Interviews

Inside comedian AY’s multi million naira MVP Lounge and Restaurant

‘It will be the biggest in the land’, he gushes

Serial show business entrepreneur and popular standup comic, Ayo Makun (AY) has a big project at hand. He is setting up the biggest fun spot in this side of the world. Already branded MVP Lounge & Restaurant in Lekki, Lagos, AY (for the first time) took ENCOMIUM Weekly round the luxury facility lying on close to 600 square metres property at Omisson Emporium, off Admiralty Road, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, giving us details of its vital parts.

The millionaire enterprising entertainer also revealed plans for the 7th edition of his highly sought-after annual comedy/music show, AY Live!, which is to be held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on April 20 (Easter Sunday). Incidentally, the MVP Night Club, Lounge and Restaurant would be officially opened to the public that same weekend.

AY spoke on other interesting issues…

IMG-20130717-240When did you conceive the idea of a lounge?

The idea of a restaurant and nightclub lounge came only two or three years ago.  It was practically based on the need to create and own an exclusive place where celebrities, socialites and captains of industry would feel at home to enjoy a redefined nightlife of class, entertainment and fun.

Have you had previous experience in this business?

The little experience I have in the business could be traced to my days as a bar tender at the NNPC Staff Club in Warri and my position as an entertainment consultant to a few clubs here in Lagos. But I am not nursing the dream of running MVP myself. I already have enough on my plate. It will be handled by professionals.

Is setting up MVP Lounge another way of enlarging your endless stream of income?

I honestly do not know so much about having an endless stream of income. It’s just another business line designed to satisfy socialites and fun yearning Nigerians. Smiling to the bank afterwards would not be a bad idea.

presentation-014We learnt you have spent over N300 million on this project?

The aforementioned amount might turn out to be an understatement when you come to MVP to see what we are putting in place in Lekki, Lagos. A lot has gone in, and even more to come. We are having a world class and premium Restaurant Nightclub Lounge.

How much have gone into this and how much more do you reckon you will spend?

You might want to interview the accountant of MVP and the contractors in charge of different aspects of the project to get an exact figure

A source also told ENCOMIUM Weekly you have investors who are in this with you?

MVP, at the moment, has two other directors that are partnering me to make it become what we have designed the place to be. I am sure you would agree with me that is the right way to go in other to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with getting it right in a sustainable society.

What is the equity like? 50/50?

The equity is well defined. But if you are looking at buying into the business we still have a room and a parlour left in the entire compound.

ay_36When is MVP Lounge opening officially?

Going by the level of work and installations of different equipment that are needed on ground, I see us opening on Easter Friday (April 18) and it will also be the venue for the pre and after party for AY Live on April 19 and 20 (Easter Sunday).

Almost all the materials for the interior were sourced abroad. You also flew in expatriates?

It is a combination of both. But we have more professionals coming in to do all the major and technical parts of the project.

Who is coordinating the designs?

The entire project is being handled by Midas Interiors. Incidentally, the MD/CEO is my wife, Mabel Makun. She has put in place classy designs that you will not find in any nightclub in Nigeria.

What are the activities that would stand MVP Lounge out?

MVP is an all-new luxury and premium class club, lounge and restaurant that will start off with exclusive and engaging entertainment packages that you haven’t seen anywhere in Nigeria. All its activities will be unveiled on the night of the grand opening.

AYIt’s like your dream is to build Africa’s biggest lounge? Please, take us on guided tour of MVP Lounge, taking note of the sections of the fun spot?

My dream is to make a difference in the business, MVP is a non smoking night club lying on close to 600 square metres property at Omisson Emporium in Lekki, Lagos, which makes it the biggest night club on the Island in terms of space. We are having seven different areas for different activities every night. It includes the restaurant, the gold and diamond membership areas for moguls, celebrities, and those who seek exclusivity. We also have a game room and other exclusive booths to capture the interests of everyone, and also to provide exceptional service in a consistent entertainment environment.

Why is it even called MVP?

MVP is the acronym for Most Valuable Player. We have some valuable players cut across different sectors in Nigeria. From sports, entertainment, law, banking, oil and gas, etc. If you fit into any of the class that adds value to society, you are an MVP, and MVP Restaurant Nightclub and Lounge is your base.

There are serious concerns that MVP might affect your career as an entertainer/comedian?

The operations of MVP are fully independent of AY the comedian. Like I said professionals will manage it. I will only carry out my role as a director and someone who can implement sustainable entertainment packages that will make us standout.

So, your other businesses won’t suffer?

Not at all.

AYWhen and where is this year’s AY Show taking place?

AY Live will be taking place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on April 20, Easter Sunday.

What should we expect?

We would naturally ask you to expect the best. By the special and ever consistent grace of God, we shall deliver the best.

In what ways would this year’s be different?

The difference has already commenced with the involvement of Maltina as our official sponsor for 2014. The Maltina brand is known for sharing happiness, while the AY Live brand is known for providing happiness through laughter. The merger would deliver an exceptional show that will leave a happy impression in everyone who attends AY Live on Easter Sunday.

This is the 7th edition, if we are right. Which has been the most successful and the most challenging?

Each event comes with different challenges. Last year came with the challenge of having too many people who could not get tickets to attend the already sold-out show.

Fake tickets were sold and it was difficult to manage the crowd. More so what we count as success is the satisfaction of everyone who comes for the show.

Can you unveil the artistes you are featuring at this year’s show?

AY Live on Easter Sunday is usually a carnival experience. We shall be having the likes of I Go Dye, Gordons, Elenu, Helen Paul, Funny Bone, Pencil, Senator, Osama, Dan D Humorous, Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Timaya, J Martins, Seyi Shay, Dr Sid, Oritsefemi and other wonder acts from home and abroad.

You organise one of the most successful live shows in all of Africa, are you some time afraid of competition?

Over the years my competitor has always been myself. I always try to come up with a bigger package than the last one.

AYHas AY Show really been a commercial success?

I know you are not expecting me to say no. So, let me do you the honour of saying yes.

But many think you make a lot of money since your tickets and tables usually sell out?

Amen

Where can one get the tickets?

The tickets will start selling soon at all Tasty Fried Chicken outlets, Silverbird Galleria, Ozone Cinemas, Shoprite, Eko Hotel. You can visit our website www.ayshow.tv for more details.

Have you completed your Lekki, Lagos house?

The Lekki house is completed, and we give God all the glory

How is your family doing?

Family is good, very good.

What is your ultimate ambition?

To leave a legacy and print my name on the sand of time.

 – UCHE OLEHI

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