Mr. Macaroni Says You’re Doing Well
Mr. Macaroni showed good intentions that he would occupy an iconic place in Nigeria’s cinematic culture. He exhibited a fondness for comedic and dramatic acting from his teenage years. And this propensity for the screen landed him roles in the once popular Television hit, Papa Ajasco in 2014. A bold foray into the TV trend of his formative years, that act was just the start of what has turned out to be a burgeoning career in dramatic entertainment through the inventive use of modern tools of new and social media.
And he is doing well in his chosen profession. This is signaled by his numerous awards, corporate endorsement deals, interactive social media followership, and the attention accorded to his social and political commentaries, which seek to enhance public dialogues for social good and a workable political economy in the country.
Mr. Macaroni has added new emblems to our linguistic register with phrasal choices such as, “you are doing well,” “what’s going on here,” “Freaky, freaky,” “let me freaky your account,” and onomatopoeic sounds such as, “ooin,” “Awey” and others. But it is not only in acting and the business of laughter that he has notched his bow.
The prodigiously gifted actor and courageous humor merchant has begun using his lofty place on the big screen for social change by lending his voice to burning political and public conversations of his time. And his realization of the enormous power of his famous brand to effect positivity in society is commendable and worth highlighting.
With a social media strength of 2.7 million followers on Twitter, the celebrated actor is mindful of the colossal force of his big brand and the bewitching humor of his randy screen character. His big-screen values can be deployed for the public good regarding elective politics because his make-believe world of drama is only a means to capture mass attention before punching us in the face with poignant truths.
This animated screen icon and graduate of Wale Adenuga’s PEFTI film institute is not alone in his voyage into activism and the controversial world of politics. In Ukraine, we find the courageous example of Volodymir Zelensky, who seamlessly transitioned from T.V. clown to presidential crown. Mr. Macaroni has not indicated any open interest in elective offices, but he may well do so in the future. It will not be surprising if he goes into political contests, bearing in mind his constituency is that of the masses and young people.
The result of his screen accomplishments is such that Macaroni has become the beautiful bride of major commercial brands in Nigeria, where his theatrical skills and sartorial symbols are in productive use, thereby enhancing the place of corporate and individual brands in the marketplace. The identity he brings to socio-political issues cannot be sidestepped because of the enormity of his brand presence in the social space. And this quality is why he elicits conversational highpoints each time he puts a vocal badge on social debates, employing comical distinctions that inflame comic relief while pointing us to meaty parts of pressing national issues.
For instance, on October 13, 2021, he lent a symbolic presence to agitations against the planned reopening of the Lekki toll plaza, which had been shut in the aftermath of the October 20, 2020 brutal military crackdown on peaceful protesters who had converged on the spot. The burns from that public engagement with security agents haven’t left him. And he continues to speak about intimidations now and then and about how he was dehumanized, ridiculed, and hounded into a crammed security van as though a public criminal with no rights and dignity of his own whatsoever. His traumatic experience with state agents has only inflamed his zeal for public good and impact because he hasn’t relented in his commentaries for social transformation. If anything, Mr. Macaroni has since found a distinctive voice in Nigeria’s march to general elections in 2023.
On August 15, 2022, he tweeted: “Nigerians have suffered enough! We have a chance to change this country for good by voting in competent and credible leaders!! The time is now!!” He then offered a concluding dramatic and iconic line to the tweet. He wrote: “May our Labour never be in vain.” He also added the symbol of a clenched fist representing power, protest, and resistance. This was a bold statement in light of obtaining dramatic tensions in the country’s cultural politics. But his social media interventions only underscore the point that Mr. Macaroni wants to do well for his country in its quest for good governance. He was driven in his remarks by a collective interest that should always override personal considerations.
While many know him as Mr. Macaroni, Adebowale Adedayo is not done talking to the young people of his country. He offered another admonishing tweet in a profoundly personal and private tone as if writing an intimate letter to loved ones. He tweeted, “Dear Nigerian Youth, when that time comes to cast your vote, remember the pain and sadness from October 2020, remember the lack of an enabling environment for you to succeed as a citizen of Nigeria. By then, no one will need to tell you who to vote for!!!” In his characteristic theatrical style, he offers a fitting dramatic close to his tweet: “VOTE WISELY!”
Mr. Macaroni, a Redeemers University graduate of Theater Arts and Film Studies, may know that some of his followers and admirers are apolitical. He may even know that some do not fully understand the great powers of politics and government’s economic programs and how they relate to entertainment and affect the cultural climate. But his moments of political epiphany may be why he wants all young people to be positively involved in the politics and important public debates that will shape their present lives and futures.
On August 5, he reminded young people of what could be achieved in the country. He tweeted: “The 2023 Elections will be decided by Nigerian Youths if we all come out to vote!!! The power to choose our leaders are (sic) in our hands and we must not miss!!!”
Image Credit, Twitter: @mrmacaronii