AY: Inspiration to young Nigerians struggling to survive

It is not enough to say that you have struggled to make something out of nothing, when you don’t have anything to show for it.

AYAyo Richard Makun, popularly known as AY is outstanding in his profession as a comedian because he didn’t allow the hurdles he encountered earlier in life to deter him from his dreams; today he has a lot to show for it.

His University days were filled with tales that would make a block-buster movie if scripted. But that did not change his mind-set as he was determined to get to his God-given destination.

In this edition, we celebrate an icon who has affected so many young lives and whose shows have launched so many entertainers into spotlight, but whose greatest wish is for his parents to be alive to see what he has become.

How far has AY gone?

AY is a father and he is married to Mabel. He is multi-talented, a multi-award winning standup comedian, and one of the most successful comic acts Nigeria has produced.

AY gained fame through mimicking Rev. Chris Okotie in his hilarious jokes, and by 2006 he was called the Best Up-Coming Comedian in Nigeria.   He comes across easily, as Nigeria’s most creative comedian. He is also an established Compere, radio and TV presenter. He is a promoter, producer, actor, director, writer and an amazing event manager.

Ayo Makun is the host of one of Nigeria’s largest comedy shows known as the “AY live”. He is the director and also acts in AY’s Crib. Great Comedians like Helen Paul and Bovi arguably had their breaks from his shows. AY is the owner of Corporate World entertainment, Nigeria, Mr. Corporate is an award he won severally in his university days. It is no wonder, he loves the name.

AY Live enjoys huge attendance in Nigeria and London. In 2007, he held Lagos spellbound when the second edition of AY Live, Lagos Invasion drew a record crowd forcing him to do two shows in one day instead of one as planned. A similar feat was re-enacted in Nigeria’s Federal Capital City when AY Live, Abuja Invasion gave Abuja a standstill; it became Abuja’s most attended entertainment event ever.

He owns one of the biggest and most comfortable club houses in Nigeria. Ayo Makun has invested heavily in stand-up comedy as he has influenced so many upcoming comedians through his AY “Open Mic Challenge”. AY just recently premiered his latest movie titled ‘30 Days in Atlanta’ shot in the US.

But it was not always like this for AY…

He was already in 300 Level when he decided to study a course different from his original course which is Music. It was so difficult to change, so he did the almost impossible by buying another Jamb form.

He wrote the exam, passed it and was given admission to study Theatre Arts from 100 level, but he wasn’t perturbed as he was happy studying his dream course. In-between studying music and changing to Theatre Arts Department, AY spent about eight years doing a-four year programme.

Even though AY was exceptional student, he had to sponsor himself through the University, although he was very young. Ayo Makun was raised in a very humble home; he lost both parents pretty early and had to take the responsibility of being a father to his siblings.

He was forced to pick up the challenge of sending his younger ones to school while he was there himself. AY is the first male child amongst seven children, so it was not out of place when he had to wear the shoes of his parents at a tender age.

AY became a popular photographer just to make ends meet in school. He contested for different corporate competitions which he won, of which the proceeds of which he used to pay tuition. Along the line, using the platform of Delta State University, AY became the biggest event organiser on campus. He launched and hosted shows like Miss Delsu, Miss Delta, Face of Delsu and many others.

He didn’t give up even when he was gang-beaten by some cultists oncampus because he had beautiful girls flocking around him. Most ladies who went for Miss Nigeria and even to the Miss World Pageant from Delta State University in his time were managed by AY. But he was doing all these without actually making much money, until he graduated and moved to Lagos, to a bigger and brighter future

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