The Comedy Industry In Nigeria has experienced immense growth over the past decade and has developed into an entertainment house hold that can hold its ground in an entertainment industry that was once dominated by the musicians and film makers. Comedians charge millions these days to make appearances as show compeers, actors, and brand ambassadors or to make skit appearances. In compiling a list of the most successful comedians in the country, a necessary analysis of the comedy industry must be adopted in order to cut across all spheres of the industry. This is because asides standup comedy, there is a market for online comedians who make use of social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and others to showcase their respective talents.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, Below Is A Compilation Of The Most Successful Comedians In Nigeria;
1. KENNY BLAQ
Arguably the most sought after comedian in Nigeria currently, Kenny Blaq has definitely made a name for himself in a very competitive industry. Kenny’s amazing fusion of music and comedy has evolved this real time hustler to a money making machine. In 2016, Kenny travelled far and wide, as he made appearances in places such as England, Dubai and Egypt (how many Nigerian entertainers have ever performed in Egypt?). Kenny who would forever remain grateful to AY for the platform accorded him via the AY live platform was the only comedian on Reekado Bank’s Spotlight album as his hilarious skit on the album earned him more millions and fame, of course. At the prestigious Naija Fm comedy awards, Kenny won the award for upcoming comedian of the year and comedian of the year in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Let it not come as a surprise if this talented radio host, comedian and musician holds his own multi-million naira event this year, thus cementing his deserved label as one of the most successful comedians in Nigeria.
Whatever you feel or think about Mr Ayo Makun, just be certain that this philanthropist of a comedian is successful. Where do we begin? …AY live,90 days in Atlanta, a trip to Jamaica…the list goes on! AY deserves enormous credit for evolving the industry’s business spectrum. A business mogul as well, AY has achieved enough success in the movie industry alone to warrant a place on this list. A family man as well, ‘bros’ (as he is fondly called by successful comedians including Seyi law, Akpororo and others who have come through his AY live platform)reportedly makes an average of 2million naira per week, and this does not include his movie projects or concert proceeds. The transformation of his AY live event from a talent showcasing platform to a national event which sponsors are craving to be a part of and his numerous movie records and awards are good enough to place ‘bros’ on this list.
Alibaba is one of the pioneers of comedy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. This list would be incomplete without Alibaba, just as a list of successful DJs or artistes would be incomplete without Jimmy Jtt or 2baba respectively. Alibaba has been making money from comedy when it wasn’t as lucrative as it is now, and he has remained relevant up to this era, now that the ‘pepper is good’. Alibaba doesn’t seem to age as he has a yearly January 1st concert that attracts entertainers from all aspects of the industry. We understand Alibaba charges up to 10million naira per show, depending on the function. This list would be incomplete without the legend, all hail the king, Aibaba!
4. CRAZE CLOWN
Craze clown has coined a name for himself using the instagram networking site to set the pace for his comedy propaganda. His hilarious comedy skits have earned him fame and fortune, as his popular ‘Ade’ character gained so much popularity worldwide. Craze clown has toured places such as Ukraine and London in the past. His Instagram page keeps getting bigger, and the ace comedian keeps growing as a standup comedian as well. Craze clown can only get better and he certainly deserves his place on this list as the only pick from a largely resourceful online market.
Africa’s biggest comedy export, Basket mouth is one of the most successful entertainers in Africa. He is arguably the best show host in Africa as he really knows how to keep the crowd pumped up. Basket has delved into show hosting on TV on platforms as grand as MTV Base and he remains one of Glo’s biggest ambassador. He has hosted major award shows including Headies and the Sound city MVP awards. Our sources tell us Basket mouth is the highest paid comedian in the country, probably on the continent as well. His annual show ‘Crack Ya ribs’ holds in different locations on different days, with a London version coming up in 2017. We can keep on listing the numerous achievements of this great comedian, and a list of successful comedians in Africa as a whole would be incomplete without him.
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6. I GO DIE
You cannot but laugh when this comedian is on stage. I go die is an international ambassador for the record, and we hear he is the comedian with most private bookings in Nigeria. You might not see him everywhere in the country, but for a comedian who has been touring cities such as Amsterdam, London, Paris and others (year in year out), success would not be too far from him you might say. This success is reflecting in the comedian’s lifestyle, as his cars are quite exotic. I go die will not die, but would continue to remain on this list even if we were to compile it ten times over!
7. GBENGA ADEYINKA
Arguably the number one brand ambassador in the comedy industry, Gbenga Adeyinka bridges the gap between the elderly group of Nigerians and today’s reality, in terms of entertainment delivery and packaging. A family man as well, Gbenga Adeyinka popularized the ‘shine shine bobo’ slogan as a brand ambassador of Star lager beer on the company’s game show watched by millions of Nigerians. Gbenga Adeyinka still anchors star trek, which holds yearly. The comedian also gets major gigs that have political affiliations, such as the One Lagos fiesta, organized by the Lagos state government. The comedian for all generations has to be on this list!
Only fans of Bovi would understand how much the ace comedian really travels. Bovi has toured major cities in Canada and the United States of America. His delivery on stage is quite impressive and his online skits are quite hilarious. Bovi’s yearly show ‘Bovi again’ is always a sellout and before you get the chance to discuss the success of such event with him, he’s off to another part of the world, and since he is not travelling for free, he is on our list!
When it comes to stage play, radio hosting or practical comedy in its wholeness, Yaw is a foremost choice. His radio show on wazobia Fm is still waxing strong, and his annual stage comedy event, ‘Yaw live on stage’ remains a fan’s favourite because of the difference in packaging. We understand Yaw is quite popular in the Eastern part of the country, with most of his slangs constituting the lingua franca in that part. Yaw deserves to be on this list because of the uniqueness of his own event, as noyhing can be compared to a live stage event.
10. SEYI LAW
Seyi Law is one of the most sought after comedians out there. Seyi can make a joke off anything, including himself! He has his own annual concert which is one of the biggest gigs in Nigeria as eminent Nigerians from all of walks of life turn out to support him. Seyi Law has also notched up ambassadorial deals for brands in the past, and we hear his show is second to AY’s event in terms of sponsorship willingness on the part of brands, thus his inclusion on this list.
Other comedians we just have to mention include Helen Paul, Akpororo, Funny Bone, Tee-A, Gordons, Buchi, Princess, Lolo and a host of others…the comedy industry In Nigeria can only get bigger.