By Funmilola Olukomaiya
Comedy in Nigeria has become more popular as it now spans beyond standup comedy.
The industry in Nigeria now enjoys a lot of attention as people will stop at nothing to buy tickets for standup comedy shows at outrageous prices.
In the same vein, Nollywood actors have stepped up their games as they keep us reeling with laughter while making Nigerians crack their ribs.
Unfortunately, most Nollywood comedians may sound stereotypical, but then, their mode of comedy has a way of perfectly describing them.
As a fast-rising industry, Nollywood is known to have mastered the comedy genre but not without the resilience and hard work of these top Nollywood comedians who have made their marks in the sands of time with their thrilling performances on our screens over the years.
Like the popular saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and you can’t but love these great acts on your screens as humour solves a lot of life’s issues.
In no particular order, below are 5 of Nollywood’s finest and top comedians.
1. Nkem Owoh (Osoufia)
This veteran Nollywood comedian is known for how he effortlessly adds comic relief to his scenes, even when they’re are meant to be depicted as serious scenes. Nkem Owoh became popular after starring in the 2003 film ‘Osuofia in London’. In 2008, he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The Enugu-born star studied Engineering at the University of Ilorin. It is sometimes said that Owoh doesn’t need a script to play roles, all the director needs to do is describe the character and scene and Nkem will deliver.
2. Afeez Oyetoro (Saka)
Afeez Oyetoro is a Nigerian comic actor, popularly known as “Saka”. He was born on August 20, 1963. The seasoned actor and playwright is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of Ibadan where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in Theatre Art respectively. Oyetoro is known for his clown role in Nollywood movies and has featured in several Nigerian films. He is currently a lecturer in the department of theatre art at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Lagos State. He featured as the main character in the 2013 popular MTN advert where he announced “I don port o.” In 2016, he appeared in ‘The Wedding Party’ and in the comedy-crime/heist film ‘Ojukokoro (Greed)’.
3. John Okafor (Mr. Ibu)
John Okafor popularly known as Mr. Ibu is a Nollywood famous actor and comedian. Okafor is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most talented comic characters as his humorous acting is often characterised by stupidity, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality. Okafor’s facial expression is so funny that mere looking at him will lead you into uncontrollable laughter. It has been said that just seeing him alone makes people laugh.
4. Francis Odega (Sylas)
Francis Odega is a Nigerian comic actor and comedian popularly known as Sylas. He became known when a hilarious video clip of him went viral and was widely circulated on the Internet. This brought him to the limelight as he secured different endorsement deals. He was born in Delta State, Nigeria and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ambrose Ali University. The award-winning actor is one of the pioneer comedians of the Nite of a Thousand Laughs.
5. Charles Inojie
Charles Inojie is a Nigerian actor, comedian, movie director and producer. He is predominantly known for his comedic roles as he is one of the most influential figures in the Nigerian film industry. Little wonder he became the star of M-net produced sit-com TV series, ‘The Johnson’s’. The talented actor through this role has not only endeared himself to many Nigerian homes but in Africa at large. Inojie attended Bode Osoyin’s writers’ resort where he decided to acquire a certificate course in dramatic arts in 1993. He later graduated from the University of Port Harcourt in 1999. He officially joined Nollywood in 1999 where he started his career working as an assistant movie director before venturing full-time into acting and movie directing. He is labelled as one of the best Nigerian comedy merchants.
NOTE: This list is not exhaustive, do share the names of others who didn’t make our list in the comment session.
‘Funmilola Olukomaiya is a passionate writer with interest in topics related to lifestyle. She holds a Diploma in Communication Studies and B.Sc (Ed) in Mass Communication. She also has to her credit, a Basic Certificate in Presentation from Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. She is adventurous and loves to travel, sing and sew at her leisure.
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