Days are long gone when the comedy profession was seen as a job meant for the never do wells. As it is at the moment, while so many people are cracking their ribs, laughing at their jokes, these men (and women) laugh all the way to the bank. They count their money in millions and are getting more and more recognition. Now, they even export their jokes and profession outside Nigeria hosting major events. To them, what they do is no longer a joke but serious business. Saturday Beats looks at some of these comedians.
Ever since Bright ‘Basketmouth’ Okpocha came into limelight over a decade ago, this comedian has been trailblazing the industry. Although he thought he would make it as a musician, God had something else in store for him. In 1991, he discovered his skills in drumming, which he did for over five years. During his days as an instrumentalist for his church and a band at a point, he also discovered his skills in rap music and later diverted into that path in 1994. In 1995, he, his friends and brother formed a group called Da Psychopaths. It had seven members but they split before they could even release an album or a single. Now he is a celebrated comedian. He has a highly anticipated show scheduled for the UK. It is reported that a bank has thrown its weight behind him by sponsoring his comedy tour with N30m. The show is to hold this month in Manchester, Birmingham and London respectively.
Whenever Ayo Makun holds his annual AY Live Show, it is usually a sell out. The comedian is a brand ambassador to various products. He is also an active media person with several television shows and a television channel on YouTube which was ranked as the number one most watched in Africa. Although many would argue that he is not the funniest of all comedians in the country, what he lacks in stand-up comedy, he doubles it in his comedy skit. His comic skits are known to be aimed at current controversies and controversial personalities and have often times put him at loggerheads with subjects of the skit. He recently settled a misunderstanding he had with his friend and actor, Jim Iyke. No matter what, AY is sure making his money.
The brand Gbenga Adeyinka is synonymous with Star Lager beer. For over six years, the chubby dark-skinned comedian has been contracted to host events by the premium lager beer. Be it Star Trek, Star Game Show and the recent Lagos Countdown organised by the alcoholic beverage, the comedian has every reason to smile, courtesy of Nigerian Breweries. Also, when it comes to major events, top weddings and awards, Gbenga does such effortlessly. Gbenga would certainly relish 2013 as he hosted so many high society weddings. While the bride and groom beamed with smiles over their union, the comedian beamed with smiles over his pay cheque.
Although he is into music, the comic merchant is known for his dexterity when it comes to putting smiles on peoples’ faces. Grateful for his life, De Genius as he is often referred to, had to fend for himself by hawking pap at the age of six. But his humble beginning didn’t deter him from turning out to be a mega star today. His franchise, Crack Ya Ribs, has been a success over the years and has toured various states in the country. The show is not only known in the country, he has successfully hosted the show in London. The last edition was well attended by Nigerian celebrities and top politicians. He was spotted at the recently concluded Grammy Award ceremony.
Helen Paul is not just a comedienne but also an On Air Personality. Currently, she leads the pack of Nigerian comediennes. She has a dual personality on stage and this works to her advantage as she easily switches from Helen Paul to her alter ego, Tataafo. The fair-complexioned comedienne is also a top choice when it comes to government events. Just last year, she hosted an event that was attended by the First Lady of the country and succeeded in making the mother of the nation laugh. While the Dame was laughing, Helen Paul knew after the show, it would be her turn to smile as she counted her money.
Probably the youngest on the list in the profession, the dark-skinned humour peddler has had a good run with comedy. Prior to his fame which he got on AY’s platform, Seyi Law was relatively unknown. At a point in his life, he had to hawk sachet water and recharge cards at parks to earn a living. Today, all is history as he has been able to build a multi-million naira mansion at Ikorodu through comedy. He also recently launched an event centre and lounge also in Ikorodu. With this, he hopes his laughter would be louder to the bank this year.
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