Alibaba Akpobome

Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, professionally known as Ali Baba, is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, master of ceremonies[1] and actor.

Alibaba Akpobome
Birth nameAtunyota Alleluya Akpobome
Born (1965-06-24) June 24, 1965 (age 55)
Alma materAmbrose Alli University
Years active1991–present
SpouseMary Akpobome

Early lifeEdit

Ali Baba was born in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria on June 24, 1965,[2] to the royal family of Agbarha Otor. He is the first son of several children, and spent his first 8 years in Warri. 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 completing his academic degree in 1990, he relocated back to Lagos,[3] to develop his comedic talent he discovered at the university. Originally, he planned to study Law but decided he could be more successful by making people laugh than by defending them.

Professional careerEdit

He began his professional career performing at corporate events, appearing on television shows with Patrick Doyle, Charly Boy and Danladi Bako, and making cameo appearances on radio shows with Bisi Olatilo, Sani Irabor and Mani Onumonmu. He also worked with Prince Adedapo Benjamin Adelegan of DP Lekki Limited as executive assistant in 1991.

With little precedent in Nigeria for stand-up comedians, Ali Baba persevered to professionalize his skills and carve a niche as an innovator and comedian for corporate and non-corporate events and by serving as a Master of Ceremony at many events.

In 1993, he registered his company Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd to enhance the perception of comedians 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."

Ali Baba, maintains the philosophy that his business is big enough for all who want to make comedy their chosen profession. As such, he supports, mentors and presents several comedians helping to ensure that standards are maintained and professionalism encouraged.[4]

Ali Baba has been a professional stand up comedian for the past 30 years and has received several awards.


Year Awards Categories
2001 Laughter Awards – Baziks Theatre Abuja Outstanding Performance
2002 Laughter Incorporated Immense contribution to the comedy Industry
2003 Delta State University Achievers Merit Award
2004 Pendulum Awards LASU National Association of Physics Student Icon of Comedy
2004 1st Nigeria Entertainment Awards Icon of Comedy
2005 National Comedy Award Comedy Enterprise
2006 Eric's Entertainment Inc Recognition of his solid support to young entrepreneurs
2006 Lagos State University Award of Excellence
2006 City People Entertainment Invaluable contribution to the Entertainment Industry
2007 RCCG Enablers Merit Award
2008 The News For turning stand up comedy into a viable business
2008 Diamond Award for Comedy For helping the growth & development of the Comedy Industry in Nigeria
2009 City People Entertainment Invaluable contribution to the Entertainment Industry
2009 National Daily Award Comedian of the decade
2010 Comedy for Change In commemoration of his 20 years on stage


Ali Baba was inducted into the Johnnie Walker 'Striding Man' Society in 2009 which recognizes men who have achieved great strides in their chosen fields and who motivate and encourage others [5]

In 2012, he rang the Year End Closing Bell of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the first Nigerian comedian to do so.

He is a Special Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

In March 2015, Ali Baba[6] was featured on CNN African voices, speaking about his goal to professionalize and gain acceptance for Nigerian comedians.

In April 2018, Ali Baba received the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International for his contribution to the Nigerian Comedy industry


Ali Baba is married to Mary Akpobome.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Ali Baba is an avid reader and enjoys painting.

Select filmographyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ali Baba: I charged what I make in 4 hours -- as an MC -- to do 'The Wedding Party'". TheCable Lifestyle. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Ali Baba: I had so many scattered dreams before comedy fell into place". Vanguard. August 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "Comedy not dying, only being badly practised –Ali Baba". Punch. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  5. ^ Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote his forward from Nigerian Film website. Retrieved on September 15, 2008, from
  6. ^ CNN African Voices (March 6, 2015). "Laughter is a serious business for top comedian".
  7. ^ "Ali Baba & Mary: Comedy, fun, love". Punch. September 22, 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  8. ^ "THE LAST 3 DIGITS 1ST TRAILER". You Tube. Moses Inwang. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Dr Sid, Don Jazzy, Ali Baba, A.Y unveiled in "The Last Three Digits"". 9aijabooks and Movies. 9aijabooksandmovies. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  10. ^ "New Trailer Alert: Moses Inwang's 'THE LAST 3 DIGITS'". Judith Audu Blogspot. Judith Audu. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  11. ^ "'The Last 3 Digits' Moses Inwang's movie wins 'Best International film' award". Pulse Nigeria. Chidumga Izuzu. Retrieved 4 June 2015.

External linksEdit