Interviews

interview with Public speaker and MC- Ayobami Yusuf “MC AYULAH”.

posted by Barakah April 30, 2017 11 Comments

So the thing about this interview is that it took me on a journey I went from being all serious to tearing up in the name of laughter and then back to seriousness all over again.

Hey Guys! Today on this segment of the blog is the popular ‘Ayulah’, I once came across a video on Instagram of a couple dancing to an Indian song at their wedding reception and the MC was so serious coordinating the dance, I thought to myself the guests must have had the laughter of their lives but my thought didn’t end there as Ayulah seem to have a great sense of humor who will make an event bubbly, At least people get to see that side of him a lot but there is more that we do not see,I followed him on Instagram and I knew there was more to him, I was certain to get him to share that other part of him and inspire people, so I asked him for an Interview and he warmly granted me one.

So Enjoy!
Tell us about the Yourself

My name is Ayobami Yusuf popularly known as Ayulah. I am a native of Omu-Aran, Kwara State. I am the 3rd of 5 children. A graduate of Geology from University of Ilorin.

How did you come about the name ‘Ayulah’?

Hmmmm. The name ‘Ayulah’ was given to me when I was in secondary school(Jss 2) by my school father. The nickname stuck with me since then.
You have a diploma in engineering why did you leave that for another career?
Oh well, not just a Diploma in Engineering, I also have a degree in Geology. Well, I’ll say I left my  9-5 job because I found my calling and decided to pursue it.
After my University education, my first job was with a Mining Company where I spent 2years before I got another job with a Telecom Servicing firm (Huawei Technologies) as a Field engineer attached to MTN project. I have been on the job for 5 years before deciding to finally quit. It was while I was on the job, that I found my calling and started taking MC jobs for social and corporate events.
How did you juggle both careers?

Shuttling between both wasn’t very easy as I had to travel a lot which took me away from home a lot of times. Weekdays I was on the field, running all over the country, optimizing fiber optics connections, establishing links to make the network better, trying to meet up with targets, and on weekends I had to travel for events. After a year into emceeing and public speaking, I had to leave to focus more on developing my craft and honing my skills and most importantly spend more time with my family.
How has the journey been so far?
All thanks to ALLAH, the journey has been exciting and challenging. Since I left my job, I have had more time for my family. I have also had time to do lots of personal things.
How have you developed your interpersonal skill?
This is one area we all need to keep working on. Interaction with others is a daily phenomenon that we all engage in. It comes naturally. Meanwhile, in the business domain where a job needs to be done, special skills are required. I have horned myself by reading extensively on how to relate with all kind of people. When I am contracted to an event, I know there are other vendors contracted too and I know we must all work together to achieve the common goal of the client, which is a successful event.
When was the first time you anchored an event?
For me, it started with acting stage plays from my primary school days. This was where public speaking started for me.  Then in my secondary school(FGC Ilorin), I joined the Drama and Cultural troupe. We had a very good teacher -Mr. ThankGod Odueley who read Performing Arts. He was the one who taught us how to conquer stage fright, voice projection, and variation, etc
And then, when friends and families had small gatherings, they usually turn to the one who had the confidence to face the crowd. That was how it started for me. But as a professional, my first paid job was on December 5th,2015. It was the 60th Birthday anniversary
 Three people you look up to?
People I look up to? They are plenty oooo. My mentor has to be the first-Dr. Shogo, then a host of others Alibaba, Ik Osakidiowa, TeeA, Steve Harvey, Teju Babyface, Frank Edoho. The list is endless
How far have you traveled to anchor an event so far?
From when I started as a professional MC, I have anchored events in about 23 state cutting across all the geopolitical zones in Nigerian. I have an event in Ghana later this year too.
What’s your proudest achievement?

Hehehehehehehe. Proudest achievement? I am simply happy with myself. The fact that I am doing what I love and getting paid for it makes me happy. I am glad that within the time I started out, I have been noticed. Not just within my locality but even beyond the shores of Nigeria. I remember a lady called from Dubai and asked how much I’ll charge to anchor her wedding reception. She said she found me on social media and like my work. That’s a small victory worth celebrating.

