Comedian Basket mouth shares his fears about comedy in Nigeria, condemns social media skits

A list comedian and actor, Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basketmouth, joined a panel of communication experts at Viacom International Media Networks Africa’s (VIMN Africa) forum at Social Media Week Lagos to discuss the future of content in Africa.


The captivating discussion, which was themed ‘Music, Content and Consumer Experiences…Changing The African Narrative’, was moderated by MTV Base VJ, Folu Storms and featured MTV Base Africa (ROA) Senior Channel Manager, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, Solafunmi Oyeneye; Founder and Principal Consultant, Peaceville Entertainment Group, Ernest Audu; CEO and Chief Creative Officer at X3M Ideas Limited and X3M Music, Steve Babaeko and Publisher of Nigerian Entertainment Today, founder of BlackHouse Media and ID Africa, Ayeni Adekunle. The session had about 100 people in attendance and touched on everything from creating content in the evolving music industry to how content creators can position themselves to make profit from their craft.

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Basketmouth is one of the few Nigerian stand-up comedians who has worked twice on VIMN Africa platforms. In 2011 he was approached by MTV Base to host his own show ‘The Big Friday Show’ and the TV show went on to win the best TV show. In 2013, he collaborated with Comedy Central as host of Live at Parker’s. Sharing his inspirational story, the comedian touched on the need for Nigerian content creators to create content that not only strikes a chord with their target audience but also outlives the creator. “While it is good for us to evolve, we have to remember to make content that has substance. We need to understand our target audience and what they need,” he said. Speaking about the comedy scene in Nigeria, Basketmouth appreciated the efforts of Comedy Central, a property of Viacom, in creating a platform not only for traditional stand-up comedians but also trendy one minute skits comedians.

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He, however, noted that while he has no problem with the new generation of Instagram comedians, he still does not see enough comedians taking time to hone the craft of stand-up comedy. Expressing his displeasure with comedians who take the easy route of only creating skits, Basketmouth said: “There’s nothing like a good joke. A joke can always be improved and even I often share some of my jokes with fellow comedians and they tell me it’s okay but tell me how to make it better.

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Doing skits on social media is very different from performing on stage. There is no filter on stage.” He also urged upcoming acts to work on their content and create a fan base for themselves before approaching brands and demanding showcase opportunities. With over 20,000 attendees across the week and an online social reach of 646 million, Social Media Week Lagos is now considered Africa’s largest digital media and tech event.