Spotlighting Creatives (Episode 4): Rae-Timzy

4:32 pm, 14th of June 2023. It was the first time I saw a skit made by Rae-Timzy’s familiar face. Ordinarily, it takes a lot for skits to make me laugh, but that day, my body betrayed me, shaking, and trembling with laughter at the skit’s hilarity. It was the sort of laughter my mother did not have in mind when she asked me to laugh occasionally at my dad’s dry jokes.  It was the kind of laughter that possesses people, laying firm grips on their core, cascading into another burst of mirth like an unending chain reaction; The kind of laughter that is mischievous, drawing you in, riding on your emotions, only granting you freedom when it has run its course. This laughter was a ripple, a wave, then a tidal surge, bringing tears to my eyes. 

It’s even more hilarious because, in person,  Rae rarely makes statements to deliberately draw laughter. 80% of his statements are things everyone reading this article can relate to. But that’s Rae Timzy for you, funny even without trying to be. Chances are that you’ve seen one or two of his skits before and laughed as hard as I did.

Rae’s real name is Akinbile Timilehin and he is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Ibadan. Speaking with me, he talks about how he initially got into UI as a Biochemistry student and then switched to Medicine in his second year after accumulating an outstanding 4.0 CPGA which made him eligible to cross. In his words, “Crossing to MBBS is not an incredible feat in itself. It is the journey of being exceptional, hardworking in your studies and meeting like-minded amazing individuals who’ll encourage you in achieving your goals that is the most fun”. He quickly adds that if he hadn’t crossed, he would have pursued his biochemistry degree without trying for MBBS a second time.

Asked about the origin of the name, ‘Rae Timzy”, he explains that the ‘Rae’ comes from the name of the American hip-hop duo, Rae Sremmurd; who themselves got that from the backward spelling of ‘Drummers ear’, while ‘Timzy” comes from his name, Timilehin, making it a reasonable suffix.  I also couldn’t help but notice that he bears a striking resemblance to Oluwo ‘Dee’ Damilare, a 300-level dentistry student. Dee and Rae are like real-life manifestations of  Doppelgangers and apparently, it’s a resemblance he is also aware of.

Rae and Dee; doppelgangers!

The chocolate-skin comedy genius is a vital player in this new wave of comedy that is mostly unoffensive, relatable and evokes wholesome emotions; like worn-in slippers or the soft pyjamas you wear before sleep.  You might be familiar with this wave, one spearheaded by fresh acts like Layiwasabi, and Gilmore, and established acts like Sabinus, Josh2funny and Lasisi. As our conversation heads towards his hobbies, he comments that he has always enjoyed watching skits and the process of skit-making. That was what led him down his current path.

However, in describing the genesis of his skit-making journey, he doesn’t mention the ‘usual’ names.  “One of the first skit makers that inspired me a lot was a popular skit maker back in 2020; Femi Uche, popularly known as iamspreado”. Rae later met iamspreado – now a first-class Civil Engineering graduate of UI – on campus and took him as a mentor. His very first skit had come in 2018 and was based on a joke iamspreado made. It gained traction on WhatsApp then, and as a result, he was able to make 3 videos throughout that year that did fairly well. In 2019, he had a decline, making only 2 videos. However, that decline didn’t last long and in 2020, he quadrupled his numbers; putting out 8 videos.

In these three years, most of the skits he put out were pun-edies (A punedy is a genre of skits that involves the use of puns to make jokes). He mentions how he almost gave up on putting videos out. “After the 2020 break, I made a pun-edy skit that in my opinion didn’t do as well as I would have wanted, so I gave up on making videos until during one class, a fan called me by the name of (one of) my pun jokes unexpectedly. I then realised how much my jokes had impacted others”.  Some people commented that his jokes made them laugh during the lockdown, some were inspired, and a few others actively tried to imitate his style. As a result, he got the inspiration to make more videos.

Surprisingly, Rae Timzy has also done stand-up comedy before; a total of 7 times, to be exact. Twice at a BAMSSA event, at Biochemistry and Pharmacy events, the Faculty of Agriculture’s Tree Club, Architecture, and at the MBBS 2k23 Mental Health Talk. Most of his jokes were pun-related and unscripted.

These days, Rae Timzy actively writes his scripts, especially because his videos are now more narrative. He seldom shoots his videos in school, unless they need a particular location, and more often than not, he goes home to shoot his videos.  This is mostly because he needs silence to concentrate and also because of the familiar hands he works with at home. “I am already used to certain people shooting for me and I wouldn’t want anyone to hear what I’m working on before releasing it because the walls here are porous”. I am sure many creatives can relate to this. I’ve had conversations with podcasters, singers (especially those in the UCH Sinfonia), tiktokers, and musicians especially, who have had this same issue. Some have even expressed their wish for a padded room at the end of a select floor in the Alexander Brown Hall which could be dedicated to people looking to practise their singing, instruments (especially loud ones like the electric guitar, trumpet, cello, etc) and so on; even if they have to pay a token.

On balancing med school with skit-making, Rae Timzy says he still finds it relatively easy because he manages his time effectively. Although, he is not shooting as many videos as he wants, most times he shoots about three to four videos in a day and edits that day as well, so that he doesn’t miss out on much in school. He noted that, in the long run, combining med school with skit-making may become very challenging, at which point he’d take a break from either of them to focus on one.

“Do what makes you happy and share with the world consistently if only you want to.”

When asked how he feels when he meets fans who like his videos, he noted that he is always enthralled, and humbled by the attention. “People compliment me often for my comedic genius and it makes me feel like I am indeed making a difference in people’s lives, albeit small”. Speaking of fans, he enthusiastically opined that his greatest fan is his mum. Every time he shoots a video and posts, his mum always reposts, laughs heartily at his jokes and shows her friends what her son does. This act is not only supportive but truly heartwarming to see.

When Rae Timzy started making skits, he had about 1.6k followers on Instagram and the number stayed in that range up until he started medical-related content. However, his most popular video; ‘the MDCN video’ pushed this following to about 6k followers. Rae soon mentions that his other social media handles on Twitter and Facebook are doing fairly well and that his rise in popularity has led to him getting brand deals and advertising opportunities. So, if you’ve been looking for a creative way to advertise your business, Rae Timzy might just be your guy.

Rae Timzy in his skit-making element


To end my interview with Rae Timzy – and after so many jokes and bants –  I asked if he regrets being known as a funny guy, if it affects people’s ability to take him seriously and how it has affected his relationships. To this, he says, “I am a funny guy. I  genuinely enjoy making people smile so when people refer to me as funny, I am not offended by it”.  Also, most people do take him seriously when he’s not making puns or cracking jokes. “Entertainment aside, Rae Timzy is a pretty serious guy. However, there is a certain expectation of me to always be fun and entertaining with any group of people, especially strangers”.  With his friends though, being jovial comes naturally.

As a bit of parting advice, especially for shy babes like me who want to become more serious/popular on socials, Rae Timzy says to ‘do what makes you happy and share with the world consistently only if you want to’. Like William Shakspeare once wrote, This above all, to thy own self be true… and it must follow as night follows day, thou canst not then be false to any man”.

Okei Faith

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