What was your last appraisal?

Well after every event, I evaluate how well I have performed and sometimes get to hear feedback on how to be better. There are a lot my humble self can’t begin to mention

What are the top 5 qualities a MC should have?

Being a good MC requires a lot but in my opinion, the top five should be:
Good command of the language
Good dress sense
Attention to details
Great sense of humor
Spontaneity(Ability to react positively to happenings around)
Have you ever gotten a negative comment from any of your client or guests and how did you deal with it?
Since I started, I haven’t received one negative comment from any of client. This is because I am very detailed. Before my event, I try to meet up with clients and get every necessary information. I also approach all my event with the mindset that my next client might be seated in the audience who might just be watching me. So I believe, subsequent events might be tied to the present one, so I give my best all irrespective of the pay. This is not to say I have not asked from my clients and audience on where I can improve and be better.
What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Hehehehehehehehe. Truthfully none. You know that no two events can be the same. Some weird moments but none has really embarrassed me, absolutely NONE.
How easy is it to work with other vendors at an event?
For me, absolutely easy. One of the good qualities of a good MC is to be time conscious. I have never arrived late for an event. I get there as early as 2 hours before anything starts and the first thing I do is to familiarize myself with other vendors. Arriving early also gives me a mental edge on how the event will turn out.
How much/well do you have to prepare to anchor an event?
Like I said earlier, a professional MC needs to pay attention to details. For me, I put in a lot of preparation before all of my events. The first thing I do is to speak extensively (sometimes arrange a meeting) with my clients so we can both know how the event will pan out.
Then I put it all in writing. I pen down my speech and practice in front of the mirror. For the humor part, I leave that to my spontaneity. I sometimes practice and rehearse jokes but most times, on the spot jokes are better for me.
Top 3 books you will advise someone who wants to become a Mc to read?
Ahhhh….. There are lots of books ooo. There are so many books out there. Worthy of mention-
How to Make yourself a powerful public speaker (Hughes&Phillips)
A-Z of Public Speaking(Fela Durotoye), 
Master of Ceremonies(Joel Gray),
A master of Ceremonies(Rachael Green)
Where do you see Ayulah’s speaking service in the next 5 years?
Five Years from now, I want to be an authority in the industry. Be among the best. BE SUCCESSFUL
What’s the Idea behind your signature Indian dance?
Firstly I am a big fan of Indian movies. I have been from childhood. So when I started anchoring weddings, I was watching a video on youtube where the couple danced to an Indian song. I thought to myself, this could be hilarious at wedding receptions. Though not at all the events I have anchored(because some clients don’t want it), I have had a nice time making couples groove to it.
What price does your wife pay for marrying a Mc? 
ROTFL. Hahahahaha. Pay a price ke? Do women pay prices or they enjoy you paying the price all the time? Is she not the one enjoying all the money? On a serious note, when I was starting out, we sat down and spoke about lots of things. She’s a very supportive woman. I remember my first event, she accompanied me.Before we left for the event, we were discussing if I should anchor the event in English or Yoruba because of the audience(The struggle/jitters of first time MC). I know I’m more comfortable in English but I needed to vibe with the audience. When we got there and people started arriving, I was backstage preparing to mount the stage when she sent me a text message saying, ‘Ayomi, please go with your normal flow, these people look tushe’. Her text message earned her a fair share of the balance that day. you see that women don’t pay prices, they enjoy watching the men pay the prices.
You are referred to as the Ladies man. How does your wife deal with that?
Ladies man ke? Me? This ugly mucheche? This wowo looking dude. No oooo Wetin dem wan follow for my body? Fine- I no fine. Money I never get reach Dangote or Otedola. Fame, Name- I be Alibaba or AY ni? .Who even said I am a ladies man? Folashade mi, I know you will read this soon, don’t mind them o. before person no go chop dinner now.
If you were to change the hands of time, what are the 3 things you would change from your past?
There’s just one thing- I might have reconsidered studying sciences. Probably Theatre Arts or Mass Communication. But on the other hand, studying sciences has been beneficial
Three things you wouldn’t go out without?
Of course my Phone, A book, positive thought, My laptop(Probably)
Describe your sense of fashion.
I just love to wear what I am comfortable in.

