By Yetunde Adeyeri
The king of Comedy Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome popularly known as Ali Baba celebrates being a year older today, June 24th.
This iconic stand-up comedian and actor have contributed to the rise of many comedians in the industry. He has also paved the way for lots of acts and quite impressively helped make comedy to be seen as a serious business in Nigeria.
In honor of such of wonderful Icon who has established respect and attention to the genre of comedy in the entertainment industry, here are seven facts you probably didn’t know about him.
• He attended Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), Ekpoma where he focused on Religious Studies & Philosophy.
• In 1993, he registered his company Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd to enhance the perception of comedians as a profession and a respected way of life.
• As part of this work, in 1998, he hired billboards in strategic Lagos streets with the message that became known as “Being Funny is Serious Business.”
• Some of the awards won by him includes the
1st Nigeria Entertainment Award – Icon of Comedy (2014)
National Comedy Award – Comedy Enterprise (2005)
Eric’s Entertainment Inc – Recognition of his solid support to young entrepreneurs (2006)
• He is a Special Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
• In March 2015, Ali Baba was featured on CNN African voices, speaking about his goal to professionalize and gain acceptance for Nigerian comedians
• Ali Baba is married to Mary Akpobome and they have five children Xsara, Brenda, twin boys, Ejiro and Tejiri, and Valerie.
Happy birthday to this man of exceptional accomplishments.
54 looks good on you.