A quick investigation of Nigeria’s internet habits will reveal that Nigerians like two things the most: they like to talk about other people (for good or bad) and they like to laugh! It’s amazing how quickly everything in Nigeria is turned into comedy. No matter how serious an issue, give it a few days and somebody would have turned it into a joke on social media. Although this fondness for humor sometimes borders on the irreverent, it is mostly a good thing. Nigeria is after all a great mining pit for humor; everything, from our entertainment to our politics to our traditions, mostly tilts towards the bizarre and the comical, something which many Nigerians do not hesitate to exploit online. From hilarious cultural commentary to brilliant political satire to just good, ol’ plain funny, the Nigerian social media scene has become a breeding ground for young, creative Nigerians looking to flex their comedic muscles.
From massively popular Instagram celebrities to little known YouTube up and comers, YOUNG magazine explores the insanely talented and delightfully insightful digital comedians who are absolutely killing it:
GLORIA OLORUNTOBI (@MARAJI_ , INSTAGRAM): Every comedian starts out known for something special. For Gloria, it was her mad lip-syncing skills. She famously won $5000 in Africa’s version of the Lip Sync Battle show. But she didn’t stop there. Charming, relatable and with respectable acting chops, Maraji has made for herself by creating great comedy out of being a Nigerian living in Nigeria. Her skits on Instagram (all acted and edited by her) are not only radically funny, they also provide an engaging study of the peculiarities of Nigerian social interaction and behavior. Her creativity and brilliance in conveying the sometimes humorous, mostly stressful nature of what it means to live in Nigeria has not only taken observational comedy to another level, it has set her up as one of Nigeria’s great and original comic minds.
KUNLE IDOWU (YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM): Kunle’s recurring role as the hapless and quite foolish Frank Donga has established him as one of Nigeria’s most brilliant comedic actors. Frank Donga was first introduced to us on Ndani TV’s comedy skit series, The Interview, which followed Frank Donga on his job hunting escapades. Kunle’s use of voice cadence and facial expressions for comedic effect is quite frankly one of best things to happen in comedy in Nigeria. Although the series has stopped, Frank Donga continues to deliver side-splitting skits and entertaining social commentary on his Instagram page @frankdonga_.
THE LEGENDS SHOW (YOUTUBE): Sports humor, popular TV and top notch sound editing come together in this wildly creative YouTube channel. We don’t know the people behind it, but whoever they are, they are not yet getting the recognition they deserve. Timely, relevant and madly hilarious, their videos, all ad-libbed in Ibo, use memorable scenes from various popular movies and TV shows to create their hysterical interpretation of popular events and happenings in Nigeria and in the world. Although most of their content is centered on football, particularly on their various grievances with Arsenal FC, The Legends Show’s cleverly thought out and well-crafted videos are great entertainment for everybody, football fan or not.
MAZI IBE (TWITTER): Anyone can be very funny sometimes, but to be consistently funny, and working with only a maximum of 240 characters? Now that takes some serious expertise! Mazi Ibe (@I_pissVodka) has this expertise on lock down. His ridiculously funny tweets show clearly the type of clever and highly imaginative thinking that is a prerequisite for every great comedian. He employs every comedy tactic known to man, from puns to wordplay to memes to sarcasm, to create some of the funniest posts you will find on social media.
God’s plan vs Buhari’s plan. pic.twitter.com/PT47iZjhFZ
— Mazi Ibe (@I_pissVodka) March 11, 2018
LASISI ELENU (INSTAGRAM & TWITTER): Who knew that combining (probably) the most distorting Snapchat filter with angry rants would be such a potent comedic mix? Nigeria’s self-proclaimed ‘No. 1 ranter’ takes the angry Lagosian theory to a whole other level. Lasisi mostly rants about his personal struggles and everyday annoyances, but his passionate, relatable and exceedingly humorous delivery elevates those rants to comedy gold. From his experiences living in Lagos to his money problems to his tumultuous relationship with ‘Bro Segun’, Lasisi bares all in an engaging, exaggerated manner to the amusement of us all.