these things into
practice they will now say ‘haa, haa, how
’; So, they relied on all these ‘thirty
days-make-one-pay schemes’. But for
somebody like me that voluntarily dropped my resignation letter in March 1998
on Radio NigeriaIbadan, I knew what I was doing, I knew where I was going. So, it
is not now that anybody will now make me feel inferior. Then, my salary was not
up to Ten Thousand Naira o, so, if I
could leave (Radio Nigeria) at that time when I was not all this known, to the
glory of God, my children were still very, very small, so what will scare me
now? And to God be the glory, unto this moment I am speaking with you,
honestly, honestly, I have every course to thank God.

Your program recently re-surfaced on
NTA 10 Tejuosho and it appears that the station intentionally brought you back
on television to renew their terrestrial viewership?

L-R; Mr. Olugbenga Adeoye, YouTube Online Partnership Manager, Anna Gradil & Chief Segun Adisa of Labe-OrunTV

Let me be
honest with you, it was one of our clients, a loyal client that said ‘look, Baba, my own product would not sell
online. So, I will go and pay and you will do our own (editions) for us’
You know when somebody likes you or loves your talent, you will know. So, about
two or three of them came together and insisted that look, ‘we won’t disturb you from your online thing but we are benefiting
from the traditional TV and you must help us’
. So, basically, it is NTA and our clients that are benefiting
from the program now. I must confess to you, it is a kind of distraction to my
online activities. Because as I produce for my online, I have to equally
produce for them too and my audience online…aaah, I can’t toy with them,
because these are a brand of people that you cannot just toy with because they
are spread around the world. Just like they told us here (at the seminar) that
they are second generation of Nigerians (and Africans) scattered all over the

The GDA & Baba Labe-Orun during the analytic session of the 5 hours YouTube Academy Seminar

There was a day I discovered that ‘ok, they said 5 top countries under
the demography on my analytic watch Labe
. They (YouTube team) will put up only the 5 top countries, maybe US, UK,
Nigeria, Canada, when you drop it down-down you find more interesting facts.
The day I dropped it down, I now saw that the program is being watched in 36
countries of the world, that means despite the fact that the program is a Yoruba program, most of our videos are
not yet sub-titled, but because there is no country in this world, there is no
continent in this world you will not find a Yoruba
man or woman, the program picked up and reached those countries. And thank God,
one of those things that I have learnt here today is that the system can even
help you to sub-title. I think you saw the lecture in our first session this

Yes, sir, by our male instructor
Bulut Can?

The GDA meets Chief Segun Adisa aka Baba Labe-Orun

Yes, just
click it and it will work; that you have access to about 76 languages across
the world. So, what do you want again? Technology has helped us to advance more
in our daily endeavor and creativity. As we are speaking now, we are speaking English; If I click the sub-title bar it
will go into French, Arabic, and Swahili etc; whereas, originally, I spoke in English. So, we should all try to key into technological
advancement. It pays, it pays; it pays. Another thing we are enjoying on our
channel is the fact that the stories in our archives are timeless. They are not
dated; they can never expire because they are for self and moral education,
enlightenment and even entertainment. And that is why we said ‘there is nothing new under heavenko s’ohun
titun l’abe orun’

Chief Segun Adisa with Teju Ajani, Head, YouTube Content Partnership

Definitely, all these stories are there for life, the
experience and educational purpose is there for life and they are still
happening till date. Take for example the Holy
and the Holy Bible, all the
things that happened then, in the Bible
and the Holy Quran, they are still
happening till date. It is the same thing. It is the same thing. So, the most
important thing now is to be techno savvy and not be outdated. What we do now
from our studio, my own is just to re-narrate the story fresh and bring in the
content. Of course, we still take new stories o, new stories keeps breaking
every day and you can never stop that, we have a bank of new stories. When you
narrate it newly and you upload it, it becomes an exclusive story because
nobody can claim to have ever seen it on any social media before; unlike now,
if anything happens on the street here now, in the next one hour it has gone
viral, you will see it on Whats-app, Face
book and other platforms. That does not happen to our stories except the ones
we shared by ourselves. So, there is high level of exclusivity and that is what
drives the traffic and viewership.

