By Ifeanyi Ndukwe
Among the professionals who have engraved their feet in the entertainment industry is Ayo Makun. He is preferably called AY by fans worldwide. He is a stand-up comedian, film producer, actor and director. In short, AY is an ensemble of arts. Between the period of 2012 to date, AY has successfully produced blockbusters namely; ‘30 days in Atlanta’, ‘A trip to Jamaica’, ‘10 days in Sun city’ and the latest one that inspired the Agbada challenge, ‘Merry Men’.
Ay productions are not just for mere entertainment; there are moral cum social lessons accompanying every story. 30 days in Atlanta addresses the issue of the hunger for American citizenship for greener pastures which Ay captures in his stand-up comedy jokes at the restaurant and in the scene with Ramsey Nouah Jnr. and Desmond Elliot. The film ‘30 Days in Atlanta’ made it to the Guinness Book of Records.
Meanwhile, A trip to Jamaica throws light on the evils of drug abuse and additionally, human trafficking. Whereas, 10 days in Sun City tells the story of true love. However, after the release of 10 days in Sun City, the artiste for a better product was not in vain. Earlier this month, the premiering of Merry Men took a surprise and entertaining turn. Merry Men is action in drama and featured the best of Nollywood products. The beauty of Ay productions is the manner he gets the corporation of key actors actively involved in his project.
We cannot talk about the success of a man and not talk about his times of trials.
A theatre arts graduate of the prestigious Delta State University emphasized the enormous task of caring for himself and his siblings. Accepting the responsibility of taking care of his younger ones delayed his university education after they lost their parents. This kept him in the university for nine years.
”Embracing the responsibilities of taking care of my four sisters and two baby brothers( Yomi casuals and Lanre events) wasn’t the best message to preach to a waiting landlord whose rent must be paid in due time. The combination of being a big brother and father came with a price that kept me in Delta State University for 9 years as a student.”
AY has become the ‘father’ of many upcoming acts and established acts that are doing well in the industry, through the monthly AY’s Open Mic Challenge that held every third Sunday, at The National Theatre and later at The marquee of Federal Palace Hotels and Casinos, Lagos. The challenge produced the likes of Emeka Smith, MC Shakara, Elenu, and Seyi Law – City People’s Best New Comedian of the Year. The newest spinoff of the AY brand is AY’s Crib which is features Alex Ekubo, Ay, Ushebebe and a host of other guests is has become a family favorite.
The AY Show, arguably the best Comedy Show on Nigeria TV, shows on many terrestrial television stations across the country including Africa Magic, winning BEST TV COMEDY SHOW in 2008, and has from its onset become a must watch for its teeming fan base.
The AY brand also publishes Nigeria’s first comedy magazine, and he hosts (across the country, too) the usually out-sold comedy and music concerts, AY Live.
AY Live holds an enviable quadruple record breaking title on the attendance to its annual concerts in Nigeria and London. In 2007, he held Lagos spell bound when the second edition of AY Live, Lagos Invasion drew a record crowd forcing him to do two shows instead of one, as planned. Two years later, similar feat was repeated in Nigeria’s Federal Capital City, when AY Live, Abuja Invasion stood Abuja still, and becoming Abuja’s most attended entertainment events, ever.
Ay has won multiple awards which includes; Comedian of the Year by Diamond Awards for Comedy, Comedian Of The Year By Mode Men Of The Year Awards, comedian of the year by MBG Abuja merit awards, Comedian Of The Year by Arsenal Award For Excellence, Teens Favourite Comedian Of The Year By National Daily Awards and many more coming.
Regardless of rumours surrounding his marital life, Ay has confidently separated his marriage off the lens of the camera. He is happily married to Mabel Makun and they will be celebrating their 10th marriage anniversary sometime this year.