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Six Comedians Battle for Toyota Venza at Alibaba’s Spontaneity Contest

It was indeed an evening of fun and laughter, as finalists for the 1 January 2023 ‘Alibaba’s Spontaneity’ competition emerged amid fierce battle of witty jokes over the weekend at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
October 21, 2022
1:32 am
Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome

The competition according to anchor, Segun Ogundipe, popularly known as MC Laf’up is the creation of Nigeria’s king of comedy, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome well known as Alibaba, and it is aimed at encouraging upcoming comedians and make them understand the value potentials of the comedy industry, and to give them a boost in their professional stand-up career. 


“Spontaneity is a quarterly event, which sees comedians slug it out with each other for the first three positions. The top three comedians from the four editions have a chance to compete at the grand finale, which holds during Alibaba’s January 1 show,” Laf’up said.


The Sunday evening event had 23 contestants battle for a place in the final in the first round, after which the number was prone down to 12 contestants for the second stage which is ‘open the calabash and make a joke with the topic inside.’ 


The stage was tee off by MC Oghene Oghene. Next was Gospower with Cash Wash, then JustTalker (PHCN), Chakachaka (Ambition), TMO (Tookpick), Makinde (Sour soup), Peace Maker (Microphone). 


Next was Aikhomu (Uber Driver), Tolu Afilaka (Automobile), Apostle (Viewing Centre), Firstlady (Fire Fighters), Oscar Franklin (Anikulapo), Uche (Briefcase), Gifted Mouth (Wedding Gown), Coyman (Tiktok), D Major (Jollof Rice), Brainwizzy (Supporters Club), Destiny (Certificate) and Samuel K.O, a physically challenged, who was a Wild Card (National Honor). He was given a scholarship to any level of education by a veteran comedian. 


The third round had the contestants crack joke with words pick from the calabash. The round started with MC DMajor (EFCC), TMO (National Grid), Makinde (Solar Power), Firstlady (Candle), Coyman (Audience), Gifted Mouth (Movie Premiere), Uche (Cufflinks), Tolu Afilaka (Helmet), Aikhomu (Popcorn), JoshTalker (Marijuana) and Apostle (Hawking).


At the end of the round, six contestants were shortlisted for the 1 January 2023 final. The six finalists are Tolu Afilaka, Gifted Mouth, Josh Talker, Coyman, Makinde and DMajor. 


Speaking at the event, the convener, Alibaba stated it cost a lot to put the contest together. He said, “It cost more…N4million for every show. We give them a car so that people can actually see that this joke can give them a car and a good life.”


On the choice of word in the calabash, the celebrated Godfather of comedy adds, “Why we give them such words [is to make them] think on their feet so that anytime they are called upon they can deliver without stealing other people’s jokes. 


“The industry is big enough. People should not steal other people’s joke. Go to event, take the program and crack joke,” he added.


DJ Code was atop his game, as he had answer for every statement made by Laf’up and other notable comedians and celebrities like Seyilaw, Forever, Charles Inojie, Pencil, the 2022 winner of the competition.


The criteria used in judging the contestants include, originality of content, spontaneity, stage use, and audience engagement among others.


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