AY: the comedian, Interview

WRT: Who is AY?

AY: AY is a man, he was once a boy who grew up to become a man. AY is gotten from the name AY I’m a stand up comedian. I make people laugh for a living; I’m also an event person, I manage events and everything that has to do with entertainment.

WRT: How did you get into comedy?

AY: As a very creative person back in the days on campus, I used to do comedy scripts. I employed Ali Baba’s services (as a service to the student community) on a show I put together, as a student and after the show he was like “Wow, you mean as a student, you could do this kind thing? And yet it looked like one big entertainment company”. That’s how he invited me to Lagos to delve into full time entertainment, event packaging and event management.

When I got into Lagos though, he offered me a job as his PA and I grabbed it (we are talking about Ali Baba). From being his PA, I became his event manager.

WRT: Do you think this is a talent thing or a means of survival?

AY: Well these is core talent, core talent in the sense that for some of us, all we need is the opportunity. You can choose a particular line of duty without you understanding your own calling, there are so many talented people working in banks today; they choose to work in the bank because that was the opportunity that came before them.

For others, they have the talent but they don’t know it. You need somebody to help you harness it, not just as a means of survival. I just got nominated as best comedian in Nigeria 2008 (N. E. A.) in New York, they won’t have just nominate d that hustler or that survival personality.

WRT: What dream and vision do you have as a comedian?

AY: You have already mentioned one: the survival, and if comedy has it for me then it becomes a vision. The dream I can also have for the AY brand, as a comedian is to continue to grow and build up my art so that I can remain at the top of my game. My dream is also to see the industry loaded with talented comedians making that dream come true.

I created the open mic night competition to discover up-coming comedians and bring out the best in them. We don’t have enough comedians we have not been able to challenge the things that are revolving around comedy; we have not explored it in Nigeria. We are just tapping the surface at the moment.

WRT: What makes AY unique?

AY: Usually it’s not a question I give answers to; I always want people to say it. What do you think makes AY unique. The little I can say is that AY is different because the name AY is different from every other name in the comedy industry.

WRT: What’s your relationship with other comedian?

AY: Very cordial many of them if I have something to do they always want to be part of what am doing I think the comedy industry is one industry that exhibits love some people have the notion that the comedy industry has a clique but as far as am concerned if such is in existence then I will say am the middle man in the clique because I cut into every circle.

WRT: What is your relationship with Bovi?

AY: Bovi and I were schoolmates and best of friends, even up till today. We have been friends for over ten years and our relationship is very cordial.

WRT: Why do AY take after pastors?

ANS: I don’t take after pastors; I’m a social commentator. As a social commentator you have to be sensitive, you have to understand what is happening around your environment and create situations that people can relate with.

WRT: Your source of inspiration?

ANS: Like you came in here am in front of my laptop I do a lot of research am always on the internet you will find me on the internet to the point that you will think am a yahoo, yahoo boys I can drop my car key and take a molue I want to hear oshodi, oshodi and talk like a conductor and imbibe it into comedy and it becomes material that’s how I source for my jokes.

WRT: How do you combine fame and women?

ANS: Well fame and women I don’t know maybe you want to tell me that am famous now? But now that you are telling me maybe I can think of how to combine all of that because as AY I relate with all my fans I relate with the female flock I take their calls I relate with them to a point where I can make them understand what they need to understand what should be and what should not be I have that standard a lot of my them usually say I front with my wife a lot I need to do that is number one safety precaution.

WRT: is AY smiling to the bank?

ANS: Well if am not smiling to the bank why should I be in the business yes am smiling to the bank but I can’t say smiling to the bank with every business no there are times business people frown to the bank maybe there are frowning their to know what the balance is or frowning to say I did not sign that cheque why did you make the payment but for me I smile even if it means not smile to the bank I sometimes smile to my pocket and sometime I smile when I want to smile even when the money is not there we have been thought you should smile all; the time especially all those ushers you see at the event so I maintain that tradition, yes I smile to the bank.

WRT: Your most memorable show?

ANS: WOW WOW WOW I would have said AY live 2 but the reason won’t say AY live 2 is that he came with mix feelings some people were happy somewhere not happy that dose not go down well in my memo book as the most memorable because we meant to have one show but the show was publicly sold out and as a result we had two shows some people struggle to come in, you know when you go for shows you are meant to have your ticket and seat and enjoy the show not struggle after paying x,y,z amount of money so that didn’t go down well with me but for it to have sold made history as the first show in history of Nigeria to be an outright sold out where you now have to do two shows which is not planned for you now end up having two shows for it to make history his memorable but my most memorable show is AY live 1 because it came with a lot of risk an hustler.

WRT: Most memorable day?

ANS: Dat one hard you know why he hard? Hungry don beat many days con forget the way the most memorable day I would say the most memorable day was when three square meal complete because he be like say he no dey complete at some point so the most memorable na when those meal dey complete but he don dey complete well well now .

WRT: What kind of car do you drive?

ANS: I have one with four tires it takes me were I want to go I even have another one that has four tires it takes me were I want to go by his grace I just got my wife one with four tires too. No one with three tires.

WRT: The names of the cars?

ANS: I have a m class Benz SUV and my wife has a small Toyota Camry

WRT: Would you like your kids to take after you?

ANS I have structured myself in a way where I won’t dictate for my kinds but as parent it’s necessary you mentor guide them to a point where there can take decision for themselves as a baby daddy am tailor guiding my daughter for now to a point where she can make her decision.

WRT: Your first time on stage how was it like?

ANS: I really was not scared because of my theater practice I was already a theater artiste before I got into the business of comedy I was already on stage as an MC far back eleven years ago I MC an event for opal William but nobody knew me then, first time professionally it was a good experience in the scene that you see people in front of you and there are laughing because you are the one cracking the jokes and for me it was fun.

WRT: Have you feat embarrassed?

ANS: Yes o motherland lagbaja I was to perform, then have started with nite of a thousand laugh made in warri so the MC who was to introduce me the guy hyped me one these one of that one of the latest one of the brightest upcoming comedian who is tight in his game AY the moment I came forth it was not easy the people were prepare for me (tani bobo yi) and I was like how una dey ah baba guys take it easy oma so oyinbo they did not give me the opportunity to say one word so I worsen the owl thing I said guys calm down you don’t even know me and nobody have ever done these to me before so stop it make una relax noting dey happen ah egbe bobo kuro ni stage and that was how I was yank off the stage and I drove home and I started to say to myself AYse o sure pe o fe shey comedy.

WRT: Favorite Nigeria artiste?

ANS: I have favorite Nigeria artiste they are the likes of d’banj, 9ice, psquare and so on the female artiste TY bello and asa.

WRT: Do you have plans to do music comedy.

ANS: Like I told you from PA I got a calling and I became an event manager from event manager I got a calling to become a comedian I now have the AY show on TV if the calling should come I will do but for now nobody have called me even have not seen one missed call on my phone on till I get a call.

WRT: Something you can leave home without?

ANS: Mo le se ki ma wo boxer. I can’t leave my house without taking my birth except may be fire dey burn the house everybody run out then I know it’s not necessary to take my birth.

WRT: Words to you fans?

ANS: Eyin guys a ki yin ese thank you very much for supporting the AY brand with your support have been able to put a woman in my house I can now buy baby food with your support am now going places thank you for supporting the AY brand.

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