It is mid-December already, 2015 is winding down speedily; it is the time of the year when many people are likely to take stock individually or collectively of how far they had gone in the year, what they did right or wrong, and what to do to improve on those actions or inactions positively in the incoming year.
It is no much different from my end here, as I take stock of few things that I came across in various sectors in Nigeria. You can call it my end of the year round-up but it is basically looking at some top events, happenings, and people of 2015 in various sectors, ranging from entertainment, art, business, sports and as many as I can touch. While you might not eventually agree with some of, or my entire list, I believe you would agree with me that whoever/whatever makes the list actually deserves to be on it.
So, I am starting from the social media which overtime has gone beyond mere friendship, likes and comments to becoming an effective tool for commerce, major marketing channels, and most of all massive income generation. There is a sharp rise in mobile phone traffic as more people spend time on social media to connect with whatever brand, product or services they are interested in.
A lot of brands and individuals have taken advantage of social media to reach their audience directly and many individuals have gone on to become commercially successful in their trade all because they became prominent on social media especially in 2015.
But, I am talking about certain individuals today and most if not all of them have gone on to become brands, thanks to social media. So, I have my Nigerian top 5 social media break-out hits of 2015 and they are all into comedy or have something to do with comedy. Here we go.
5. FRANK DONGA
The name Frank Donga has grown on a lot of people especially his teeming fans so much that most people who follow him don’t know his real name is Kunle Idowu. According to Kunle, he grew up in a family where sarcasm was the order of the day, so it was natural for him.
Kunle who is a Master’s degree holder in Animal Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) started off with online comedy videos, and attained a new height with his comical skit and web series on Ndani TV, “The Interview” which started airing in 2013, and is about an average Nigerian guy hunting for a job.
Frank Donga was nominated in the category of “Best Actor In A Comedy” at the 2015 Africa Magic Viewer Choice Award (AMVCA). His Instagram handle is @frankdonga_ and he also tweets
via same handle.
4. EMMA OH MA GOD
This is another comedian made popular by social media. Emma Oh Ma God likes to mimic popular artists and creates hilarious skits with current happenings or events. His infusion of music into his comedy routines makes him stand out from other comedians.
His real name is Emmanuel Edunjobi, a graduate of Covenant University, Ogun State where he studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He is a TV Presenter and also a singer, a talent which has helped him greatly in some of his skits where he has had to sing. He started stand-up comedy while in school, but he has leveraged greatly on social media to bring his brand closer to his audience and followers.
He tweets @EmmaOhMaGod
3. CRAZE CLOWN
Craze Clown is the only one on this list who is based outside Nigeria. Emmanuel Ogonna Iwueke, the Imo State born and Ukraine based medical student at the Kharkov National Medical University is a comedian and actor. His skits and funny videos with his famous “son” Ade leave me in stitches every time I watch them.
His videos and skits are mostly from topical issues in the society; I remember his skit on the xenophobic attack in South Africa early this year. Craze Clown is a talented comedian but many of his fans wouldn’t have known anything about him if he stayed strictly with events and stand-up comedy in Ukraine. He has used social media to his advantage and is among the top Nigerians who had a social media break-out in 2015.
His twitter handle is @crazeclown
; the same handle on Instagram.
2. FALZ D BAHD GUY
So many people were shocked when they got to know that this comedian is the son of highly respected lawyer and no-nonsense activist, Femi Falana. Many could not put his background side by side with what he is presently known for.
His real name is Folarin Falana. According to him, his stage name Falz the Bahd Guy, came from an abridged version of his last name, ‘Falana’. While BAHD Guy is an acronym that means ‘Brilliant And Highly Distinct Guy’. Falz is not just a comedian but a rapper and a singer who has gotten nominations and also some awards.
Falz read law at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He moved back to Nigeria to attend law school and was called to bar in February 2012. However, his funny “Ello bae” comedy skits made him very popular on social media and since the video for his song, Ello Bae hit the airwaves, Falz the BAHD Guy has not looked back. He is currently a brand ambassador for Checki.com, a car website and WebMallng, a fast growing e-commerce platform.
His Instagram handle is @FalzTheBadGuy.
1. FRANCIS ODEGA
As it stands, no one would argue that Francis Odega is Nigeria’s biggest social media break-out hit in 2015. Francis started out as an actor and has featured in over 50 Nollywood films. I got to notice him on the popular TV series, Clinic Matters
Francis who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ambrose Alli University was one of the pioneering comedians of the popular ‘Night of a Thousand Laughs’
comedy show back then. In 2013, he won the “Best Actor” award alongside Hlomla Dandala in the “Best African Collaboration” category at the 2013 Ghana Movie Award. His journey to stardom could be termed accidental as the clip that made him very popular was from a video released 3 years ago. According to him, a social media-savvy friend posted a scene “Gerrarra Here Mehn!! Shiiii Mehn!!”
from the film on Instagram and the feedback was huge. But when American rapper, 50 Cent reposted and captioned the video on his Instagram page, Francis hit the jackpot.
The “Gerrarra Here Mehn!! Shiiii Mehn!!”
clip has earned him an endorsement deal and adverts from Etisalat, and has put him at par with many A-List stand-up comedians in 2015.
His Instagram handle is @francisodegaofficia
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This article was first published on 18th December 2015
Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.
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