10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nigeria’s Richest Comedians
Comedy in Nigeria are no joke. Comedians collectively rake in billions of naira annually, striking out the notion that all African performing artists are struggling to survive while perfecting their craft. Nollywood and Nigeria’s booming entertainment industry are credited with helping drive Nigeria’s status to No. 1 economy in Africa.
What you may not know about Nigeria’s funny guys is that they’re also investors, astute business strategists and CEOs of companies.
Here are some success stories of some of Nigeria’s most crowd-pleasing artists: 10 things you didn’t know about Nigeria’s richest comedians.
Sources: AllAfrica.com, theheraldng.com, coolfm.us, yawnaija.net, okeybakassi.com, nigeriafilms.com, en.wikipedia.com, vanguardngr.com, allafrica.com, gbengaadeyinkacfr.com
I Go Dye
Having toured in Africa and Europe, Francis Agoda aka I Go Dye is not just a successful stand-up comedian. He is also CEO of Revamp Construction Company which specializes in Nigerian infrastructure development. Additionally, he is creating Franstel, a bottled water company. His net worth is more than 2 billion naira ($12.3 million US) and his annual income, $2.2 million. He has multiple luxury homes (including a new French-themed mansion in Benin) and pride of fancy cars. To boot, he’s a U.N. Millennium Developmental Goal ambassador!
Hailing from Abia State, Bright “Basketmouth” Okpocha and his stand-up shows such as “Basketmouth Uncensored” have raked in the money, selling out internationally in South Africa, London, and America. Besides signing handfuls of endorsement contracts in the last six years, he also has branding deals with big-name corporations such as Globalcom Ltd. and Amstel Musta. With an alleged annual income of roughly 360 million naira ($2.2 million US) his net worth is approximately $12.3 million US.
Tunde Adewale, also known as Tee-A, has had a great, lucrative run as a comedian. He also produces and anchors a TV talk show, “Time Out with Tee-A,” that featured some of Nigeria’s biggest names like D’banj and Tiwa Savage. He also runs his own equipment and events company, and is in high demand as a wedding emcee.
Steven “Yaw” Onu is a radio personality on 95.1 Wazobia FM, broadcast out of Lagos. He hosted the main edition of the Tattoo Beach Party, the most popular show ever held on Oniru Beach. Besides producing four very successful stage plays in Nigeria and creating and starring in his own TV show, “Yaw and Myn,” he is also a U.N. Youth Ambassador for Peace award recipient.
Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule aka Okey Bakassi was an engineer before he became a professional actor. He is credited with helping usher Nollywood into the international sphere, starring in more than 64 films. He’s a successful film producer as well, but it was his stage career as a comedian that shot him to the top. From 2008 to 2011, he helped the governor of Imo State as senior special assistant on entertainment industry matters. His mansions in Imo and Canada speak to his wealth.
This guy hosts more comedy events in Nigeria today than just about anyone. His comedy show creation “Laffmattaz” sells out annually to crowds of 5,000-plus. Laffmattaz also is a magazine of Adeyinka is editor. He has worked in Ghana, where he maintains a large fan base and has hosted the Ghana Music Awards. He hosts the annual Star TV Game on Nigeria’s major NTA network.
Ayo Makun, aka Ay, started out as legendary comedian Ali Baba’s personal assistant. He now rakes in roughly 2 million naira per stand-up performance ($12,000 US), earning around 280 million naira ($1.7 million US) annually. His investments include MVP, a brand new club in Lekki, Lagos, opened Easter weekend 2014. Nigeriafilms.com described it as “a hub for moguls, superstars, and elites.” Ay also owns multiple properties and is an event planner.
Considered “the hottest kid right now” (AllAfrica), Bovi was born Bovi Ugboma in Benin City. He started out producing and starring in the hit TV show “Extended Family.” Subsequently, he became a sought-after, award-winning comedian. Events, advertisements, and tours have thrown some more coins in the pot. In a video on Stella Dimoko Korkus, Bovi talks about his life and career, as well as about how fabulously wealthy his business strategies make him.
This legendary Nigerian entertainment personality has for years been organizing and hosting two enormous traveling comedy events, Crack Ya Ribs and Laugh for Christ’s Sake. He is also the CEO of Real Laff Entertainment Company. Released in 2013, his hit autobiography, “Jokes Apart,” chronicles his life and times.
At the zenith of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Ali Baba has been labeled as overpaid by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Ali Baba played host for events for every president who served during his 30-year-plus career as a comedian. His career includes TV and radio shows, motivational speaking, emceeing, photography, and more. He’s said to earn up to 400 million naira ($2.46 million US) a year, performing two events every week.
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