By Olaiya Tolufashe
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I have a confession to make and it's coming straight from a contrite heart.

About this time, I think two years ago, we had just finished an event (I think the first edition of the Hip Hop World Awards) in Muson Centre, Lagos, and I walked up to ace comedian, Ali Baba just before we headed for the After Party.

A year before, I had spoken with Ali Baba on phone asking for an interview appointment, which he rightfully declined because of some things I think were his personal, and it should be respected. So, I keep that off Me & My GSM. I wrote him, though after the decline trying to let him see things the way I see it, and meeting him was to confirm he actually got my letter.

“Yes I did get it, Ali Baba said gleefully, “You said some things about it being your personal opinion and all that…”

That showed he truly got it. But it still didn't change his mind.

“My brother,” he said, patting me on the back, “it's nothing personal. I can't just change my mind. I don't think I am ever going to.” Then, he excused himself to speak to some other waiting persons…”

Well, one dark, very slim, young man stood near him. He obviously eavesdropped on Ali Baba and I. he was Ali Baba's PA.

Our eyes met and he shrugged. The look on my face must have told him I wanted him to intervene. “He has said his mind,” he regretted, “and I don't think he'll change it.”

Then he dipped his hand in his pocket. Gave me his own complementary card. I am into events he said, and I am also a comedian. If Ali Baba doesn't want interviews, I want as many as I can get now.”

His card read: AY EVENTS. Simply that.

I shrugged. Reluctantly took the card from him. Knowing I was never going to call him for any interviews. And when I got home I made sure I kept the card in a place I won't find it.

After some months, I started hearing of a certain Ay that was once Ali Baba's PA making waves around town. Later my friend Azuh Amatus wrote about him, and I read his interviews in Newspapers and magazines.

Foolish me, I actually gave this guy no chance and look at him now. He's got his own event, AY live, and has successfully hosted the first edition turning movie stars to stand-up comedians. He has his show, the AY live show, that I'm proud to say is topping the chart of comedy shows in the country right now. And now airwaves are busy with promos of an anticipated AY show, 2008.

I was unfair in my thoughts about him, wasn't I?

So, featuring AY on Me & MY GSM won't 'cleanse my sins' but it's, certainly, a way of making up for my seemingly debasing mentality.

His views are chiefly about…

My wife and my GSM

She picks my phone but I really have a problem with her reading my SMS. And we have discussed it. She is as emotional as I am so I always tell her that I cannot be held liable for incoming SMS because people are bound to express themselves towards me. So if you fight me today because of a text message somebody sent to me, I won't be a happy man. But fine, you can put me in the dock, you can make me an accused person when you go to my 'sent folder' and you see the kind of messages there.

Then you can castigate me, you can make me pay the price but don't ever fight me for anybody saying, 'I love you.' Or anybody who is saying, 'I love what you do, can we hook up?'

You can't come and ask me who is this person that is saying, 'Can we hook up?' how should I explain it? What you should be asking me is 'Did you hook up with this person or not?'

She is even used to people calling me at odd hours because of the nature of my job. And there are times I really want to make her know the value of her husband I put my phone on 'speaker' and allow the people to talk so that she'll hear. I think that is good for her so that she will know that I am hot cake.

I don't pick her calls

Apart from the fact that I trust my wife, apart form the fact that I know the kind of person that she is before we came together and decided to become one, I don't have to do it. It is none of my business.

I don't need to start investigating her to know the kind of person she is. I must have investigated her before saying 'Yes, I do.' The moment you start probing into her affairs and she starts probing into your affairs, you will definitely find something. If you are not finding your man cheating on you, you will find out that he his giving money to somebody … issues like that.

That is not an excuse for people like me in the entertainment industry misbehave but we have followers – Male and female. So the best thing to do, you take of your business, I take care of my business.

On my wallpaper

Before now, it was my wife. Now it's my baby girl. My wife has been chanced. There was a time it was my show – The Ay Show. At some point, madam took over from the Show, and now somebody has taken over from madam. Her name is Adeola, Folashade Mitchell Makun. She is just barely three weeks old.

Text messages I won't delete

Those from fans. Sometimes, some of them make your day.

I can jut be in the office and I am worried about sponsors not forth coming. The show on TV is not taking me to the right direction. I am not having any financial benefit. And the next thing my phone beeps and I go through my message and somebody somewhere saying, 'Ay I love what you do. My family my daughter my wife, we follow your show and you always make us happy. May God bless you for what you do.'

Form that point I just spring back from worry to work. And I keep such SMS. So when I see myself going down, I go through my phone and read through again…


“Some [comedians] are born great, Shakesphere says, “some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. I think AY falls into the three categories.

On Sunday March 16, the AY Live will be held at the Muson Centre, and it would be some kind of time for us to meet again where we first met.

The venue itself will bring back memories of a PA turned a leading Stand-Up comedian, TV Presenter and event planner.

It won't be a night to exchange complementary cards; it would be an evening to seat relax, and watch Dj Jimmy Jatt do Live Video Mixes, and watch live on stage, my favorute 'Who Wants to be a Billionaire.

It's also going to be a night I would have so many wraps of Buttermint, hopefully to refresh my breath as I would tell someone seated by me how I have had applied knowledge on the fact that where you are is not as important as where you are going, and like some stout drinks, that there's a drop of greatness in everyman…

See you at AY Live!