AS of today, 28-year-old Adebowale Adebayo stands tall as one of the biggest Instagram sensation from Nigeria after breaking barriers with a flirtatious and randy character known to many as freaky freaky daddy aka Mr Macaroni. Notable for mining several catchy phrases used in wooing a bevvy of ladies that he never gets his way with, the comic character has thrown the last child of a journalist and an educationist into the klieg lights. In this interview, Adebayo opened up on variety of issues including the difference between himself and the character he portrays, his single status, his stand on EndSARS protest, and why he’s not a standup comedian but a thespian.
WHAT differentiates Debo from Mr Macaroni?
I like to see Debo Adedayo as the actor, as the performer, the actor that I am, so that’s me, my person. Debo Adedayo is easy going, although quite a number of people will disagree but it is what it is and that’s my person. I am easy going, I believe in love and I believe that we should live a life worth living for others, we should always put people into consideration when doing stuff, so that’s Debo. He’s a guy who wants everybody to do better for himself/herself and who wants everybody to live in love, peace and harmony.
Mr Macaroni on the other hand is my stage name, something Mr Macaroni is freaky freaky daddy but freaky freaky daddy is that character because of course, Mr Macaroni as an entertainer can do a lot of thing other than being freaky freaky daddy and this year by God’s grace, we would be seeing a lot of those other stuffs, so freaky freaky daddy is a freaky character, naughty nature and Debo deliberately built the character to talk to the society in a way, you know this is something that happens and you always find men like that in the society who see any girl and go after her but what I do is that the character never gets his way because it’s my way of saying, look why not just be happy with whoever your wife is or whoever your partner is and live a decent life.
Mr Macaroni has since become a household name, how did you conceive the idea of the character?
Well, I believe the character you are talking about is freaky freaky daddy. The character is what has brought about Debo being in the limelight, a lot of people already look forward to seeing that character when they hear Mr Macaroni, so I totally understand that.
Well, I can’t say it’s a total figment of my imagination and I can also say that a lot of people I have a distant uncle or father or an elderly man that behaves like that but that’s false. I created that character from my mind, we all know that there are men like that who love doing such when they see a girl they say some of these things, so I would say yes our society helped in creating that character and of course my imagination.
So, I said what if I create a man that is always doing this or always doing that and we thank God that people enjoy and love the character. What people say most times when they engage is that they like the fact that the character is used to pass across different messages across to the society at large.
Some of the lines synonymous with the character of Mr Macaroni is ‘oin, you are doing well,’ how do you come about these lines?
So, these lines just come. You know while I’m performing or acting, these lines just come to me and I just say it. They are just in the heat of being spontaneous and I love the fact that one way or the other, the audience just love it and they turn it into a catchy phrase and the feedback is always please repeat this line or that line because it was missing in the last skit or last episode. So, I just thank God for the acceptance because any of those lines, once I use them, people literally tend to love them and they begin to resonate with those lines.
Until your character became a popular one via social media, you had acted in several movies, what was it like in your early days of acting?
Trust me, the hustle was real. The hustle is still real because everyday we continue to try to survive and continue to work hard and by God’s grace we remain on top of our game. So, those days, it was from one audition to the other, from Masha Kilo to Festac and those were the places we started to National Art Theatre and trying to get featured on stage plays, so the hustle was real and as at that time and even till now, there’s politics and there are different things that happen, you are doing your thing and it’s not white and black because while you are going for auditions, some other people sitting back are getting the roles. It was quite something but I learnt alot and it taught me patience and perseverance because you know, I have always said to myself that this is what I want to do so I just kept at it and then I was desperate, I was so desperate because I wasn’t getting roles and this is just an actor that just wanted to express himself, showcase his talent and allow people see his act and feel what he’s capable of. So, the hustle was real but we thank God.
Would you refer to yourself as a standup comedian or a comic actor?
Well, I am definitely not a standup comedian. I tell people who ask that I am not a standup comedian. I can’t stand on stage and crack jokes for even 30minutes, I am a host, I can host events not cracking jokes. Of course, the way I say some things, some experiences I share will make people laugh but I don’t see that as standup comedy. I like to see that as another craft on its own, I have been hosting events as I noted but I don’t do standup comedy. A comic actor, well yes, because I take comic roles but I see myself as an actor, a performer, a thespian that can act as many roles as brought to me to interpret, that is who an actor is but the comic line has brought me to limelight as an actor but as I noted, this was an avenue for me to express my talent and my art, so I am an actor, I am a performer, I can do comic roles and any other roles that comes.
What’s one thing that is unknown about Debo to many fans or that misconception about your person?
Well, because of what I do in the videos, the first misconception think that most people think I roll with women and try to get their numbers and be with them like freaky freaky daddy, they actually mistake my real person for freaky freaky daddy’s character thinking that is who I am. A lot of people say I love women a lot but that’s me just interpreting a role. Of course, I love women because I have a mother and six sisters but not in the way a lot of people think. What people don’t know about me is that I am quite reserved and I try not to put my private life on social media, I don’t think you would see that. For people that know me, I am quite reserved. I talk, I interact, I engage but I am not the party-going type like many people believe.
Let’s get a bit personal now, is Mr Macaroni married?
