- Clearly, the life of MC Martins is the evidence of the manifestation of the Biblical verse that says: ‘The gift of a man shall make a way for him and bring him before Kings and men of repute’.
MC Martins, christened at birth as Achike Ifeanyi Martins, is an indigene of Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, South East Nigeria.
Early Life: Born to a Nigerian Navy personnel father, retired, Martins grew up in the Navy Barracks, Alakija in Lagos State of Nigeria. In the barracks, which comprised people from diverse ethnic nationalities with different languages, pidgin English was the commonest medium of communication because standard English was a far cry amongst most of the barracks kids. As a result, Martins, like other kids in the barracks, took the learning of pidgin as seriously as one will learn a major language as a subject in the college. This gives him a good knowledge of Pidgin and the skill of its usage as well. No wonder he flows so spontaneously in it (Pidgin) when making jokes or anchoring an event as master of ceremony.
Life Aspirations: Growing up as a child, Martins’ chief aspiration was to become a footballer. But as time progressed, precisely when he got to the Junior High School, he began to have a different view about life and about what he really wanted to be. At that point, the next line of profession that appealed to him was acting. He wanted to become a movie star. Doing comedy or anchoring events as master of ceremony (M.C) was the least thought on his mind.
‘Doing Comedy or M.C job was not something I ever imagined myself doing. I really wanted to be an actor, a movie star. I went for several auditions and did very well in every single audition. I never failed any. I could play virtually any role given to me. But, you see, there is that perennial challenge confronting the Nigerian Movie Industry – lack of funds. My producers had good scripts to produce classic movies but there were no funds. So, we would go too far places like the interior areas of Ogun state to shoot movies, which I was playing the lead roles, but at the end of the day we will not see the movies on air. That discouraged me, kind of. But, to cut the long story, here I am today, doing comedy and M.C, and by the grace of God, it is paying my bills and putting meals om my table,’ he said.
Career: Basically, Mr Achike Ifeanyi Martins, a.k.a M.C Martins, is a trained teacher by profession. He holds the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) from Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education in Lagos, Nigeria, and a Bachelor degree in Economics (Education) from Ekiti State University. Martins once taught at Emergency Comprehensive High School and Rockville College, both of them located in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria, at different times respectively before he vied into doing comedy and MC job as a profession.
‘As I said earlier, doing comedy or MC job was not my childhood dream. I got into this by way of switch of profession. I am naturally funny. So, comedy is something spontaneous in me. My career as an all-round ace comedian as well as handling occasions as Master of Ceremony started when I sometime helped a distant cousin of mine to get a link for a modeling contract. She got the contract and she was having one of her shows at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island when she offered me a ticket to go and watch her. I attended the event. And at the event I saw comedians like Frank Onero, Gordons and so on doing comedy and making people laugh. Meanwhile, where I was sitting with a group of some guests at the event, I started being spontaneous and the people on the same table with me were like: ‘are you one of the comedians to perform tonight?’ I said no, I’m just a guest. And then came the overall Head of Galaxy Television, the organizers of the Fashion show. I heard them saying that the man is very harsh and that motivated me to approach him. I decided I will approach this unapproachable man. So, I went outside of the event venue to gasp some air, then came back in. I went straight to the man and said to him. “You look really good, sir, I like your dress”. The man smiled and acknowledged my appraisals and I went in through his smile and asked him for a permission to go up stage and perform. He declined, insisting their programme was planned and he was not going to interrupt it with my introduction. On my insistence, the man then gave me their office address at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, and demanded that I go and see him in three days. I went there to meet him. I was in the news room, where everybody, including this man, was very busy. He gave me a casual notice of presence and told me to start showing him what I can do. I started, and after about a minute or two, every one of them was laughing. Then the man said: ‘OK. Be at Federal Palace Hotel on a particular date and time.’ I made a good use of the opportunity and went there as I was told. At the event, I was given five minutes to deliver what I had for the guests, but they ended up giving me well over ten minutes. I cracked the ribs of every guests in the hall. That was how it started. And today, the rest is history,’ he said.
Today MC Martins is an acknowledged and celebrated 360 degrees classic and ethnical comedian and Master of Ceremony. He does all kinds of comedy: Standup comedy, Situational Comedy (Sitcom) and so on. But besides making jokes at occasions, Martins is also a passionate writer. He writes jokes as well as other humour articles. MC Martins has featured in comedy shows and Gospel Music Concerts alongside notable comedians and artistes like: Alibaba, the grand master of the Nigeria Comedy industry, Gordons, Frank Onero, AY. Akpororo, Yinka Davies, Buchi, Bovi, the list is endless. Martins also loves singing. He is, indeed, a multi- talented young man. Little wonder people describe him as the quintessential Xtratainaire comedian, Xtratainer and an anointed Ribscracker. He is the host of the fast growing Lafta and Wonders Gospel Music Concert.
The future of comedy Industry: Talking about the future of comedy industry in Nigeria, Martins urged the government and the private sector players to emulate MTN Nigeria, Peak Milk and a few others who are currently sponsoring comedy events and shows in the country so that the industry can become a viable tool for youth development and a bigger employer of labour.
‘Comedy is one big industry that is making thousands of millionaires and billionaires out of ordinary Nigerian youths. It can do much more if the government and other private sector players can emulate what MTN Nigeria and others are doing right now to promote the industry,’ he said.
Martins also advised upcoming comedians to take their time to develop themselves, be spontaneous and humorously creative, they should write their own jokes, rather than lifting the works of others. That is the only way they can guarantee themselves a place and growth in the industry.
By Apeh Emmanuel