Comedy skits are growing in popularity among Nigerians. Several persons have joined the bandwagon of doing comedy skits but there are a few that dominate the industry and have become household names among Nigerians not just residing in the country but in various parts of the world. One of the leaders in this industry is Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni. This man is simply exceptional and his story is truly inspirational.
Who is Debo Adebayo?
Debo Adebayo who is popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, is a Nigerian actor, comedian, content developer, an MC, film producer, entrepreneur and social media influencer. He was born on the 3rd May, 1992, in Lagos state to a family of 10. His father is a journalist while his mother is an educationist. Adebayo is popularly known for his ‘you’re doing well‘ phrase which he often uses in his skits. Though he has been in the acting profession for some years, he only came into limelight after starting a series of comedy skits which are very popular on social media platforms. Most of his skits portray him as a sugar daddy, looking for a side chick and it is always full of adventures. His videos are loved because of their uniqueness and lessons that viewers learn at the endings. He is very easily identified because of his dark-red agbada costume, with dark sun glasses. He always plays the satirical role of a man who cannot control his actions whenever he comes across women.
Adebayo grew up in Ojota, Lagos state where he did his primary education at Tender Care School, also located in Ojota at that time. Though he had his secondary education at Babcock University High School located at Ilishan Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, he still spent his holidays in Lagos with his family members. As a child growing up in a large family of 10 who had strict but supportive parents, Adebayo had his challenges while getting to understand life at an early age. He describes his childhood as ‘simple’, and always states that he was inspired by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy. Adebayo actually wanted to become a pastor while growing up but eventually followed his original calling and ended up an actor.
Adebayo’s education looks a bit bumpy but he still overcame the challenges and graduated after attending three different universities. He finally graduated from Redeemer’s University. Here’s what happened. After his primary education at Tender Care School, Ojota and secondary education at Babcock University High School, he gained admission to study law at Lead City University, Ibadan but this was cut short in his 200 level when the news broke out that the law department in the institution wasn’t accredited. He said he left the school when after some series of meeting with the authorities, they noticed that the school was nonchalant about the situation.
Adebayo proceeded to Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou to study law and everything was going smoothly until he had an issue with one of his lecturers. He was summoned by the school authorities and eventually told to leave the school for some time, while they come up with a final decision. He decided to leave the school for another private institution. He then applied to study Creative Arts at Afe Babalola University in Ekiti State. After resuming in the school he was informed by the dean of studies that the institution hasn’t started offering Theatre Arts, but he could go for English. Adebayo wasn’t happy with this news because he actually gained admission to study Theatre Arts and not English. He eventually had to leave after a year.
Adebayo then gained admission to study Theatre Arts at Redeemer’s University, Osun State. The university is owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God. While at the institution, he ensured he left a legacy that would make every student an ambassador of the university.
Adebayo was not an obscure person in the university as he was the president of the student’s body while in the school, and tried his best to make every student happy and comfortable. Reports have it that few days before his graduation from Redeemers University he got expelled over a post he made on his Facebook Page. The University described his Facebook post as offensive, saying it portrayed the institution in bad light. This was seen as an act that constituted serious misconduct and punishable by expulsion. The case was later settled out of court, and he got his certificate from the institution in 2018.
Adebayo completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2020. He was very excited as many of the serving corpers most of whom were his fans gathered around him for photos. He stated on his Instagram handle, that he stood for over 2 hours taking photos with his colleagues who for one reason or the other, appreciated his craft. He was really happy to have fulfilled his dream of getting university education.
Adebayo’s career is a very successful one with twists and turns that inspire upcoming actors and actresses. His interest in acting began at a tender age when he started imitating personalities in the society. He said he used to imitate Pastor Chris Oyakhilome while watching him on TV. He was also very good at imitating others and back then, his brother would ask him to imitate certain persons in the society. This gradually developed his interest in acting and the rest is history.
Adebayo began early to showcase his talent as an actor. He began acting while in primary six and believes he was born to be in the acting profession. Here’s what he said about the beginning of his journey into the acting world: “My imitation skills gave birth to the acting in me. I recognised it as a God given talent and availed myself of any given opportunity to showcase it. I remember performing a part in William Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Vernice’ as early as primary six. I joined the drama group in my secondary school then and later on during my university days, I started going for auditions. My first job via audition was ‘Mistresses’ by Halima Abubakar and directed by Ifeanyi Ogbona.”
Adebayo has been featured in a number movies and soap operas before starting the ‘Mr Macaroni’ series. He stated that at a point in his life, he stopped getting movie roles and it began to appear like he didn’t know what he was doing. This was one of the challenges he had to overcome while heading to the top in the acting profession in Nigeria. He would get to Instagram then to see other successful actors such as Maraji and Broda Shaggi posting online skits that people were really enjoying. This was when the idea of doing comedy skits came to his mind, and he began playing the character of an old school teacher.
Adebayo said he began the Mr. Macaroni series when a company reached out to one of his producers that they needed someone to make a short YouTube video. He first played the character of an old school teacher, before the ‘sugar daddy’ character that he currently plays. On how he named the character Mr. Macaroni, here’s what he said; “Mr. Macaroni, as we all know, is or should be a jolly good fellow. I was on set one time and the character I was playing didn’t have a name. The Director asked me to give myself a name and Mr. Macaroni came from nowhere. Then, there is a friend of mine, Dedun, even before the name became so popular, anywhere she sees me, she had this funny way of saying ‘Macaroni’. So, it grew on me.”
Adebayo has been an actor for a long time and has been doing movies and soap operas such as Face 2 Face, Super Story, Family Ties, Nowhere To Be found, Papa Ajasco, Mistresses, Kajola, Ifa Iwa, Obinrin and many more. He stated that at a point in his life, he stopped getting movie roles and it began to appear like he didn’t know what he was doing.
It took him time to decide to start making skits because initially he was lost in his ego as a graduate of Theatre Arts. He said he couldn’t imagine himself doing comedy skits but after a while the idea to go into that line of acting came to his mind, and he began playing the character of an old school teacher. He then began to create new contents for Instagram. And that was how He found himself doing skits. He has worked with top actors and comedians in Nigeria which include the likes of Adedimeji Lateef, Broda Shaggi, Taaooma, Woli Arole, and Seyi Law. He has also featured big personalities in his comedy skits among which are veteran actor Jide Kosoko, Don Jazzy, and Ooni of Ife.
Adebayo has been recognized for his great works as a comedian in various ways. One of the top awards he has received is African Youth Choice Awards 2015.
Adebayo is among the fastest rising comedians in Nigeria with huge success based on his followers and number of views for his videos. There is no authentic fact about his net worth but various reports estimate the figure to be about $250,000.
Adebayo is an inspiration and a role model to many young Nigerians, especially those who have the dream of becoming their own bosses as entrepreneurs. He has grown from a regular Instagram user, to an influencer with over 800,000 followers on various social media platforms. The story of how he made it to the top is truly inspirational. He is today, a big brand in Nigeria’s comedy industry.