Comedian, Basketmouth, has issued a statement days after he was dropped as one of the ambassadors of the European Union (EU) campaign against sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
A few days ago, the 41-year-old comedian faced backlash after he was unveiled alongside other Nigerian celebrities for the EU’s cause on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Many social media users reacted negatively to Basketmouth’s inclusion because of a joke he once performed.
Back in 2014, the comedian joked about Nigerian women deserving to be raped if they refuse to have sex by the second date.
Following the backlash he received at the time, he later apologised for the insensitive joke.
Early this year, Basketmouth made an appearance on ‘The Dangerous World of Comedy’ by Larry Charles.
When asked about the rape joke he made on social media, he revealed that some people liked such jokes and it helps him sell show tickets.
A cross-section of Nigerians on Twitter argued that Basketmouth was not fit to represent women and the issues they face.
The EU ultimately took him off its ambassadorial list.
Although the EU did not release a statement to this effect, the comedian’s name was omitted in a new list posted online on Tuesday.
Some of the Nigerian personalities currently on the campaign are Timi Dakolo, Kadaria Ahmed, Waje, Omoni Oboli, Dakore Akande, Omawumi, Adesuwa Etomi, Banky W, Toyin Abraham and Ali Nuhu.
Narrating his side of the story on Instagram, the comedian said he apologised for his jokes that drew widespread condemnation.
He, however, appreciated the EU for the honour given him to stand as its ambassador against the scourge.
“I was recently presented an opportunity to create awareness on the efforts of the EU to bring support to fighting this scourge, it was a no-brainer for me. I refused any compensation for it and volunteered to lend my voice because it’s our fight, it’s not for the EU. It’s for my girls’ future,” he said.
“Unfortunately, a few years ago I shared up a Facebook post that I thought was shedding light through humour to the entitled crude and very present behavioural patterns of some African men who equate spending to sexual favours, but I also realised then that women actually have to face this daily and it’s harrowing and I deeply apologised for it,” the comedian added.