Comedy is big business in Nigeria, but it wasn’t always so. At a certain time, if a child told his parents he wanted to be a comedian, he would be tagged unserious. However take a look at comedians now in high demand in our country. Not just as stand up comedians, but also as Master of Ceremonies, Compeers, Toast masters and the likes of that. These “unserious” men and women are smiling to the bank every day while many lawyers and doctors complain about the harsh economy.
This is a list of the richest people in the comedy business. We decided on this list after checking their earnings per event, how many events they have annually and also their other business ventures. In no particular order, these are the richest comedians in Nigeria at the moment.
Richest Comedians in Nigeria
This guy is the King of Comedy Business. Let me tell you what I think about Ay, he is not a funny stand up comedian. And he knows it, no wonder we rarely see him telling jokes. But he is a mighty smart business man. So every year he gathers the best comedians at Ay Live, and you know how much it cost na;) Sometimes a table cost up to 2million. Ay is also in the movie industry, his latest movie 10 Days in Sun City is out in the cinemas. The last two, “30 days in Atlanta” and “A Trip to Jamaica”, both broke Nigerian Box office records. So it is not a fluke that Ayo Makun is amongst the richest comedians in Nigeria. He also has an event organising outfit, and an MVP club. Ay has a net worth of about N1.2billion.
His real name is Bright Okpocha, and if Alibaba is the Don of comedy in Nigeria, this will make Basket Mouth the assistant don. Though this doesn’t mean he is the heir apparent. We are very familiar with the line “then two things are involved”; it is one of his most popular jokes. And his show, “Basket Mouth Uncensored” charges up to 3million for a table. He came into limelight in the late nineties, early 2000s, at Opa Williams “Nite of a Thousand Laughs”. Basket Mouth anchors many shows on TV, include MTV’s “The Big Friday Show”, and “Lip Synch Africa” amongst others.
Bright has many endorsement deals, probably more than any other Nigerian comedian. He has one with Glo, Multi Choice Africa and Amstel Malta just to mention a few. He has a net worth of over N1billion.
Remember the Arabian Night Tale “Alibaba and the 40 thieves” this is not that Alibaba. Neither is he Jack Ma’s Alibaba, you know Jack Ma right? If you don’t we join you to celebrate your initiation into the digital age. Not to derail, this Alibaba is our Nigerian Alibaba, and he is the father of modern day Stand up comedy, as far as Nigeria is concerned.
Tell me, do you know anyone who is older than Alibaba in the Stand up comedy business? Without him, I doubt that comedy will be what it is today. He turned it into a business, wrote books, and even opened a comedy school in Nigeria. His name is Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere. His parents must have been comedians themselves, because this his name is a tongue twister, no wonder no one knows it. How do you remember such a name? And you can’t be calling him Alleluya, otherwise people will be answering you Amen and Praise the Lord. He has given a lot of comedians a platform, from Basket mouth to many more. He has a net worth of about N3billion
He started with producing his comic versions of popular songs. First it was with Awilo Longomba’s Makosa song, and from there he flew. He hosts the show “Crack Ya Ribs”, and “Laugh for Christ’s Sake”, the later happens to be a gospel comedy show. Julius Agwu is also a politician, and he ran for office in Rivers state, but he lost. Very recently, Julius Agwu had brain surgery, but he came out alive. He has a net worth of about N3billion.
I Go Dye
Francis Agoda came into the limelight in “Nite of A Thousand Laughs”. In one of his jokes, he talked about trekking so much that his slippers knew the way to school. I go Dye is now full time into business, he is into oil and gas, construction and real estate. He also has a water company. I go Dye is one of the most business savvy comedians in Nigeria. His is an ambassador for United Nations. His net worth is over N2billion
Do you remember “Extended Family”; well Bovi wrote and produced it. He said his girlfriend, who is now his wife gave him all her savings for him to be able to start production. Up until last year, he hadn’t paid her the money, but of course he has given her much more than that. Bovi’s show, “Man on Fire” in Nigeria and London is always sold out.
He got this nickname from his Uni days, and it stuck to him. Okey Bakassi, acts, sings and also does comedy. He was a Senior Special Assistant to former Imo state Governor Ikedi Ohakim on matters of entertainment.
He is the CEO if LaughMattaz Inc, he hosts television shows and publishes a magazine called Laffmattaz. Gbenga Adeyinka is into real estate big time and a brand ambassador for Nigerian Breweries. He has been Star Brand Ambassador for over Seven years. And is usually the MC at Star events, like the Star Mega jamz, Star Fortune Promo amongst others. He is one of Nigeria’s richest comedians.
Uncle T as he is fondly called, hosts his TV show, Time out with Tee-A. On this show, he has interviewed them all, captains of industry, both corporate and entertainment. He is the Mc at majorly cooperate events and very high-class social events. He is very classy and funny, and actually rarely speaks Pidgin English in his routines. Tee-A invests in events centres, he also has a comedy bar in Lagos. There upcoming comic arts come to try out their skills.
Yaw was part of the cast for the comic family sitcom “Flatmates”, and from there he got a job with Wazobia fm. Yaw though very funny in his own right, doesn’t do lot of stand up comedy. Yaw does voice-overs for adverts, and radio jingles. He anchors events, and also has an endorsement deal from MTN. And he is big time into movie equipment rental business. Yaw is one of Nigeria’s richest comedians.
Laughter they say is good medicine, no wonder these comedians are earning more than many doctors in Nigeria. No, we’re not beefing Nigerian doctors. However, Nigeria is drawing closer and closer to that era where entertainers rule. We go soon use our mouth ask our pikin them “are you sure you don’t want to study theater arts?”