Nollywood actor, Charles Okocha’s (A.K.A Igwe Tupac) fame is on the rise, mostly due to his social media video clips rather than from his acting roles in movies. The actor is part of a new breed of comics/comedians whose audience is growing exponentially on social media not as a result of the drama associated with celebrity but rather from the gift of being able to make people laugh.
Nigeria is a country ridden with different problems that span its different sector, so it’s no surprise that Nigerians are always looking for a way to escape their problems. Comedy shows in Nigeria are usually always packed full because laughter can be a healing balm. These comedy shows were spurred by the first wave of comedians like Ali Baba, Basketmouth, Ay, followed by others like Bovi, with tools such as a command of pidgin English and their ability to turn everyday Nigerian problems into funny quips and anecdotes.
The second wave of comedians such as Maraji, Lasisielenu and co. are adept at delivering online skits. Nigerian comedy on Instagram has experienced a major surge in the last few years. The pioneers, led by Chief Obi, Fox, Akanm d boy and others, figured out a way to squeeze relatable scenarios told (or acted) in hilarious ways into one-minute skits on a platform that was quickly becoming popular.
Nigerian humour merchants are becoming bigger celebrities as they are finding new ways to permeate audiences, especially through social media.
The amoshine crooner got his name ‘Igwe Tupac’ after playing the role of an Igbo Prince just returned from America in 2015. Three months later he survived an attack where he got shot with 5 bullets while coming back from an event in Nnewi, Anambra State.
After his surgery, Charles released a video in which he quietly sobbed and repeatedly said the phrase “amoshine when amoshine”. And so, the alter-ego, ‘Igwe Tupac’ was born with the flagging off of a music career with a single titled ‘amoshine’.
“We global, niccuh” a phrase coined by Igwe Tupac and which is now a part of Nigerian pop culture is a testament to how viral he has become. Charles Okocha has completely evolved himself to suit the times. He’s launched some semblance of a music career since becoming a viral sensation and is one of the most-sought-after personalities in the Nigerian internet sphere.
After years of wading through the murky waters and non-existent plots of Nollywood in the 2000s, through his ingenuity and eye for opportunity, Charles Okocha has catapulted himself to fame beyond movies into mainstream Nigeria as well as the diaspora, all thanks to social media.
Reinventing himself from one of Nollywood’s not so popular actors to an internet and mainstream sensation, he consistently churns out viral skits that have added to the Nigerian pop culture.
His recent ‘accolades skit’ is not only already one of the most popular videos of 2018, it has joined the ranks as one of the most used phrases in Nigerian pop culture. Everybody, from celebrities to street thugs, has adopted the phrase.
Charles Okocha (Igwe Tupac) is arguably the biggest pop culture success in Nigeria over the past 5 years. His antics are perfect for the 2-minutes video Instagram age and he indeed deserves as many accolades as he can get!