Short comedy videos began to gain prominence in Nigeria in 2015 and this was long before the social media boom. Six years later, skit making has grown into a full fledged industry of its own
After COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world and propelled a lockdown, many Nigerians turned to social media platforms as creativity was at its peak. 2020 was no doubt the year when several Nigerian skitmakers became overnight celebrities.
One of them is the social media comedian, Josh Alfred, popularly known as Josh2Funny.
Josh2Funny became famous in 2016 after his comedy skit went viral across social media platforms.
The funny man, who turned to Instagram skitmaking after failing in his stand-up comedy foray, is of the opinion that his industry is ripe enough for external investors.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES at the premiere of Aki and Pawpaw in Lekki Lagos over the weekend, he said: “The skit industry is very big, the government and investors should open their eyes to it, now that it is still very young.
Indeed, Nigerian entertainers are building a multi-billion dollar industry. Nollywood is growing in leaps and bounds, Nigerian music is taking over the world and stand-up comedians are getting ready to go global.
And with skit making becoming more formidable in recent times, Josh2Funny believes that the entertainment industry is yet another aspect of untapped national revenue if judiciously managed.
Josh2Funny, who is popular for making the #DontLeaveMeChallenge in 2020, said : “Because people did not see Nollywood coming this far, it started like a joke, but see where they are now. The future is very bright and the Nigerian skit industry is still growing.”
On November 4, a delegation of Nigerian skit makers led by a former lawmaker, Bimbo Daramola, under the aegis of the Nigeria Skits Industry Awards (NISA), paid Vice President Yemi Osinbajo a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Notable Nigerian skit makers like Maryam Apaokagi, popularly known as Taaooma; Josh Alfred (Josh2funny); Ayo Ajewole (Woli Agba); Adebamiro Adeyanju (Mr Hyenana), Adeoye Adeyemi Elesho (Yemi Elesho), among others made the trip.
As expected, their visit sparked several conversations on social media and drew widespread criticism. Nigerians expressed disappointment about the infamous visit, saying it was clearly politically-motivated
Josh2Funny, who also made the trip, explained that he and his colleagues were grossly misunderstood while their visit was misinterpreted.
He, however, noted that the visit was aimed at building the profile of the industry
” I just wanted to take my industry to another level, na my industry, na where I dey chop from, and many people see it as a joke, but we put in work, week in, week out, we are out there sitting in the sun, trying to put something out there to make you laugh.
“And some people think skit makers and skit making is a joke but it’s no more a joke. I went there to represent my industry, it was not political but you know people would believe what they want to believe. It’s normal”, he said.
Experts say that the Nigerian comedy skit industry is now one of the top five in the world having gone beyond the shores of Nigeria to the Instagram pages of international stars like Diddy and smartphones of audiences all over the world.
From very popular Mark Angel Comedy and Emmanuella, to eternal job seeker Frank Donga, multiple personality Maraji, troublesome barrister MC Lively, chronic ranter Lasisi Elenu, ever angry mother and daughter combo Taaooma and the ambitious Alhaji Nedu, there are now hundreds of popular names and faces making it big.
Tech company Plaqad says the skit industry in Nigeria has paid over N125m to influencers in the past two years. The average income for a skit per influencer is around N4m and it is increasing by the day.
Some skit makers produce up to five skits in a week alongside other auxiliary types of content which brands are willing to pay for.
Josh2Funny started out by making covers for popular songs. Some of the cover songs he made are “Work” by Rihanna, “Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce, “Perfect” by Ed Sheran, “Amaka” by 2Face, “Risky” by Davido and many others.
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