PRESS RELEASE: WHY I DID NOT MAKE AY LIVE IN AMERICA
I am not ashamed, neither I am I so proud to let you guys know that I have traveled to a few countries without stress, but getting an American Visa in the last two years has proved abortive. I was on top of the world when I got a breeze from a good number of my fans, Kenny Ogungbe and other American promoters a couple of months ago asking me to consider doing a show in America and now I am here feeling very stupid because it was a dream that never came topass .
I’ve got my side of the story regarding what went down at Washington DC and the negative insinuations concerning my personality, but there’s no sense in telling it all. The simple truth is that I put myself into a situation were I so much believed that attending the prestigious Nigerian Entertainment Award as one of the nominees for “The Comedian of the Year” would be the ultimate source of getting an American Visa.
The most annoying part of the whole episode was when the officers who interviewed my wife, two of the major acts and the entire Ay Live crew did not bother looking into their documents before denying all of them the American Visa.
One of us whom have equally traveled far and wide immediately sent a letter of protest to Donna Blair, the Consul General of the American Embassy and this was her reply to us:
“ I regret your confusion over the reason for the denial of your Visa application for May 11. A review of your purpose for travel and information about the event in June that you wish to attend indicates that a B-1 Visa may not be appropriate. According to the information on the sponsor’s website, the audience will be paying to attend the event. If it is your intention to perform at the events, then you will need a “P” Visa, a category of visa that is for professional entertainers. This type of visa is petition-based and the sponsors of the event would have to file a petition on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in the United States. With an approved petition you could then apply for a proper Visa. Should you choose to apply for a visa in the future, please be assured that your application will be given every consideration consistent with U.S. Immigration law.”
As soon as this information got to us we were fast enough to call the organizers of NEA to correct the situation which they did with their existing and outstanding relationship with the American Embassy. But the sad part for me was that I waited for another appointment from the American Embassy which never came up till this very minute. I did make every effort humanly possible yet nothing came up.
I have been receiving all sorts of mails from fans in the U.S. based on the report they got concerning my unprofessional character. Apparently I am using this medium to address the unforeseen situation. I am taking serious action to deal with this issue (of Visa) and to make sure incidents like what happened this past weekend should not occur again. Funny enough I’ve come to realize that the issue of getting an American Visa is something I can single handedly handle based on how grounded I am as a proud and very relevant Citizen of Nigeria.
Making people happy is my life and it has earned me different laurels as one of Nigeria’s best. I love my business as a comedian and don’t know where I will be without it. And coming from a very humble background to the stage that has put in the spotlight, I cannot afford to fail or become a disappointment to all my fans.
Again, I am extremely sorry for the way everything turned out. To AFROCOMICS.COM, NUBIAN WORKS ENT, PARTY ADDICTS WORLDWIDE, BIG MOOSE, UNDER DA ROCK. Also, to Ike Oyegun, Tope Esan, Gbenga Mrsolitude, Ebuwa Martins Agbowaneten, and all the guys who had put their resources together to support the AY brand. I am sorry. Very, very sorry.
But most of all I want to apologize to my fans. I am pretty sure that we shall all be in one auditorium soonest, and together we shall say OHON OHON!