‘I chose comedy because there’s no money in acting’ -Ali Baba
However, the ace comedian told Saturday Beats in a recent chat that he had to focus on comedy simply because of money.
Now seen as the godfather of Nigerian comedy, it’s no surprise that Ali Baba made his first N1 million in 1994, long before many actors ever dreamt of getting that rich.
According to him, “Comedy was bringing more money than acting, dancing and photography, even till date. I was a young guy that people believed could not make it, so I wanted to prove everybody wrong. They thought that being a comedian was for people without a future but I made them realise that it was not about the act but the delivery of service. As soon as it was clear that there was service being provided, people woke up to it. I chose stand-up over acting because I was charging N50, 000 in 1993.
“I made N1.6m in 1994 from Satzenbrau and as of that time, there were a lot of movie actors that could not even ‘smell’ that amount for three years. I went on a tour with Satzebrau and made N1.6m. I was able to make that amount of money because people did not know there was money in comedy. At first, they said I married someone because of money but when they started to realise that there was money in comedy, they started writing, ‘how comedians smile to the bank’.”