The Nigerian comedy has grown to be a full-fledged money spinning enterprise. But, where are the women?
It is has been said that there still is gender discrimination in the Nigerian comedy industry as women are regarded as less effective compared to their male counterparts but there are women who have stood their grounds and are doing interesting stuff. It is these women that this post celebrates
Bose Ogunboye popularly known as Lepacious Bose warmed her way into our hearts with her quick tongue and sharp wit. Her name used to be an irony of her name. Since her widely celebrated weight loss, she is indeed a “lepacious” Bose. The witty comedienne also is also an actress.
Helen Paul Bamisile is a comedian, singer and actress. But she is best known as a stand-up comedian and for her alter ego Tatafo. Tatafo is the witty and sometimes pesky kid who comments on societal issues in a comic manner Her style is quirky and spontaneous, and her petite stature and voice range make her sound like a child.
This list would not be complete without Funke Akindele Jenifa. Though more popular for being an actress, her alter ego- Jenifa is a funny girl from the Ghetto trying to create the façade of being a ‘big girl’. We often see her at comedy shows where she cracks people up with her smooth delivery of the Jenifa character.
Chigul has fast risen to become an house hold name when it comes to comedy in Nigeria. She is a very versatile comedienne who can mimic any accent and leave you laughing. Only recently she released her cover for Adele’s hit song “Hello ” and it left everyone in stitches. Beyond compering events, she also appears on videos and commercials. In an Interview with Premium Times Magazine, Chioma Omeruah popularly called Chigul noted- “I didn’t decide comedy, comedy decided me”.
Gina Obedapo Yashere
Gina Obedapo Yashere is a British Nigerian comedienne holding it down in the UK. She currently lives in New York, but spends a significant part of the year traveling to do shows in the UK, Australia and the Far East.
Jocelyn Jee Esien
Remember the popular comedy skit “Little Miss Jocelyn”? Well, they were all from Joselyn! Like Gina, Jocelyn is not based in Nigeria but in London. She was born in Hackney, London to Nigerian parents. Her show “Little Miss Jocelyn” marked the first time in the history of television in either the US or the UK – that a black woman has been given her own solo comedy sketch show. This happened in 2006.
She once said that starting out was difficult. According to her “nobody wanted to give a female comedian the chance to prove what she is worth. No one took her seriously.
Her first real chance came when she appeared on Charly Boy show in 1992 after that she started appearing in more shows. Though she may not be as active as she used to be, Mandy continues to be one of the women who began the process of breaking the glass ceiling in Nigeria’s comedy industry.
Princess is another Nigerian comedienne who holds her own on the Nigerian stage. Her jokes are funny, fresh and she obviously has no qualms in making the audience laugh at her own expense.