– To Make London Debut on Carnival Weekend
By Ngozi Chukwu London
Grandmaster comedian, Ali Baba has said it iqs always an honour to see upcoming and some of the now recognised household names in the comedy sector use his jokes as platform for building their careers. He likens the phenomenon to wannabe contestants on both the X-Factor and American Idol singing the songs of known legends like Whitney Houston and Adele to gain recognition and find their own voices. .
Speaking ahead of his much- awaited London debut at the O2 Indigo Arena on the last Sunday of this month , Ali Baba fielded questions on Beats FM Radio station on Wednesday night, saying he never felt shortchanged whenever people reference young and upcoming talents using and performing with his jokes . According to him, “if you’re successful and nobody else succeeds through you, then you’re a failure.”
Ali Baba, whose star -studded line up on the night includes 2Face Idibia , also gave reasons for shunning a London appearance for many years despite being the trailblazer since 1988. “I saw no reason to come to London since my jokes were already there ,” he told the host during the live interview of about 10 minutes. He also revealed that he just felt it was now time for the London audience to know the:”source,” of many of the rib cracking jokes they’d heard over the years .
The comedian and social critic likened his trailblazing effort to that of the late super eagles captain, Stephen Keshi, who he said, paved the way for the influx of Nigerian footballers into Europe after signing for Anderlecht of Belgium nearly three decades ago . “He -Keshi- even helped many of them to negotiate their contracts,” aside helping them to come showcase their skills and earn mega bucks, Ali Baba noted . However , he said many of such footballers :”started to distance themselves from Keshi,” after they struck gold and made it big. Continuing , he said that attitude is what he frowns at as well in his career, which according to him, didn’t exist when :”we started over 30 years ago.”
He disclosed on the show that :”we were begging people to perform in the first five years,” beginning from 1988, when he began his career . But despite that ,:”We worked hard to make stand up comedy become a service, and when people saw it , it was easy to pay . The deal was done.”