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Basketmouth is leaving comedy in 5 years to focus on music, filmmaking

Basketmouth plans to get involved in every sector of the entertainment industry and build his own empire.

Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth, has been a comedian for over two decades [Instagram/@basketmouth]

The 45-year-old announced during an Arise TV interview on Saturday, November 25, 2023 he has a slate of annual comedy shows for the next five years after which he plans to quit.

He explained that since he first dumped his music career for comedy in the 1990s, he's always known he would return to it. His success with My Flatmates, a popular sitcom he produces and stars in, further cemented his belief.

The comedian said he plans to get involved in every sector of the entertainment industry and build his own empire.

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"I'll be 50 in five years, I'd have moved on to something else that'd be taking a lot of my time, and I don't want to cheat comedy. I want to give it a 100%. I know that in five years, I can blend all the interests and go fully into movies, TV and music concerts. It's going to be hard to do all these things and still give 100% to comedy," he said.

Basketmouth further complained about the challenges of the comedy industry in Nigeria, noting that comedians don't have the structure to succeed. He said music and films have streaming platforms exposing them to a global audience, but the same has not happened for comedy.

The Brotherhood star said the culture of standup comedy is dying because comedians don't have the structures to practice and refine their work, a problem he believes impacts the quality of their craft.

He said, "The system is not built to support comedy. Many of the newbies don't have the platforms like we had. With social media, a lot of people started mistaking skit makers with standup comedians — they're two different sets of people. Some skit makers now tried to do standup comedy and most of them bombed. When there are a lot of comedians bombing because there's no space for them to grow, they're not well refined and people start thinking, 'Do we really need comedians?'"

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Before he exits the industry, Basketmouth plans to fix the problem by providing exposure for comedians. He hinted he's working with "one or two streaming platforms" to give room for new comics to be seen and heard across the world. The show he's planning to do to achieve this would be named One Night Stand.

Despite his exit plan, the comedian left the door open for a return later in the future.

"As a comedian, you can't stop writing materials so I'll keep writing, and maybe in another 10 or 15 years after now, I might come back. We have a 15-year plan," he said.

Alongside My Flatmates, Basketmouth is also the creator of Papa Benji, a web series, and producer of three critically-acclaimed music albums: Yabasi, Horoscopes and Uburu.

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