He`s one of the nation`s fast rising comedians but in his case, he doesn’t peg himself as just a comedian, he prides himself as a complete entertainer, a comic act, master of ceremony, radio presenter, columnist and compere. The Mass Communications graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University whose family has just been blessed with a bundle of joy, a bouncing baby boy spoke to News Editor, Faith Irabor on his winding journey into the entertainment world.
Looking back, can you still remember how you ventured into the entertainment industry?
I started off at the Olabisi Onabanjo University where I MC events and I remember 8 years ago I anchored the biggest show in OSU where the Zule Zoo twins came to perform. A friend of mine actually paid for my ticket to be at the event. On getting there he told one of the organizers that am good and I should be given a chance to just say something. That was how it all started and like they say the rest is history. Prior to that I did my IT at Eko FM where I met with Ali Baba and Niyi Ojemakinde, he asked for my number but then I didn’t have a phone, he didn’t see me as a serious person. So I had to buy a Motorola and a glo line which I still use till date. After school, I went back to Eko FM and fortunately Niyi Ojemakinde was no longer there, so I took his place. That was how it all started and here I am today.
How would you describe your job as a presenter in Eko FM and how many times do you work in a week?
Being a presenter in Eko FM I will say is the best thing that ever happened to me because right there you have a free hand to work. If all these radio stations were to be like Eko FM I tell you all these talents wasting on the street would be the best in the world of entertainment. They gave me a free hand even though I had no prior knowledge of what I was supposed to do. They encouraged me and were always there to cheer me up. I remember I wanted to feature on a radio programme (Top 10 countdown with DJ Magic) which had a segment for comedians. The producer was my supervisor’s colleague where I served as an IT student at Eko FM then. I convinced them that I could do better than the comedian they featured on the programme. So I was told that instead of featuring on the show don’t I replace Niyi Ojemakinde who used to do a pidgin programme. At first, I felt like why a pidgin programme when I taught English language at a secondary school back in OSU; I just said let me try and this was how it began. I went there for Joli Joli Avenue which used to air on Wednesday at 2.10pm to 3pm, I was also given `Una Dey So` now airs every Monday at 5.20pm to 6pm. After like a year I was given another show free of charge; it clocked 4yrs on air last week but as a Radio Presenter I will clock 5years by April 20th and that is Ice Nawa.
Tell us about Ice Nawa?
Ice Nawa is a multi faceted comedy show; the funny thing about it is that it’s a programme that people think it’s very odd because we air from 1am – 3am Wednesday night/Thursday morning. It’s been a show which has featured the likes of JahBless, 9ice and we had Jaywon even before Kennis Music signed him. We have had a whole lot of stars coming on the show at that time of the night. When I was given the name I was given just `Ice Water Nawa` but I just `funkified` it to be `Ice Nawa` and I brought all the body and soul into it. When I started the show that was when listeners started appreciating radio shows at midnight and the early hours of the morning. And look at it today all radio stations now do late night shows and receive calls even till day break. I think `Ice Nawa` started it all and today we thank God for where we are still moving up to.
How would you describe the chance that was given to you by the people you mentioned and what it has fetched you?
One thing I keep telling people is when God says it’s going to be, it will be; I was destined to be there at that point in time and it happened. I thank God for it.
You are a presenter, voice-over artiste, columnist and a journalist; how do you combine all this?
For me, it is not really anything but I will just give God all the glory. I have had to travel to Abeokuta for a show, come back to Lagos for my own show and at the same time head to Rainbow FM for another show. You can imagine three shows on same day; it is God. I tell people I am not a comedian; I would rather see myself as an entertainer. Everybody has their own gift; there are some comedians who can never be a good MC. And I have seen some comedians who say they will rather stick to doing comedy and not anchor event. But in my case I do everything.
Well, we can see you make a lot of money doing what you do; would you say you are satisfied and contended with what you have achieved so far?
I am not satisfied; if I say I am satisfied that means I am tired and I want to start going down.
So what plans do you have for the New Year?
I started the New Year under my company which is Ice Water Entertainment; I started a new radio show on Rainbow FM called Gospel Pidgin Groove every Sunday 1pm – 3pm where we have anointed artistes such as comedians, musicians. And one unique thing about the show is that for the first one hour all these old school gospel jams you have heard like many years ago are being played; next hour we have interviews with celebrities and then the last segment we have listeners` call and share with us their Sunday experience.
Many times we hear people start radio or TV shows but after a while the programme is yanked off because they can’t sustain it due to inability to pay for the airtime; how do you sustain your programmes and do you get adverts or sponsors?
On this note I have to say Eko FM has been so magnanimous because if it has to do with adverts I will say when it`s good its God when its God its good. When it is God’s appointed time things will happen.
Do you see Ice coming on TV to have a TV show?
That is one of my biggest dreams and it will be great joy to see it happen. But it has not happened. We are looking towards that direction if we see sponsors come in
Congratulations on the arrival of your baby; how would you describe the joy of fatherhood?
It is such a wonderful feeling. We thank God for the arrival of Mitchell; Mitchell means who is like God and who is unto God. We had her dedication on January 29th and it was really star studded; a whole lot of celebrities graced the occasion. We thank the Lord for His goodness.
How did you come by the name Ice?
It is actually Ice Water. I remember growing up and on the street in Dopemu we were the only home that had a freezer so we had cold water always. So people kind of come to our house for cold water which we call ice water (laughs). Over time, anytime am passing by, they will call me brother Ice Water and that was how the name stuck. So when I got to OSU friends told me to use my real name which is Michael Ayancha and not Ice Water but I disagreed. I thought people will see me as an Easterner who wants to come to the South to make money. So I modernized the name to MC Ice but all the same people still added the Water. At the end of the day I carved out a word from ICE WATER which is Intercontinental Entertainer with a Taste for Enjoyment and Razzmatazz.
Where are you from?
I am from Olokuro from Umuahia South Local Government of Abia State.
If there is something you want God to do for you what would that be?
He sees the inside of my inner; he knows what I ask Him in my prayers everyday so that is between me and Him. I knew I was going to be MC Ice Water right from my school days but I never knew it will happen this fast. So anything the future holds God will make it happen.
It’s been nice chatting with you