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AY Live… Embracing comedy at Easter to ease stress in a recession

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Although Nigerians may have been hard hit by economic recession and its consequent hardship, they are finding ways to beat it. But for many, entertainment or the arts comes as one way of beating the recession and the associated stress that comes with it.

On the other hand, an entertainment tool like comedy has shown itself to be a means of circumventing recession as AY (Ayo Makun) Live show on Easter Sunday at Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, indicated. Over 20 tables were sold for N1 million each, just as the close-to-one million capacity convention centre was packed to the brim with many not able to find seats but were happy enough to stand and watch the A-list comedy show.

With gate fee tickets ranging from N5,000, N10,000, N15,000 to N25,000, excluding the premium N1 million per table tickets, it just showed how AY and his comedic tribe of entertainers, without reinventing the wheels, have latched onto a premium brand both for entertainment and profits. At well past 11pm, Nigerians were still trooping in to see the show, as though a new day was just breaking.

And what was the character of the show? A collage of skits that played up Nigeria’s recent political and social happenings that sometimes bothered on the absurd, the hilarious and even the tragic, largely did the magic for the audience that soaked in the superb AY brand ambience.

A telephone conversation between Buhari (played by Said Mohammed) and an unknown voice (preferably Big Brother’s) informing him that Efe had won the N25 million Big Brother Naija contest, the ill-health that took Buhari to a London hospital, Apostle Sulaiman’s alleged illicit affair with Stephannie Otobo, 2face Idiabia’s proposed march and its consequent abortion for security reasons, the man who chained two women and walked through a Lagos street, and Dino Melaye and his certificate controversy and more were performed in the most rib-cracking manner that had the audience in stiches.

There was AY and Jenifa (Funke Akindele) pair (characters from his recently film, A Trip to Jamaica) entertaining the audience, with Jenifa turning whistle-blower for loot recovery; she discovers missing billions in an Ikoyi apartment, with AY as Governor Nyesom Wike, who insisted the cash belongs to Rivers State Government…

They were short, powerful satirical pieces that exposed Nigeria’s rotten underbelly and took the audience on a hilarious tour around Nigeria’s political drama of the absurd.

But even more amazing was the open embrace the show enjoyed from Nigerians of all age brackets. Long queues snaked all through the length of Eko Hotel and Suites just as cars lined up on both sides of Ahmadu Bello Way and stretched as far as the eyes could and adjoining roads and alleyways. It was a moving sea of humanity out to find stress elixir on an Easter Sunday night of AY’s Live, a show that promises a ‘Generation of Laughter!’


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AY LiveAyo Makun
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