Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome(Alibaba)

Ali Baba, real name, Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere,  (June 24, 1965) is a top Nigerian stand-up comedian.

Born into a Royal Family in Agbarha Otor, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta state, the comedian spent the first 8 years of his life in Warri, but after his secondary school education, and after acquiring a degree from the then Bendel State University, Ekpoma in 1990, he relocated to Lagos.

Ali Baba had had the mindset of studying Law after his first degree, but he had already discovered his ability to make people laugh, and thus decided to pursue the career, even though it was not that fashionable at the time.

He began hosting corporate events, appearing on television shows  but   because of his desire to become a professional comedian no matter how unacceptable it looked, Ali kept at his game, and in less than 4 years, he became the preferred Master of Ceremony at several events.

In the year 1993, he began to aggressively work towards changing the perception the public had towards stand-up comedy. After registering his company, Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd, he, in 1998, reached a 2-year-agreement to hire billboards in some parts of Lagos island: Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island; Osborne Road, Ikoyi and Marina. His intent, all through that time, was to make it known to the public that comedy was not only  a part-time business, but also a reputable profession

By propagating that message earnestly, the opinion about comedy changed a lot over the years, and Ali Baba now holds the position and respect as the man that brought comedy to the lofty position it now occupies in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

He has been a professional stand up comedian for the past 22 years and has in the last 13 years received several awards, including one for being the Comedian of the Decade, awarded in 2009 at the National Daily Awards. He has supported, mentored and presented several comedians helping to ensure that standards are maintained and professionalism encouraged.

Despite being generally accepted as the foremost comedian in Nigeria, the veteran is not looking to rest on his oars just yet. Ali Baba remains an entertainer, a comedian, a master of ceremonies, radio show host, motivational speaker, photographer, writer and has a strong flair for creating and developing Ideas. The veteran comedian says his spare time is usually used to indulge in his habit of painting.

"I want to remain on top of my performance every time; I don't want people to be like, 'ah, O thought you said he's the best'. So, I'm still taking things very serious," he once said.

Ali baba is married to Mary and has five children. Daughters, Xsara, Brandi, Valerie and twin sons, Ejiro and Teriji.

Biography culled from pulse.ng