'Stand-up comedy in Nigeria is bleeding terribly' – Basketmouth

Nigerian comedian and actor, Bright Okpocha, better known as Basketmouth, has claimed that the culture of stand-up comedy in Nigeria is dying terribly.

He noted that unlike the music and film industries, the Nigerian comedy sector lacks structure and platform, allowing many newcomers to try their hand.

He said: “My colleagues will agree with me that stand-up comedy is effectively dying in Nigeria. The culture of stand-up comedy is bleeding terribly.

“You know, with music, they have their streaming platforms; they have a platform that supports what they do around the world. They have the same thing with movies: they have the streaming platform. And Afrobeats broke into that space and made way for films. Unfortunately, we don't have platforms for comedy. We don't have comedy clubs; we have no structure.

“When comedians in the United States decide to go on tour, they visit comedy clubs in the United States before going on tour and try the materials repeatedly. But here in Nigeria there is no comedy club. There is nowhere to practice your material. Because this is an art, you can't just create it and go on stage if you don't know what the reaction will be.

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“When musicians make their songs, they call different people, A&R, and ask for their feedback before they release it to the rest of the world. But here you see a lot of comedians. It's a risky game. And they are the ones who promote the shows and look for sponsors. The system isn't built to support comedy. A lot of newcomers don't have the platform we did.”

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