The guest on this week’s edition of Glo-sponsored African Voices on CNN International is one more proof that African comedy has indeed come of age.
The celebrity guest is Nigeria’s Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere popularly known as “Alibaba” and generally referred to as the God Father of Nigerian Comedy.
The decision by CNN to feature him on African Voices which showcases international newsmakers from the continent who are making an impact in Africa and on the global stage is a tribute to the rising profile of African comedy.
Viewers of the programme will be able to hear Alibaba talk about his journey in comedy and his role in transforming a trade for school dropouts into a well respected profession.
In between jokes and wisecracks, the comedian takes viewers into “the jokes factory” in his house filled with Readers Digest magazines and Shakespeare works. These works, he says, inspire his stand-up routines.
African Voices will be on CNN International at 4.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. on Saturday and at 12.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. on Sunday. Viewers can also watch the show during the repeat broadcasts on Monday at 11:30 a.m. and on Tuesday at 5.30 a.m.
Ali Baba was born in Warri, Delta State, on June 24th 1965. After acquiring a degree from the then Bendel State University, Ekpoma in 1990, he relocated to Lagos, having discovered his comic talent and funny bone in his 3rd Year in University. He began his professional career with corporate events and appearing on television shows.
Through determination and creative dynamism, Ali Baba carved a niche for himself as a comedian for both corporate and non-corporate events. In less than 4 years, he had also become the preferred Master of Ceremony at major events.
He has been a professional stand-up comedian for the past 22 years, and says he is happy with the part he played in ensuring that the perception of comedians being ‘ne’er do wells’ changed and comedy is instead seen as a profession and a respected way of life.