Celeb of the week segment this new year takes a different turn as we present a stand up comedian , humor merchant , Entertainer, a Comedian, Master of Ceremonies, Radio Show Host, Motivational Speaker, Photographer, Writer and an avid reader .
He is no other than Alibaba Akporobome
Who is Alibaba ?
Alleluya Atunyota Akporobome popularly known as Ali Baba was born on June 24 1965 to the Royal family of Akporobome in Agbarha Otor, Ughelli North LGA , Delta state, the first son after several girls in his family .
Alibaba had his primary school education at Ojo Primary school Lagos and his secondary education at the popular command secondary school , Lagos.
He furthered his studies at Ibru College , Agbarha-Otor and finalized at Bendel State University , Now Ambrose Ali University where he studied Religious Studies and Philosophy.
His childhood dream was to join the navy but his dad a retired soldier didn’t support that decision as he wanted him to pursue a professional career that would accord him respect, fame, happiness and wealth .
He agreed to his dad’s suggestion to study law but sadly he didn’t make the cut off mark for law hence his reading Religious Studies and Philosophy.
Comedy for Alibaba started in his 3rd year during his university studies. Right from time he had the talent of making people laugh and cracking funny jokes.
He then became popular on campus which enabled him to invited to virtually all the major social events on campus to act as a compere and stand-up comedian.
“From the time I dabbled into comedy when I was in the university, it brought me fame, respect, happiness and provided for me in school.
After several payments from corporate bodies who were coming to school to stage events, I knew I was going to make more money in this chosen field than if I had read law.
It gave me an insight into the future.”- Akporobome – Newswatch interview
After graduation , he decided to take comedy as a profession in 1989.
Before heading for his NYSC , he made sure he did and met with accomplished broadcasters like Steve Ikemefuna and Mustapha Amego.
After his youth service , he joined Dapo Adelegan of the Lekki Sun Splash as his Personal Assistant.
Alibaba never gave up on his passion as he decided to create and carve a niche out for himself as an all-round comedian through sacrifice and so much guts.
In 1993, he registered his company Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd and from then on his focus was on ensuring that the perception of comedians being never do wells changed and instead is seen as a profession and a respected way of life.
In 1998, he hired billboards in strategic parts of Lagos Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island; Osborne Road, Ikoyi and the Marina paying for two years.
The message was simple and one he has come to be known by Being Funny is Serious Business.
Today , Alibaba has mentored , monitored , supported several comedians , most who are the top comedians today.
Alibaba created and set a standard for comedians today as a profitable career line , no wonder its so common to hear a comedian charge impressive fees for events
22 years and still counting , Alibaba has made a huge impact in the entertainment industry and carving out comedy industry.
He is happily married to Mary and is blessed with three Daughters, Xsara, Brandi and Valerie and a set of twin boys Ejiro and Teriji.
He is very personable and sociable. His hobbies are playing football and scrabble, watching movies, reading and dancing.
He got the name Alibaba from his real name Alleluya as his friends in his university days called him Alley and late Ali baba .
He has gathered so many awards till date. Awards like :
|2001||Laughter Awards – Baziks Theatre Abuja||Outstanding Performance|
|2002||Laughter Incorporated||Immense contribution to the comedy Industry|
|2003||Delta State University||Achievers Merit Award|
|2004||Pendulum Awards LASU National Association of Physics Student||Icon of Comedy|
|2004||1st Nigeria Entertainment Awards||Icon of Comedy|
|2005||National Comedy Award||Comedy Enterprise|
|2006||Eric’s Entertainment Inc||Recognition of his solid support to young entrepreneurs|
|2006||Lagos State University||Award of Excellence|
|2006||City People Entertainment||Invaluable contribution to the Entertainment Industry|
|2007||RCCG||Enablers Merit Award|
|2008||The News||For turning stand up comedy into a viable business|
|2008||Diamond Award for Comedy||For helping the growth & development of the Comedy Industry in Nigeria|
|2009||City People Entertainment||Invaluable contribution to the Entertainment Industry|
|2009||National Daily Award||Comedian of the decade|
|2010||Comedy for Change||In commemoration of his 20 years on stage|
He has been putting his mouth where the money is by serving as compere and comedian at major events in Nigeria and abroad.
Cheers to a great man , we celebrate you !!!!