Popular Nigerian comedian and actor, Akinlami Babatunde Julius, fondly known as Elenu, has revealed why he chose celebrity comedians, AY and Basketmouth as his role models
Elenu, while disclosing the people he looks forward to as role models in the Nigeria’s entertainment circle., said AY and Basketmouth influenced his decision to choose a carrier path in comedy.
According to Elenu, one of the role models is Ayodeji Richard Makun, also known by his stage name A.Y, a Nigerian actor, comedian, radio and TV presenter, writer, producer and movie director, while the second role model is Bright Okpocha, who is better known by his stage name Basketmouth, a Nigerian comedian and actor.
He said the duo of AY and Basketmouth have done a lot to development Nigerian entertainment industry with their industrious talent worthy of emulation.
Elenu commended AY for grooming younger upcoming comedians and giving them a platform to showcase their talents through the AY Open Mic Competition.
Elenu said that he came from ma poor background, as he could described the journey of his life as the one from grass to grace because he was not born into a rich family.
“I had to do some menial jobs to help support my mother. I was raised by my mother and she was always supportive of my dreams. As a growing child, I became the man in the house.
“As a result of that, I had to start doing some menial jobs. I worked as a casual staff in the Nigerian Bottling Company just to help my mother. Today, the story is different, I am living in my own house and driving my own car.” added Elenu.
Recalling his rise to the stardom, Elenu said: “I had my breakthrough in the comedy industry when in November 10, 2006, I won the AY Open Mic Comedy Competition. That gave me the in-road I desired to get into comedy. Since then, the journey has been swift.
“I never even knew what comedy was all about until the AY Comedy Competition. My talent as it seems led me into comedy. I can recall that while growing up, I had the ability of making people laugh but I never knew it was something that people could use to make money. However, my parents have been very supportive of my career.”
While revealing his first experience as a comedian, Elenu said: “My legs shook the first time I got on the big stage. It was a day after I won the AY Open Mic Competition. I was invited for the Nigerian Comedy Awards. After that, the next big stage I performed on was the AY live. That was the first time I saw a very large crowd. Before then, I was back stage trying to calm my nerves.
“Immediately I was called on the stage, I forgot all the jokes I had rehearsed. However, when I gave my first joke and people laughed, the jokes started coming back to me and I was able to overcome my stage fear”, added Elenu.
Interestingly, Elenu’s was not born with a silver spoon and like in most African homes, assisted his parents in the day-to-day toil of putting food on the table.
Elenu had to do some menial jobs to help support his mother who raised him and was supportive of his dream from the onset.