Can we say you are richer online in
terms of income than the terrestrial lane—TV?
Well, I
don’t know the definition of your being rich o
Let’s put money as the mark, do you
make more money than when you were paying for air time on Television Stations?

The GDA with Chief Segun Adisa @ YouTube Academy Seminar

No, no, no. Gbenga, you see, I don’t want to be rich
and I don’t think I am rich because there is a wall of difference between being
rich and being wealthy, ok. When you are rich, it is for you alone, but when
you are wealthy, it is for your generation yet unborn and these may not be in
terms of Naira and Kobo. This kind of channel now, do you
think no matter how old I am, even if I cannot record anything anymore or I if
I get so old and passes on, do you think YouTube
will stop paying money?
Never sir, because the contents will
always be there for posterity
They will
continue to pay the money because the subscribers will continue to grow,
because it has gotten to a level where it (Labe
channel) grows on its own now. The moment you have 1000 subscribers, if you know what you
are doing, it has to go on. Not to talk of 10,000,
not to talk of 15,000, not to talk of
20,000 and it becomes auto-pilot. So,
I don’t know why our people are so stagnant, they don’t want to move with the
time and the tides. See, I love to be in the midst of younger people like this.
Look at all our instructors; they are all young-young girls and young boys from Europe.
Right now the tidal waves of online
television platforms like
YouTube seems to be hitting the traditional media, in fact two weeks ago we saw
a Lagos based television station asking for the service of a ‘freelance
receptionist’. As an online practitioner, do you think the traditional media
will become obsolete with time because many of their staffers are now being

Chief Segun Adisa of Labe-OrunTV, GDA of Asabe AfrikaTV & Ms Adesola Komolafe of OakTV

Why would
they not be sacked? This is as a result of being stagnant. I wouldn’t like to
mention stations but I know, except Channels Television, and this is
because Channels TV is owned by a focused entrepreneur. I don’t know of
any other channel today that can boast of 5000 subscribers.
You mean on YouTube?
Yes, on YouTube. And these are the people that
will be crying that adverts are no longer coming in; and big advertisers prefer
to send their adverts to Google;
then, the local advertisers who will be paying peanuts cannot sustain the
stations. There are some (TV) stations that have now gone back to half a day
transmission from 4pm to 11pm just like the olden days. That is a sign of
fading off. I know how many people were laid off, here, I want to be specific,
I know how many people were laid off recently, maybe between the months of
February and now on Lagos Television
You mean despite the subvention from
government, LTV 8 could still lay off staffs?

The GDA with Chief Segun Adisa & other YouTubers during a celebration mood at YouTube Academy


Yes, a
government station and I read some of their letters and it was stated that
‘because we could not afford your salaries’
Quite sad, sir
Because the
understanding was that ‘maybe the government will support with certain amount
of the running cost, you know they give them annual subvention and they should
raise the rest from advertisement; when they could not raise anything…
(Cuts in) Maybe a 60-40 or 70-30
thing between the government and the station’s marketing department?
Oho, oho,
and they are the one killing themselves. Ok, look, with all these petty-petty
and envy thing and all the rest, how do you grow? When our program (Labe
was there, I can’t remember any month, any month at all that we
won’t give them between three hundred
and four hundred thousand Naira.
You mean in a month, and from your
advertisement schedule?
But they said the GM, Mr. Deji
Balogun said you were owing money and that was one of the reasons he yanked off
the program on LTV 8 while you were away in America?

