Talented Nigerian comedian and filmmaker, Ayo Makun, aka AY, recently shot a beauty pageant scene in his latest movie, 10 Days in Sun City at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos.
PREMIUM TIMES had a chat with the funny man at the location and he opened up on his winning formula, love for film-making as well as his vision for the “Akpos” franchise.
PT: The adventures of Akpos appear to be a never-ending story. What is unique about 10 Days in Sun City?
A.Y: 10 Days in Sun City is another Akpos franchise and one of the series of his adventure. This time around Akpos decides to go to Sun city in South Africa to have some fun. It’s a romantic comedy laced with so much excitement. The idea is also to do our usual collaboration, which is all about having a blend between Nigeria and other countries and this time it has to be South Africa.
PT: Tell us more about the film?
AY: It is shot in Sun City, Johannesburg and Lagos. The hilarious star-studded comedy movie features A-list movie cast from Nigeria such as Richard Mofe-Damijo, Adesua Etomi, Mercy Johnson, Falz The Bahd Guy, 2Baba Idibia, Gbenro Ajibade, Fathia Balogun, Uti Nwachukwu, Yvonne Jegede and Alexx Ekubo to name a few.
The movie also features Miguel Nunez Jr. from Hollywood and hilarious South Africa cast that includes the sensational Amanda Du Pont, comedienne Thenjiwe Moseley, Celeste Ntuli and lots more.
PT:…and the plot?
AY: 10 Days in Sun City’ is a potpourri of love, drama, passion and culture combined with generous portions of comedy. The movie is a feature-length comedy-drama that sees Akpos on another “adventure”, this time, to South Africa, with his girlfriend Bianca.
Bianca is a campus beauty queen who he (Akpos) has sacrificed his livelihood to make successful. After successfully winning a national beauty pageant, BIANCA, ever loyal to Akpos, is now an international celebrity rolling with society’s ‘high and mighty’. She is, amongst several mouth-watering corporate endorsements, global ambassador to, and the face of multi-national cosmetics conglomerate ‘OTAWI’ which is owned by Nigeria’s richest man, Otunba Ayoola Williams, aka ‘The Old Fox’. To Otunba, Bianca represents more than the face of his company, he has plans for her to play a bigger role in the business as well as in his ‘life’. So Otunba decides to embark on the same journey to South Africa. Bianca has no idea what lies in store neither does Akpos. I can’t reveal more.
PT: You have had back-to-back hits with your films and most recently broke your own records. What will say is your winning formula?
A.Y: It has little or nothing to do with spending so much on a film because some people spend much less and make so much returns. The idea to get it right is to spend money in doing the right thing. Gone are the days when we took the audience or viewers for granted with the belief that you can give them just anything. Right now, you cant just feed anyone with any film and think they will accept it. For that reason I made a primary decision that our passion is well established in terms of content and the arts generally.
PT: Many are of the opinion that comedy no longer pays you hence your focus on film-making.
AY: That’s a big lie because year in and out, I have hosted my AY Show in London, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other parts of the world. This (filmmaking) is just a part of the business. It’s always good to diversify as an entertainer because you have the franchise to explore different areas in the entertainment circle. Personally, I can’t sing and that is the only area I won’t venture into but marketing entertainment, doing movies is a total package for me. It makes no sense for people to think that because I’m doing movies I have decided to stop stand up comedy. Kevin Hart is an actor and big time moviemaker. Steve Harvey is a stand-up comedian, a radio talk show host and a stand up comedian. From Chris Rock to Eddie Murphy, the list is endless. People should just learn to accept entertainers and if Dbanj decides to act today it shouldn’t be attributed to the fact that Banky W had a successful debut in acting.
PT: Why must it be a Trip to Jamaica, 30 Days in Atlanta and now 10 days in Sun City?
AY: Akpos loves adventure and he loves travelling around the world. We can’t shoot 10 days in Warri because there are over 4000 Akpos in Warri. Nigerians love to know how their friends and loved ones in other environments and some people haven’t seen or experienced other cultures and practices in other countries like Jamaica. But, such persons will know that you will see it in the movie through the eyes of Akpos. When people ask must I travel abroad to shoot a film? I simply tell them that this is my style. A winning team is a winning formula and I can never change it until when I feel its time to do something else. I know I can’t shoot a horror movie in this part of the world and that is why comedy gives me that extra edge.
PT: Why the choice of Adesua Etomi as your love interest in 10 Days in Sun City?
AY: I chose to star her in the film because she is gorgeous and beautiful. We are shooting a movie that has to do with a beauty queen and when you look at the industry who and who can you present as a beauty queen. We are not saying who is beautiful but who has the qualities of a beauty queen. Adesua fits perfectly into the role.
PT: How much has 10 Days in Sun City gulped so far?
AY: It’s not a figure that I can put together at the moment but it is a whole lot of money. The budget is three times bigger than what I have ever expended on a movie. For instance, this location is a set for a scene in the movie that will not last more than 6 minutes. That is to let you know where we have decided to take this industry.
PT: When is the film premiering at the cinemas?
AY: The premiere will be in June, in summer.