The entertainment industry is unarguably one of the highest paying industries in Nigeria today. Players in the industry simply get paid astronomical amounts to do what they love to do, almost effortlessly. Comedy is one key aspect of entertainment, and comedians are one of the highest-paid entertainers in the Showbiz industry. They basically come to make people laugh, while they earn what many people in other industries would take several months of hard work to realize.
Comedy business in Nigeria is a very serious business. However, there are some comedians who have made their name in the industry, and currently rank amongst the highest earners. In this age, shows, parties, fun meetings and gatherings all require the services of a suitable individual who knows how to pull the crowd and keep them cheering all through the event. This is where the services of comedians are needed. These days, many top comedians have managers who help them manage their performance itinerary, especially when their services at shows and events are so much in demand.
Thus, comedy business is a big deal, for those who are competent and resilient enough.
There are a few comedians who have distinguished themselves as the best of the lot in the field. Organizers of shows and events constantly book for their services because they have become the people’s favourite, due to their skill, sense of humour, carriage and charisma. Some of them in Nigeria include the likes of Alibaba, AY, Akpororo, and Yaw, amongst others. In addition, they have not only stood out for their competence, but they also rank amongst the richest comedians in the field.
That is what this post is about. It seems to explore the top ten richest comedians in Nigeria. In ascending order, we have:
#10. Steve Onu, a.k.a ‘Yaw’ (N280 million)
Steve Onu is a veteran comedian and one of the oldest and most respected faces in the business today. He started out in the entertainment industry by featuring in a soap opera titled ‘flatmates‘, alongside Basket Mouth and a few others in the early 2000s. His signature act was a stuttered-phrase which, in whole, would be ‘Uwa popo mehn, Yaw!’. His popularity grew exponentially after the flatmates, and he eventually left to join the comedy business as a stand-up comedian. He featured there for a while, made his name, and cemented his status as one of the country’s finest, before he moved on to work as an on-air presenter (OAP) for top radio station, Wazobia FM.
Beyond his involvements in the industry as a comedian and OAP, Yaw also serves as a brand ambassador for Telecom giants MTN. He earns most of his money from MTN adverts, his presentations on radio as an OAP, anchoring of events (which he does very regularly), as well as a few other businesses that he developed and currently runs. He is known to be into real estate, and he has a number of high end properties to his name.
Yaw is currently worth a good N280 million naira.
#9. Gordons (N400 million)
Gordons is one of Nigeria’s finest comedians. He has been on the scene for a long time. He started out as a stand-up comedian, performing in shows and local events. At one time, Gordons was the fans’ favourite. Popular events that had Gordons as part of the invited guests to perform, sold out faster than regular shows did.
His consistency in the business earned him a spot on the ‘Night of a thousand laughs’ show, organized by Opa Williams; and it was through this show that he got shot into limelight.
Gordons is a comedian, businessman and entrepreneur. He is currently worth N400 million.
#8. Gbenga Adeyinka (N500 million naira)
Gbenga Adeyinka ‘the first’ is one of the most accomplished comedians in the world of comedy. He specializes in performing at highly-exclusive events and government functions. As a matter of fact, there are only few comedians in the industry that have performed at more government events and exclusive shows than himself.
Asides just being a laughter monger, he is also a business man. He is the producer of popular comedy show ‘LaffMattaz’. Every year, he earns a lot of money from the shows.
He is also a real estate guru, and is said to own several properties across the city of Lagos and its environs. His current net worth is put at N500 million naira.
#7. Abovi Ugoma, a.k.a ‘Bovi’ (N600 million naira)
Bovi is one of the hottest comedians at the moment. He known for being sarcastic at times, and for having the uncanny ability to always pull the crowd at whatever event he is invited to perform. He started out like Yaw, performing in soap operas and skits, before his big break came. He has been into standup comedy for a long time. Asides his public performances, Bovi also does comedy skits on social media, and he also anchors shows, events and concerts.
He is currently worth a sum of N600 million naira, and he has a collection of exquisite cars and properties.
#6. Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule, a.k.a ‘Okey Bakassi’ (N800 million naira)
Okey Bakassi is a perfect example of old comedy blended with the contemporary. He started comedy business a long time ago, performing alongside the likes of Julius Agwu, Yaw and a few others, many of which have since gone out of business, and their names, out into extinction.
He was one of the most successful comedians of his time, and when others were fading away, he took effort to rebrand himself to remain relevant in the changing landscape. He went into movie acting, Emceeing, and also Television presenting; and soon, he became a household name once again. Currently, he anchors shows and events for top government functionaries, and he also performs regularly at live comedy events.
Currently, he also serves as a Special Assistant for Entertainment to the Governor of Imo state, Governor Rochas Okorocha. His net worth is N800 million naira.
