|Chris Torline, Senior Marketing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa)|
The Nigerian comedy industry has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, with its worth being pegged at several billions of Naira. According to financial analysts, the Nigerian comedy industry could be raking in over N2 billion into the nation’s economy annually.
In line with identifying and grooming comedic talents who will sustain the momentum, Comedy Central partnered with Maltina to organize its first ever activation in Nigeria. The event will feature regional auditions in Lagos, Jos and Port Harcourt, after which a champion will be selected at the grand finale in Lagos. The winner of the competition will receive a prize money of N1.5 Million as well as an opportunity to kick start their comedy career on the reputable Comedy Central platform.
In an interview with a notable media outlet, Veteran Nigerian comedian, Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere, otherwise known by his stage name, ‘Ali Baba,’ who is a one of the judges at the Grab The Mic talent hunt stated that comedy is a funny business that has become very big and a money spinner today that is contributing substantially to the economy, besides, providing employment to our youth.
“Comedy has come to stay. We have gradually come from being the last on the list in the entertainment industry, to being the first. Sometimes when events are being planned, we come first on the list. “Today, we have become either the third most recognised art in the entertainment industry, after actors and musicians.” He added.
The Nigerian comedy scene is home to several globally recognised comedy super stars such as BasketMouth, I Go Die and AY, amongst several others. Basket mouth received a special honour from the U.S as the city of Houston, Texas had a holiday named after him - Basket Mouth day. Ayo Makun, popularly known by his stage name, AY was said to have made over N135 million through his comical film, ‘30 Days in Atlanta.’
The comedy business in Nigeria is a thriving one and Comedy Central has deemed it fit to create a platform to discover up and coming talents, groom and provide them with opportunities to showcase their talent to the world.