Two famous Nigerian comedians, Ayo Makun, AY and Bright Okpocha, popularly called Basketmouth, have avoided each other for 17 years.
Until recently, the real reason behind their lingering beef remained unknown.
‘AY’, in an interview session with media personality Chude, said his long-term beef with Basketmouth, whom he tagged along with to events at the outset of his career, began in 2006.
He said: “In 2006, (Basketmouth) usually will get gigs like weddings – multiple gigs on a Saturday, maybe two or three weddings. So what he used to do then was to attend one, then at a point, leave the venue and catch up in the other venue, and then you will need someone else to stand in for you. That was the opportunity I got from him, which I am very appreciative of to date.”
AY described how the profits from the gigs helped him in those days.
“Now, Something funny happened. In one of the gigs, I got his endorsement to go stand in. Usually, we get at that time N30,000, and that N30,000 was everything to me.
The N30,000 would buy me my pack of Indomie, recharge cards, fuel for my ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generator and then the opportunity to pay just one or two people to join me to do one or two skits that I can just quickly put out,” he said.
However, during this event, after he stood in for Basketmouth, he wasn’t paid and had to reach out to Basketmouth, who also told him that the organisers hadn’t paid.
AY said he contacted the organisers and was shocked to find that payment was made before the event.
“I got this job, and the people weren’t too happy to see me because they expected a Basketmouth to come. Long story short, the guy was later pleased after the performance. There was an exchange of contact. Then I left. It was hilarious to hear from them that this full payment had been made long before the event,’’ he said.
AY said it was when he shared a picture of his chats between himself and the man who booked the gig that the feud ensued.
“I didn’t do that (shared the chat) because I wanted to get at Basketmouth. I did that because I was hungry, hustling, and needed food on the table at the time,’’ he said.
During the interview, AY explained how bad the feud got and how long Basketmouth extended it.
He explained a scenario when Basketmouth invited his wife (Ay’s wife, Mabel) to his (Basketmouth’s) wedding and did not add his name to the guest list.
He said: “Do you know that I attended Basket Mouth’s wedding when all these things happened? I was at the wedding, and they looked at the list of guests; my wife’s name was on the list, and my name no dey list. I wasn’t qualified to enter the wedding.”
“I was looking at my wife, my wife dey look her husband, and she was like okay, let’s go home since you no qualify to enter.
AY stated that a lot more happened, but he kept quiet and said nothing.
“The only time I will now address it with that tweet, everybody came for me. Nobody knows what I have been going through,” he said.
Describing more scenarios, “It’s so bad that sometimes organisers will remove my name from an event because Basketmouth would say, ‘If AY is in, I’m not in’. Basketmouth will be at an event; maybe AY is on the bill; he won’t introduce me if he’s the MC.
“I will just go and pick my mic on the floor and go and do my thing. It was that bad. But I never gave up. Every opportunity – maybe the wife gives birth, I’d go with my wife, or maybe something is going on – I kept doing everything.” he added.
The filmmaker and comedian said he has tried to make amends on multiple occasions. On one of those occasions, he described his encounter with his colleague at a club.
“Long story short, one day, Basketmouth was in the club with a glass of drink, so I walked up to my guy. I said: ‘Bright Okpocha. (He’s my senior colleague but my junior in real life), how far, my guy.’
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“So we got talking. So I told my friend, ‘You see, God has blessed us. You have a house in Lekki, and I have a house. You have a child, and I have a child, and God has blessed us. This thing that happened in 2006, guy drop am.’ And my dear colleague looked at me eyeball to eyeball and said: ‘I’m a beast, I don’t forgive’’.
Basketmouth, who announced his divorce from Elsie, his wife of 12 years, in December 2022, is yet to react to AY’s claims.
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