By Glam & Essence
Nigeria’s comedy icon, Ali Baba has been presented with an Award of Excellence for Social Impact and Entertainment ,in recognition of his three-decade long career that has spawned several other careers and made comedy a viable industry in Nigeria.
Born Atunyota Alleluia Akpoborome, Ali Baba received the award at The Banquet Hall, Aso Rock Villa, Abuja from Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the State House release, Ali Baba was selected for his support for the entertainment sector, which was identified as a key vector of the government’s Micro, Medium and Small Scale Enterprise Initiative.
For the better part of thirty years, Alibaba has been the light-source for the business of comedy and developing a path that multiple generations have toed ever since. Whilst he was still growing himself, he took a number of comedians and comperes under his wings, many of whom have gone on to own successful entertainment businesses.
The business of comedy has in its development and expansions, created, (beyond the multi million earning comedians) an industry with huge economic values, for Venue Rentals, Security companies, Deejays, Bands, Graphic artistes, Sound Equipment leasing, lighting, ushers, printers, outdoor advertising agencies, event planners, decorators, lawyers, funds managers, Realtors, Fashion Designers and corporate branding and market influencers strategists.
In recent years, he created Alibaba’s Spontaneity, a creative competition, to discover younger comedic talents and providing them with a platform to earn a living from their gift. The programme is now in its fifth year.
He received the award at the second National MSME Awards, hosted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and was joined by other captains of industry, heads of government agencies as well as other creative entrepreneurs.