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We need to upgrade now!-----AY

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• Stand-up Comedian AY advices colleagues • Plans white wedding for November

Whenever the comedy industry in Nigeria is mentioned, the name Ayo Makun, otherwise known as AY definitely would receive good mention. The Youngman who rose from near obscurity to occupy the enviable position he now finds himself is definitely one of Nigeria's finest humour merchants. Though he carved his niche in the fun hawking trade by mimicking the oratory prowess of Rev. Chris Okotie , he says its time he and his colleagues upgraded the act of what has come to be known as the Nigerian comedy. He spoke to http://nollywoodgists.com on this and many other issues. ENJOY.

Comedy in Nigeria.
COMEDY, is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country right now. Like the saying. To whom much is given, much is expected. In as much as comedians are putting efforts to give their very best. People on the other hand are expecting to receive something better than what usually obtains.

There is need for us to do more research before we go before any audience. This will not only help us remain relevant to the game, but will present us in the eyes of our fans as very serious minded people.
Being a good stand-up comedian goes beyond your creativity and talent, what makes you a complete brand is your total package.

That way, your audience does not only enjoy themselves by getting real value for their money, you also make them feel at home with your jokes.
Personal efforts
Research is the bottom line. We all had our moment when the much needed breaks came. I, for instance had my break by mimicking Rev. Chris Okotie. But I have learnt that over time people will expect me to go beyond that.
In the light of this I am always on the internet, that you would want to think that I am a “yahoo boy”. I can be on the net from morning till night. I crave to know what is happening all over the world.I am consistently taking advantage of what I find on the internet, that can be turned around to be funny. Comedy has gone beyond telling stories and creating punch lines that will make people laugh.

We should not only be relevant with our jokes, but also hinge them on contemporary issues in the country, such as lapses in governance.We shold bring humour out of them. People will laugh quality laugh, because it is something they can relate with.
There is a way we can balance these jokes that they would not sound ridiculous.
Comedy industry?
There is no comedy industry. Many at times, our very senior colleagues, who started it all have tried to bring people together in order that an industry will evolve.

First let me give kudos to Ali Baba, who single handedly championed the belief that an industry could emerge out of telling jokes in Nigeria. He is also the initiator of what we call “corporate comedy”.
On few occasions, Ali Baba, Okey Bakkassi and a few senior colleagues had tried to gather all comedians with a purpose of forging ahead as one, but that effort failed because of unseriousness on our part.
But we have recorded a big plus in collaborating with each other. Whenever I am hosting my personal show, I call my colleagues and vise visa. This gives the public a feeling that we are together. But the fact is that we are not that together.

Proliferation of shows.
I cannot speak for other comedians, but I can speak for myself because I have my own live show. The reason is because I am usually limited by time when invited to partake in gneral shows.
At times we are given only five minutes in these general shows, because the event is not about you as a brand. In five minutes I do not see me exhibiting all that I am loaded with. Your fans do not also get to enjoy you optimally.
For instance you can not have the best of Basketmouth in five minutes. You cannot have the best of I go Dye in five minutes. You cannot have the best of AY in five minutes.
Income from comedy:
The real money does not actually come from the shows. We get our pay days from corporate packages. Our clientele range from Oil companies, banks, etc. We have links with advertising companies that provide us the big compere jobs.

Our live shows make people know we are still game and available. Most individuals, who watch us live, end up being facilitators of the corporate deals. The live shows might not be bringing in big money but it serves its purposes.

I must say that our earning presently is very okay,
AY show;
It has always been my desire to put the show in all the best networks in Africa, because of its standard and the fact that the feedbacks I get are encouraging, but this dream has been hampered by funding.
To be honest with you, presently I run the AY SHOW on air at a loss. I make people smile weekly while I am not smiling. The only fulfillment I have putting the show on television is that people are happy with it.

Alma matter
I had a terrible experience in DELSU. I spent nine years in that university. The school authorities presently are proud that I finished from that school irrespective of what made me spend nine years as a student there.
So many things contributed to my spending nine years at DELSU. Initially, I entered to study music, but after four years on the course, I discovered it was not actually what I should be studying. I also became a victim of circumstance on campus because of my audacity to date the most beautiful girl on campus then. She was later to represent Nigeria for the Miss World pageant. Strong men on campus wanted her, but she preferred me. They started punishing me because of this. Today my cause form would be missing, tomorrow; it would be something else. It was not because I was failing. But incidentally I and this lady did not end up getting married. .

Relationship with wife:
I do not joke with her. I go the extra mile to ensure that she is satisfied.
My wife is very appreciative and she loves me so dearly. She is God sent. I have come to realize that God planned a lot of things to happen in my life and my meeting my wife is one of them.

We have a God who works anyhow, but he is not an anyhow God.
My wife is the crowning glory of all the packages ., God has handed me, with a beautiful daughter to go with.
Family background:
I am a Delta born Ondo man. I was born and brought up in Warri, but I hail from Ondo state. I consider myself a Warri boy. My parents are deceased. I came from the kind of family where you have to struggle to put food on the table. It was difficult for my father to send all his sons to the university at the same time.
But God was benevolent to us, eventually doors started opening for us. For instance, with the money I made from shows I organized while on campus, I was able to see some of my siblings through with their education. Glory be to God, all of us are graduates today. We are all doing well in the society too.

White wedding:
Yes I am having my white wedding in November this year. I have done the traditional wedding. I have gone to court too, now we are going to the church.

The wedding ceremony will hold in Lagos.
My colleagues and friends are already asking to contribute towards it. I have asked them to do what they can do. But I will guide against any thing that will affect me negatively.
I don't want people to attend my wedding and end up unhappy, but I can tell you now that my wedding would receive the kind of attention and planning I usually accord my shows

Female fans.
My wife understands the kind of job I do, she also trusts that I love her and would not do anything to hurt her. She is very understanding.

Kids?
God is the giver; I might not keep a chart. But I know that I am not going to have a football team.

Working spouse
Of course, it is a modern trend. It is not because I cannot afford to provide for her. She needs also to get her own upgrade. She needs to be out there. She went to school for God's sake. I am not going to tell her to dumb her degree because I can put three square meals on the table for her. There are things she would want to do that she would not want to bother me with.

Relaxation
When I am not in the studio working, I relax with shows that take me outside my base, Lagos, because it is only during such period that I find time to relax, before the show commences.

Favourite food
I can eat rice and plantain from now till the end of the world. But if I want to stress the house. If there is need for me to behave like the traditional African husband, I ask my wife to prepare pounded yam for me.