Recording artist and comedian Basketmouth from Nigeria has expressed regret that stand-up in Nigeria “is dying” and has devised a five-year plan to shift from comedy to concentrate on music and filmmaking. Unlike the film and music sectors, he pointed out, the Nigerian comedy scene lacked “structure and platform.” He announced in an interview with Arise TV over the weekend that he planned to leave the comedy industry after five more years. His desire to explore different areas of the entertainment industry and establish his own empire drives the decision. Basketmouth, who in the 1990s first switched from a profession in music to comedy, stated he was confident he would go back into music. His conviction to expand his entertainment portfolio was strengthened by the success of his self-produced sitcom, My Flatmates. The comedian gave a five-year plan that included a run of yearly comedy gigs followed by an exit.
“I’ll be 50 in five years; I’d have moved on to something else that’d be taking much of my time, and I don’t want to cheat comedy. I want to give it a 100%. I know that in five years, I can blend all the interests and go fully into movies, TV, and music concerts. It’s going to be hard to do all these things and still give 100% to comedy.”
In addition, Basketmouth expressed his worries about the difficulties facing the Nigerian comedy scene, emphasizing how little organized support there is for comedians in contrast to the music and film industries. He emphasized how the lack of worldwide exposure for comedians—primarily via streaming services—hurts their ability to develop and hone their trade. Basketmouth cited the absence of venues for up-and-coming comedians to rehearse and polish their craft as the reason for the collapse of stand-up comedy culture.
“My colleagues will agree with me that stand-up comedy in Nigeria is actually dying. 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 across the world. With movies, they have the same thing: they have the streaming platform. And Afrobeats broke into that space and made room for the movies. Unfortunately, for comedy, we don’t have any platforms. We don’t have comedy clubs; we don’t have any structure.
The comedian announced his intentions to get involved with “One Night Stand,” a project that seeks to promote up-and-coming entertainers globally to remedy this problem. Basketmouth left open the prospect of a future comeback despite his departure plans, saying,
“As a comedian, you can’t stop writing materials, so I’ll keep writing, and maybe in another 10 or 15 years after now, I might come back. We have a 15-year plan.”