Ali Baba whose full name is Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, actor and most notably the unofficial ‘Godfather’ of comedy in Nigeria. He is referred to as the king of comedy in Nigeria, and rightly so because he re-defined comedy and started moving the gears that turned into the super machine we have come to know as the comedy industry. Comedians like Basketmouth, AY, Teju Babyface all revere him.
Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere was born in Warri, Delta State, on June 24, 1965, to the Royal Family of Agbarha Otor, Ughelli North Local Government Area. He is the first son after several girls. He spent the first 8 years of his life in Warri (Delta State, Nigeria). His father is a retired soldier who served in Lagos. He attended Ojo Primary School and Command Secondary School in Lagos. He furthered his education at Ibru College in Agbarha-Otor and Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), Ekpoma where he focused on Religious Studies & Philosophy.
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 had planned to return to Ekpoma to read Law but that was not to be since he discovered he could make more money from making people laugh than defending them. Alibaba is married to Mary-Bassey Udoh and together they have five children- Xsara, Brandi, twins- Ejiro and Tejiri and Valerie.
He started his career as a comedian by performing at corporate events and appearing on television shows with veterans like Patrick Doyle and Charly Boy. He was also featured on radio shows with Bisi Olatilo, Sani Irabor, and Mani Onumonmu. Although he was delving into comedy at a time when the already established comedians were not into Stand-up Comedy, he was determined to make it his niche. Four years later he had made a name for himself and had become the most sought after Master of Ceremony in the country.
Through guts, sacrifice 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 some events. In 1993, he registered his company Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd and from then on his focus was on ensuring that the perception of comedians never doing well changed and instead is seen as a profession and a respected way of life.
As part of this work, in 1998, he hired billboards on strategic Lagos streets with the message that became known as “Being Funny is Serious Business”. Alibaba has also notable mentored, supported and promoted other upcoming comedians to the point where they became full-blown stars in their own rights.
Alibaba tops the list of the richest comedians in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $7 million.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.