What would you say to someone who wants to be a Mc?

Being a successful MC is not an overnight task. One good event cannot propel you as an MC to stardom. The role of an emcee is quite demanding and challenging. There are two major tips I’ll like to share with anyone who intends to venture into emceeing

For a beginner, the first step is to get a mentor. Not just as an MC, whatever vocation you have chosen, get someone in your field to mentor you. Someone to guide you by giving you informal transmission of knowledge to get you to where you want to be and beyond. There’s no substitute to having a mentor. I read from Teju Babyface’s book(Secret of the Streets) where he said -‘There are basically two ways of getting wisdom in life: from experience and at the foot of a mentor. Having one without the other is like answering only half a question in an important examination’

Secondly, be prepared to expand your knowledge. Read anything that comes your way. As they say, Talent alone is not enough. It requires hard work and dedication. somethings, you will learn on the job but with these two tips, it’s a sure way to begin.
Thank you so much Ayulah for taking out time for this interview
And that’s it guys, I do hope you are inspired. You can follow Ayulah @Ayulah and you can check out his website: www.speakingservices.org
See you in my next post In shaa Allah

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11 Comments

Akeredolu Aminat April 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

ain’t surprise Ayulah is doing dis thou. He sure makes us laugh in Unilorin days and about the Indian thing, I can relate so well. #naworkweyhedeydo

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Ayulah May 1, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Hehehehehehehehe. Thanks sis #NaTheWorkWeDeyDo ooooo

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Abu Lawal April 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Congrats Ayula!!! You are getting there soonext in sha Allah. We are so proud of you for the recognitions, cause if you aint doing it well you wont be recognised, More grease to your elbow.

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Kazeem April 30, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Not many times do we have the opportunity to read about someone we have had direct and close encounter with. More often, the stories are always about someone up there or at a distant land. Ayula’s is one that resonates so well. His story is indeed one that should be shared with many youths in our today’s society. In terms of discovering ones talent and finding ones call, as well as taking them professional, Ayula will be an invaluable resource that most youth can relate to. Professionally, he is truly a master in the act of mceeing. He was the MC at my wedding earlier this year. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to give him a feedback. And maybe I should share it here: He has a deep passion for the job. He displayed a sincere dedication towards making the day memorable for his clients. At my wedding, beside entertaining the audience very well, he paid apt attention to the couple, helping us maintain a ceremonial mood, less distracted by the intervening events around us. In fact, for a shy person as me, Ayulah was the one who saved my day, in spite of my slow responses to him. He maid sure I smiled and dance. He paid close attention to details from the first encounter and followed up. I called him “my MC” because he went over and beyond to add glamor to our day. I believe, and I pray that his job will take him places and earn him an enviable spot among the top and successful in the field.

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Ayulah May 1, 2017 at 5:19 pm

THIS definitely has made my 2017. Thank you bro

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Rahmah April 30, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Ayulah is a great man… More grease to your elbow dear friend…

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Lawal Barakat Funke April 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Ayula is a master in the act of mceeing he helps in adjusting and also maintaining ceremonial moods.Have attended two events he anchored and am really impressed he is good very good nd also very dedicated to his job.

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Aminah April 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm

This is just the beginning of great things to come. The sky is your limit In Sha Allah.

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Lateefah April 30, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Alihamdulillah. May Allah continue to guide you.

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Damola April 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Nice write up here with a cool dude boss. Keep up the good works.

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MC Ayulah shares Tips for choosing your MC. - Barakah's Thoughts July 12, 2017 at 11:41 pm

[…] interview with Public speaker and MC- Ayobami Yusuf “MC AYULAH”. […]

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