#5. Julius Agwu (N1.5 Billion naira)
Julius ‘The Genius’ Agwu is one of the finest comedians that Nigeria has ever produced. He is also one of the oldest in the business today. He started out performing at comedy shows during the time of Alibaba, Okey Bakassi and many others. He was one of the first comedians to start organizing comedy shows all around the country. He is popular for two major comedy shows: ‘Crack Ya Ribs”, and “Laugh For Christ’s Sake”.
Asides his comedy exploits, he is also into movie acting. He has featured in a number of movies till date. He is also an accomplished author and event host, and he regularly anchors events for politicians and societal heavyweights. According to reports, it costs millions to hire his services to perform at a show.
Julius Agwu is responsible for mentoring many contemporary comedians that have succeeded today. He mentored Basketmouth, Bovi and a few others.
He owns an entertainment company named Real Laff Entertainment, and his net worth is put at N1.5 billion naira. He also owns cars and land assets in several locations.
#4. Francis Agoda, a.k.a ‘I go dye’ (N1.8 Billion naira)
‘I go dye’ is one of the most dynamic comedians in Nigeria. He is also one of the wealthiest of them all, as he sits at our number three spot on the list of richest comedians in Nigeria.
‘I go dye’ had been performing at local street shows and events for a long time, before he eventually diversified into acting movies and comedy skits. His big break in comedy came when he began to perform for one of the most popular comedy shows of all time in Nigeria, Night of a Thousand Laughs. His lanky structure and sarcastic expressions always gave bite to his hilarious jokes, and soon, he became a household name. As part of his comedy business, he also hosts shows for all who can afford his bills. He has successfully hosted many shows, government events, and concerts in his career.
Asides his comedy inclinations, he also owns a construction company named Revamp Construction CO.
He also serves as an ambassador for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG), from which he earns a substantial income. Asides that also, he has also been an ambassador of various local and international brands, and his endorsement deals with such companies usually runs into several millions of naira.
He is currently worth a massive N1.8 billion naira.
#3. Bright Okpocha, a.k.a Basketmouth (N2 billion naira)
Basketmouth is one of the funniest and most versatile comedians in Nigeria. He has been in the comedy business for a long time. He started out featuring in a regular soap opera called ‘Flatmates’, alongside Okey Bakassi and Yaw. He also featured in a number of comedy skits, before delving fully into Stand-up comedy, under the guidance and mentorship of Julius Agwu.
Basketmouth is a household name. He regularly performs at comedy shows and concerts, and he is said to make as much as N3 million naira from each performance. Shows that want their tickets sold out fast usually invite Basketmouth and many other top comedians to perform. Merely listening to him crack jokes often makes one forget their worries and look on the bright side of life.
Asides performing at shows, Basketmouth also runs his own shows in Nigeria and other parts of the world. he recently completed a comedy tour called ‘Lord of the Ribs’, where he performed in selected cities in England, U.S.A, South Africa and Canada.
Basketmouth is one of Nigeria’s finest. He is worth a whopping N2 billion naira.
#2. Ayodeji Richard Makun a.k.a ‘AY’ (N2.5 billion naira)
AY is arguably the most popular comedian in Nigeria at the moment. He is literally a genius. He is not necessarily the funniest of the lot – in fact many people argue that he is actually not a funny person – but he knows just how to bring the funny people together to entertain an audience. His shows, AY Live, are reminiscent of Julius Agwu’s ‘Crack Ya Ribs’ comedy shows that aired all over the country in the early and mid-2000s. AY’s shows are said to be one of his major channels of income. An average show rakes in several hundreds of millions of naira for him, and he holds two to three of such shows in different locations every year.
Asides organizing shows, perhaps AY’s major passion these days is movie acting and production. He is the brains behind the following blockbuster movies; The Wedding Party 1, The Wedding Party 2, and 30 Days in Atlanta. He has also recently released a new movie titled ‘Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons’ that is currently taking the movie industry by storm.
He owns a night club in Nigeria, and he also runs an event organizing and management company in Nigeria. He has lots of luxury cars and properties in Nigeria and also abroad, and his current net worth is an estimated N2 billion naira. He also hosts shows and anchors events for top politicians and business magnates in the country.
#1. Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere, a.k.a Alibaba (N3 billion naira)
Alibaba is the undisputed king of comedy in Nigeria. He remains a household name, and has been active since the inception of comedy in this country. He has successfully mentored several successful and upcoming comedians in the industry, and he is very highly respected in the entertainment industry today.
He performs at top shows organized by wealthy individuals, and events by government officials. He is known to charge as high as N5 million naira per appearance at any show. Asides performing, he is also into movie acting. Most recently, he featured in Ayo Makun’s ‘The Wedding Party’ movie, alongside many other top Nollywood stars.
Alibaba is also a motivational speaker and businessman. He is currently worth in excess of N3 billion naira. He owns a collection of luxury cars and properties in high-end locations in the country and abroad.