Nigeria has repeatedly made the list of the happiest people in the world. Even in the face of calamity, struggle, economic crisis, political unrest and poverty, Nigerians always find a way to stay happy, sharing jokes and coming up with new comic relief. Though Nigeria has climbed down from its perch as the world’s happiest people in 2010, the recent World Happiness report, ranks Nigeria 95th globally and 6th in Africa on the World Happiness Index. Through the recent economic recession and breaking famine in some parts of the country, citizens are finding quick solace and relief in comedy. With fast growing internet penetration in the country, a new crop of internet comedians are snatching the comedy wheels from the traditional standup comedians.
Considering the yearly turnout and attendance to comedy shows in the country, the comedy industry is booming for good. Looking at the massive acceptance and response Nollywood comedy movies like 30 days in Atlanta, Brother Jekwu, The Wedding Party, Jennifa’s Diary received, comedy is arguably the most accepted and watched genre in the Nollywood space. Away from movies standup comedy rakes in impressive views on online as seen on the youtube pages of top Nigerian comedians like that of Basketmouth, Bovi, AY, Emmanuella etc.
Top multiple award winning Comedian and Movie Producer, AY last weekend on Easter Sunday hosted his annual Comedy show, AY LIVE - a platform bringing together comedians in Nigerian to celebrate the Country’s creativity and diversity in the industry. This show over the years have come to become the “Cannes film festival” of the Nigerian Comedy space, showcasing the Newest and brightest comic talents. AY has positioned himself as a thought leader by running this annual show just like Basketmouth who also hosts a similar show “Lord of the Ribs”, annually. Over the years these show have gathered audience in thousands. However with the growing trend of internet comedians, standup comedy may be facing a sudden threat. We cannot say how much effect this will have on the Nigerian standup comedy space but we can sure there might be a shake up coming soon.
Nevertheless, social media is slowly snatching the mic from the stand-up comedians and is handing it over to a new breed of jokers, winning mostly the millennials and a bit of the generation before them. Instagram remains very instrumental in this transition.
Internet comedians are winning new grounds over traditional stand-up comedians and this may be because of their independence, originality and simplicity. Most skits are recorded in the most improvised way, with simple phones and not-so-professional video camera, connecting viewers with real life, easily relatable scenarios. Considering that no much pressure is placed on these comedians in terms of perfection, production is made half easier. Viewers are mostly more focused on content and its funniness than on editing and production. Everyone knows today that the number one rule of owning the internet space is consistency in churning out content. Any content producer who can remain consistent will own the minds of the easily distracted viewer. Since millennials spend most of their time online, then there is no better place to put products than in the hands of those truly affecting and influencing them online - Internet comedians.
Here are new some our favourite school of jokers winning the Nigerian internet comedy space in 2017:
Completely versatile and original, Ebiye has shown that not every comedian has to dress up in their mother’s gown, tie a gele or slap a fellow actor to win a huge audience. This exciting actor has position himself ahead of this peers with his unusual performance via his Instagram page. With an fast growing Instagram following running close to a hundred thousand, Ebiye has proved himself a sensation this year.
Emmanuella and Mark Angel
Emmanuella amazing comedienne and Mark Angel took the internet by storm last two years has remained a favourite through the seasons. Holding down a massive Youtube following, their channel has won an impressive audience through the years. With extremely funny content, Emmanuella has remained a winner in the Nigerian Internet comedy space.
Akanm D Boy
With a signature mannerism, speech pattern and act, this comedian has kept Nigerians laughing through the years. Known to have been the major influence behind some comical tracks by Falz the Badh Guy’s such as “bad gang” and “wehdon sir”, Akanm D Boy indeed has shown himself as a true influencer. New slangs and speech styles booming the Nigerian pop culture space mirrors a mimicry of his act.
Versatile, loud and extremely bold, Arole knows how to squeeze humor out of everything and anything. This skill of his has won him a huge following, keeping him visible and relevant in the comedy industry. We find him original and creative as he constantly works out new tricks to push the comedy boundaries.
Known for mimicking the realest and closest to home Nigerian scenarios, Oluwakaponeski is every Nigerian Mother and Aunty in most of his skits. This niche has positioned him as that easy-to-relate-with comedian as he reenacts Nigerian family scenes in the most humorous way.
Hardworking and determined, Twyse is Baba Tobi, Mama Tobi, Tobi, Taofeek and Sade all at once! Switching from one character to another, Ereme would wander into topics most other comedians would avoid. This year, Twyse has won himself a new level of respect in the Nigerian comedy space.
Everybody loves Maraji, the outstanding lip sync act who has now added comedy to her content is moving fast towards stardom. Maraji stands out in the industry, with an easy girl next door delivery, she has won many viewers as well as brands to herself. 2017 is looking really good for her as her popularity is showing evident signs of growth in and out of the comedy space.
Beyond instagram, Twitter stands as a comic relief center for many young Nigerians. Quick and swift with conversations, Twitter Nigeria thrives on wit and humour, churning out satire, memes, puns and jokes at the speed of light. Though twitter comical personalities have barely made it to the comedy center stage, twitter holds a power in introducing and controlling the pop culture trends in the country.