No, Mr Macaroni is not married. Mr Macaroni is single and he’s not searching.
So, how soon are you looking at tying the nuptial know and if you are planning such anytime soon, tell us about the freaky freaky that has swooned you
(Laughs) There’s no freaky freaky ooin. No freaky freaky at the moment. How soon? I can’t say, honestly, I am not thinking about it right now and that’s me being honest. I am just focused on my work and a lot of projects I am working on, so that is not on my to do list right now.
If you look back to when you started and how, how long will you say it took you before making headway as Mr Macaroni?
Honestly, the character of freaky freaky daddy began in late 2019 and that’s about a year plus, not exactly two years and early 2020, a lot of people got to start knowing me almost the time it began. Honestly, when I think about it, I just thank God.
In 2019, you were recently one of the popular names during the EndSARS protest that was later hijacked, can you share with us your views and all that happened?
Well, you know, that is a story that breaks my heart. I mean, it’s a story that anytime it comes up, I just feel very sad and change my mood. First, the peaceful protest wasn’t hijacked by hoodlums, it was attacked. It was an attack. You know when a peaceful protest is going on and consistently thugs are attacking the protest and we are crying out and saying this protest is going on and shouting that the thugs are disrupting and attacking us, what do we call that if not an attack?
Then later, you come and say it has been hijacked. I remember a picture that went viral in Alausa, I was there that day when these guys came with machetes and different weapons and a lot of people ran away and some people chased them away and all of that and we handed some of them over to the police and they were released. There was a picture that went viral and till now, nothing was done, no arrest was made. So, the impunity reeks, it was obvious that they felt, let’s leave them, when they attack them very very well, they would leave the streets or we find a way to disperse them and that was what they did, so when they say it was hijacked by hoodlums, no it wasn’t, they knew what they were doing, they deliberated said peaceful protest and we made it very peaceful and suddenly, the attacks were coming, so what is the responsibility of the government? I mean protesting is a fundamental human right, so, when people are protesting and they can not even be protected, it shows the reason why they are protesting.
So, it is really a sad occurence and will forever be in history, the way the government handled it, while the protest was on, police officers still killed some civilians not to say that some police officers did not suffer undue violence, there were cases where police stations were burnt, some police officers were mugged and even some died and in all honesty, that is sad as well and should never be condoned. I will always speak against such, so injustice, criminality, offences or any evil doing, or criminal acts from any side should never be tolerated. So, when we are speaking up, we are speaking up for every Nigerian because before being a police officer, you are first a Nigerian, before being a president, governor, senator or lawmaker, you are first a Nigerian, so all Nigerians must be protected but now when you as a leader charged with the responsibility of protecting human lives and properties, you have sworn an oath to uphold that duty and you are bound by law to do so when it now turns to killing of innocent civilians, it’s just sad. I just wish the government can do better and know that this is not a fight over political parties. I don’t need to be in any political party to speak for my rights or the rights of the people, these politicians are all the same because they all have led us to where we are today. It’s about every Nigerians speaking out because every Nigerian deserves better and to earn a good living.
Being a busy personality, how do you unwind?
I like playing table tennis a lot. Whenever I am home or not busy, I play with some of my team members, I also play video games and I gist with my friends.
What role – as an actor – do you earnestly seek to play?
Hmm…That role that I have been itching to play… A warlord. I would like to play the role of a warlord and if I don’t get the role soon, I am going to shoot it myself anyways, I will produce it by myself. I want to play a warlord, I have a story already but I won’t disclose that because I actually have plans to do something like that, a big movie by God’s grace, in another light, like a warlord that would do things.
How do you handle female fans, who insist on having an amorous relationship with you?
Well, they are first and foremost, lovers of our craft and I respect every admirer of my craft and me, those that support our work. So, it’s just a thing of letting them understand that I am sorry, I am not interested in such a relationship, show them love but at the same time, let them know that I can’t grant what they desire but of course let them know that they are well appreciated.
Tell us about your growing up and how you came about art/entertainment
Growing up for me was fun. I am the last born and my mum will ensure I get anything I want and my dad is actually a journalist and always very busy, so anytime he comes around, I was always happy, so it was fun growing up with my sisters who saw me as the spoilt one. For arts and entertainment, it started at that tender age. I used to watch Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and anytime he preaches, for me, I was seeing an orator, I loved the way he used to talk, the charisma, the energy, you know that vibe he used to give and I used to watch him and I started mimicking him and my parents used to watch me and my sisters will ask me to perform for them and from there, I started mimicking my sisters and later teachers in school and that was how it started and everyone knew I used to perform and act. I joined the drama club and in late secondary school, I started going for auditions, I joined a modeling agency called the Blessed Angel modeling academy, so that was how we learnt how to walk, act, perform, read poems and that was how the journey began.
What would you say you used to do before fame and fortune which you can no longer do?
I used to go out and just take a walk, I like taking a stroll in the evening but now, it’s almost impossible because every time I do that people will stop me on the road, I am okay but some other people want to corner you and sometimes make unbelievable requests, so it could be stressful, so I can’t take the stroll like I used to even there are times I want to go to some particular places but I can’t anymore because I would need to find a particular time to go, so majorly, I think that is what I used to do before fame and no can no longer do. Every other thing I used to do before fame, I still do now.
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