Last week, week, we ran the first part of the interview with a popular comedian, Mr. Macaroni. This brilliant actor, entrepreneur and social media influencer has become not just a household name, but also one of Naija’s biggest brands on social media. His videos have been variously described as one of the most hilarious contents on social media. His popular phrases such as “Ooin! You’re doing well” have become slangs adopted by many.
In this interview with City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290), Mr. Macaroni real name Debo Adebayo, revealed a lot about his humble beginning and how he came up with the name, Mr. Macaroni. Enjoy the concluding part of the one hour interview.
Looking back at your journey to stardom, considering how long it took you to get your big break in showbiz and how long it took you to graduate from the university, how do you feel with the modest achievements you have made so far?
I feel good. I feel very thankful and grateful to God. But the truth is, I never for once thought in my head that I will be a failure. That thought never came to me despite the many things that I went through. I happen to be the only one in my family that went to four different universities. A lot of people around me were definitely thinking, something is wrong with this boy, but I never thought that about myself. I just believe that it was all a phase that by God’s grace I would overcome. And a lot of these things happened because of the kind of person I am. Personally, I don’t conform to rules that don’t make sense to me. For me, its not about the rules always being there, it’s about asking, do these rules make sense? The fact that the rules have been there forever doesn’t mean they make sense. So, it’s our duty to question them when we see that they actually do not make sense. But in this part of the world,. Given the kind of society we live in, it is believed that the minute you begin to question things, you are a rebel. A troublemaker. That’s what people used to think about me, they felt I was a stubborn person. But all I wanted was for me to be sure of what I was doing and what I was getting myself into. I would always question things that didn’t seem right to me. And I guess this was the reason why a lot of people in the movie industry did not give me some roles because there were some things too that I would say at that time. For instance, I could tell you, I’m sorry, this storyline is not making sense or this script is faulty and at the end of the day, they‘ll say, this guy’s wahala is too much, jare. So, I had my own idea of how things should be done. I knew exactly what I wanted, I just didn’t know it would come soon.
How are your parents, and family as a whole taking this transformation that’s happening to you? I know mum or dad must’ve had experiences of people meeting them in public and asking, are you really Mr. Macaroni’s mum or dad?
Of course, everyone is elated, everyone is thankful for my progress. I’m sure if you ask every one of them last year that would I be here this year, they’ll probably tell you, yes, he will make progress but certainly not sat this level. Even I, myself, did not know I could get here where everyone is asking to see or meet Mr. Macaroni within such a short while. So, we’re all thankful and grateful for everything.
How are you dealing with this sudden fame yourself, how are you taking in everything?
Well, we thank God, I’m just keeping my head low because like I said, I’ve been used to pressures like this, except that this one is way more than what I was used to. There’s a constant pressure now. I know that if I step out now, people are watching me, people want to talk pictures with me even when I’m not in the mood or feeling like taking pictures, but people that love you, your fans, don’t know that and you just have to respect their wishes and show them love. They don’t want to know if something just happened to you and you’re not feeling good, all they know is that they’re seeing Mr. Macaroni, the person that they love and they are excited about it. Yu hear people say whenever I’m depressed and I see your videos, I’m just so happy. So, if somebody like that gets the chance to finally get to see you, it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, I tell myself I owe this person at the very least, the courtesy to say oh, hi, thank you. And if the person wants to take pictures, I say, of course, by all means please take pictures. I know well about this kind of pressure now and I’m trying to deal with it.
How about the name Mr. Macaroni, how did you come up with the name?
I was on the set of Face 2 Face playing the role of an extra. At the time, the character I was playing had no name. Usually, they would name those characters ‘Boy 1 and Boy 2.’The director wanted this particular character to have a name so he asked me if I had a name in mind he could give to the character and just out of the blues I said Mr. Macaroni because I felt that what we were doing was comedy and Mr. Macaroni was supposed to be a jolly good fellow. So, I just said to him, ‘Mr. Macaroni’ and that was how the name stuck. However, it was when I got to the university that people began to know me more by the name. There was this female friend who would scream Macaroni whenever she saw me on campus back then in school so I just decided to keep the name and people started calling me Mr. Macaroni.
Tell us about your background. Where were you born, where were you raised and the schools attended
I am from Abeokuta in Ogun state. I was born and bred in Lagos. My childhood days, from age one to about seven-eight was at Ojota before we now moved to Magodo Phase one, in Isheri. My primary school was at Ojota, a boarding school which was secondary school was at Babcock University High School. My first university was Leeds University where I was studying Law at the time, from Leeds I went to Dogbe North American University in Cotonou where I also studied Law and from there to Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, where I studied English and Media. Now, because I’m mentioning the names of these universities, I don’t want to star going into details as to why I left. Finally, I proceeded to Redeemers University where I did Theatre Arts and that’s where I finished from and graduated before proceeding for my NYSC, though there were still one or two issues there as well (laughs).
Apart from your background, what else would you say prepared you for what you’re doing now and helping you to handle all of it so well?
In my secondary school I was Head boy, this meant I had to deal and relate with all the students in the school at that time. I was always everywhere, trying to make everyone laugh and be okay. I think I’ve always been a people person. I like to laugh with people and ensure that in any environment I find myself in, I impart positively in the lives of others. All of the universities that I went to as well, I had an excellent relationship with everybody. That’s one of the things that prepared me for where I am now because I’ve always been in the midst of people, I’ve always been constantly engaging a lot of people at the same time. Career-wise too, I’ve always said to myself that this is what I want to do and this is where I want to be. I’m an artiste, the Arts live within me. Every day is about Arts. It’s about acting, it’s about performing. I just want to perform. I just want to entertain. That’s what I’ve always been about and I’ve told myself that I don’t see myself doing any other thing apart from entertainment.
What should we expect from Mr. Macaroni in the next few months, say starting from next year or thereabout because you have sort of raised the standard yourself and people’s expectations are quite high?
Yeah, right now, we’re still working on some amazing videos for online and there are bigger plans by God’s grace. We want to do more. We want to do movies, series, not just for online but also for TeeVee. We are working on a lot of things. What we’re thankful for now is that the platform is there, the acceptance is there, what we’ve got to do now is ensure we don’t lose that platform. We need to keep pushing. The truth is that, when you’re not there yet, it’s easy to do anything and get away with it because you may not have anything to lose. But once you’re there, a lot of people know you and they will always expect you to be better than you were the last time, that’s the pressure. So, in another short while from now, people will expect more from the Macaroni that they know today because they will be like, for this guy to have done so much so quickly, there must be a lot more to come. I mean, we have featured the likes of Jide Kosoko, Don Jazzy, Femi Adebayo, just to inspire people, so people will expect more. Anything less is not acceptable as far as the people are concerned.
So, definitely, people will soon get to see you on TeeVee on a regular basis?
Definitely, yes, we are working on that.