Comedian Ayo Makun, known by most of his fans as Ay, is one of Nigeria’s richest comedians. He has turned his career as a performer into much more. He’s a club owner, event planner and real estate investor. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about Nigerian comedian Ay.
Ay has been married more than six years to to Mabel Makun, a director at Corporate World Entertainment LTD. Ay met his wife at university when he was putting on “The Most Beautiful Girl in DELSU” (Delta State University) beauty contest and was trying to get Mabel to be a part of it. Mabel turned the pageant down because she was too busy with schoolwork at the time.
Mabel Makun said in an interview with MyNewHitManWrites.com that she was impressed when she learned that Ay managed to stay very focused while at Delta State University, even though he’d recently lost his parents when they met.
Ay and his wife like to relax by going on boat cruises, going to private beaches, watching movies and getting massages. Ay sometimes likes watching foreign comedy movies. He says he’s a workaholic.
Ay is the oldest son in a family of seven children. His family is from Ifon in the Ondo State of Nigeria, but he was raised in the Delta State. He and his wife come from different tribes, but their families never showed any issue with that.
Ay got his start as a personal assistant to comedy legend Ali Baba. The two met when Ay invited Ali Baba to perform in a comedy show he was organizing at his university. Ali Baba was so impressed with Ay’s organizational skills he invited him to work for him in Lagos, Nigeria, where he gave him accommodations and a job as personal assistant and event manager. Ay eventually went on to open at shows for Ali Baba. Today he has risen to be the Chief Executive Officer at Corporate World Entertainment and earns around $1.7 million per year.
One of Ay’s first breakthrough moments wasn’t planned. At the “Made in Warri” 2005 show, Ali Baba surprised Ay by calling him onstage and asking him to perform for five minutes. Organizers didn’t know this would happen. Ay did so well that he was officially invited back for the next show.
Growing up, before getting into event planning, Ay worked as a dry cleaner, a bartender, a scavenger and a barber. He calls himself “a product of the street.”
Ay studied theater arts in university and as a child he was the head of the drama team at his church. Ay was in charge of casting and directing his church productions. In university he went on to contribute jokes to the Delta Station radio.
Ay admitted to NigeriaFilms.com that getting married seemed to land him more female fans. The comedian said, “I realize that marriage brings a sense of responsibility and respect. I enjoy a lot of respect as a married man.”
Rev. Chris Okotie, a Nigerian pastor and leading televangelist, is often the subject of Ay’s jokes. When asked why he began mimicking Okotie, Ay told NigerianFilms.com, “I love to mimic him because of his person, character and good command of English. I decided to do that while his sermon tagged ‘Apocalypses’ was on the TV. I wanted to do a joke people could relate with then and that was how it started.”
At his university Delta State Ay won the award for Most Fashionable Student on Campus, Most Celebrated Student on Campus and Best Showbiz Promoter. He also won the Most Celebrated Theatre Arts Student award and the Jaycee Club Socio-Cultural Personality Award.
Ay has done some literary and journalistic work in addition to comedy writing. He wrote the column, “Ay-Wire” for The Sun Newspapers, a Nigerian national daily. Ay also wrote a monthly column called “Jokes Apart” in Gbenga Deyinka’s monthly comedy journal, Laffmatazz.