The GDA with Mr. Deji Balogun, ex-Lagos TV General Manager

Why did he
do that while I was in USA?
Some gists said he found it
convenient doing so while you were away while others said he simply ditched
your program because you were making a hell of success on YouTube and he felt very bad about it?
healthily before reacting), everybody knows that quite so well, even from my
days on MITV, even before I got to MITV, I have been investing many-many
years overseas. As we speak now, in few months time, I will be off to the United States. And since I came back from my last trip to the US when the program was stopped (on LTV
8) I have gone to the UK twice and France once. Not only myself, even with
my wife. And the program has been stopped. So, where is the money coming from?
Maybe from your ingenuity
That is what
they don’t know.
I think the major pain according to
sources who spoke to us last year was the success you were making on

Chief Segun Adisa with the GDA at the YouTube Academy Seminar

Well, the YouTube thing contributed a lot to it.
You see there was a flimsy excuse given to me, that an aggrieved, old sponsor
said we were abusing him on the program; and the person now reported to a
politician whose name was not mentioned in front of the PS (Permanent
Secretary). So, I was just laughing. So, those were the excuses given (By Mr.
Deji Balogun). Ok, ok, if you say we owe you, who does not owe? I know of a client
that was owing the station at that time up to N13 million; as at the time our
program was stopped, I think it was stopped around August 2016, this is a
program that gives you about eight to ten million Naira in a year. As at the
time it was stopped, we have paid you more than six million (Naira). If you are
a good business man, would you stop such a program?
No sir that could be suicidal?
And on the
day I was traveling, that very day, 13th of June, I still gave them
a cheque of N600, 000, which was cleared and paid into their account. I won’t
pay from my pocket anyway; it is when the clients pay me that I will remit the
money to them. So, I don’t know where lies their own business acumen, they are
not business oriented people, they are ‘thirty
You mean ‘Thirty-Days-Make-One-Pay’

The GDA & Chief Segun Adisa sharing fun at Anna Gradil’s class

Oh yes, and
this is a position I left way back 1998 willingly. So, where are they today?
Where are they today? Ok, after leaving LTV, to God is the glory, I still
acquired a property worth millions (of Naira) in Lekki (New elite suburb of Lagos State). I am just telling you this
as a young friend. For me, I don’t like blowing my trumpet. I always go on my
own jeje.
So, in the long run they are the ones
who missed a good opportunity to grow their viewers’ base?
Well, I
wouldn’t say. I wouldn’t say. Like they used to say ‘it is only God that cannot
be replicated, human beings no matter how great can be replicated’; so, I
wouldn’t see myself as being indispensable so to say.
But millions of your viewers are
missing the program because it is a rare content

Chief Segun Adisa with Ms Teju Ajani, Head, YouTube Content Partnership

But the
thing is that it has done a lot of good to our online channel, because people
at home here (Nigeria) who are so passionate about the program were forced to
go and subscribe online. So, the subscriber base skyrocketed, immediately he
(Deji Balogun) stopped the program. So, I was just laughing in the US because I
was looking at everything. I said ‘this thing is good o’. So, the day I met him
when we went to Permanent Secretary’s office, I said ‘Ha, Mr. Deji, thank you very
. You have done so well’. He
taught I meant the other way round but I meant it from the bottom of my heart
because he taught he slighted me but he upgraded me, he didn’t know.
Is he still the GM at LTV 8?
Well, I
learnt he has been transferred to the secretariat
You mean he
was redeployed to Alausa secretariat?
Yeah, he has
been moved from LTV to Alausa.
That’s quite interesting. Kindly give
us a brief of your humble self?
I am from Ibadan. I am from Oderinlo family of Ibadan. There is big news pertaining to
that which I will not tell you now.
But you can tell us for exclusivity,
kindly do, sir?
No, no, no,
just tell your audience and keep them watching out for it. I will surely break
it to you soon. Just hold your peace. Couple of months from now, you will hear
from me.
Thanks for sharing your experience
with Asabeafrika
Thanks you.
Thank you. 


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