..an average of 88% of Nigerians agree that Comedy Skits are useful in creating awareness on social trends, correcting societal ills and creating job opportunities.
A new study by Abuja-based opinion research think-tank, Africa Polling Institute (API), has revealed that Broda Shaggi, Mark Angel Comedy, Mr. Macaroni, Taaooma, Lasisi Elenu, MC Casino, Nedu Mallam Musa, Woli Agba, Omo Ibadan, and Bosho have been identified as the top 10 Skit Comedians and Digital Content Creators in the Country. This finding was derived from a nationwide survey conducted to glean the opinion of Nigerians regarding the rise of Comedy Skits and Digital Content Creation in Nigeria.
In the report titled: “Skit Economy: An Assessment of Digital Content Creators in Nigeria”, the views of Nigerians were sought regarding the rise for Comedy Skits, their viewership and who they considered the top Skit Comedians in the country. The results and findings showed that Samuel Animashaun Perry aka Broda Shaggi was identified as the country’s No. 1 Skit Comedian and Digital Content Creator. This was followed by the Mark Angel Comedy team constituting of Emmanuella Samuel, Mark Angel and Success Samuel with 26%; Debo Adebayo aka Mr. Macaroni with 15%, Maryam Adedoyin Apaokagi aka Taaooma with 12% and Nosa Afolabi aka Lasisi Elenu with 11%.
It is interesting to note that cumulatively these top 5 Skit Comedians have a fan base of over 53 million followers on various social media platforms. In the same vein, this finding validates the platforms through which 67% of Nigerians mostly watch Comedy Skits: Facebook (50%), Instagram (34%), YouTube (18%), WhatsApp (15%) and Twitter (10%) amongst others.
In addition, the study found that 65% of Nigerians consider Comedy Skits funny and entertaining, 20% find them quite informative and 14% use Skits as an elixir to rest and relax. Also, 91% of respondents were of the opinion that Comedy Skits are useful in creating awareness about social trends; 83% identified the role of Comedy Skits in correcting societal ills; while 90% acknowledge the potentials of Comedy Skits for employment generation in Nigeria.
Nigerians also lent their voice as to why Comedy Skits have become an ubiquitous phenomenon in the society today; identifying reason such as the rise in youth unemployment (37%), the ever-present need for entertainment and relaxation (22%), the innate talents and creativity of Nigerian youths (18%), the spate of depression and mental health (10%), the need for creative education of the citizenry (5%), the seemingly lucrative nature of Skit Comedy (4%) and the existence of Social Media (4%). In furtherance, the Skit Comedians interviewed for this study also shared their views on the increasing production of Comedy Skits. In their opinion, the increase is mainly driven by two factors: first, the sheer abundance of creative talents existing in the country, as well as the availability of technology and social media platforms, which have now become, in some ways, a leveler, cutting out the middleman to provide direct access of artistes to a global audience of viewers and followership.
Furthermore the Skit Comedians and Producer identified: poor funding and lack of finance, high cost of production, lack of basic equipment, poor electricity supply, excessive taxes on social media platforms, and the proposed regulation of social media, as key concerns and bottlenecks hindering the growth and development of the Comedy Skit sector in Nigeria.
Lastly, Skit Comedians urged the government and the private sector to support them, in order for Nigeria to reap the benefits of showcasing the country’s massive talents, as well as economic diversification and poverty alleviation, through the creation of wealth and job opportunities.
The study adopted a multi-methods approach in collecting primary data. First, a nationwide telephone survey was conducted between the months of October and November 2020 to examine citizen’s perception regarding comedy skits in Nigeria. The survey applied a Stratified Random Sampling technique to interview a total of 1,521 respondents across the nation, out of 4,354 citizens contacted; thus representing a response rate of approximately 35%. The sample consisted of 51% Male and 49% Female respondents, whose ages ranged from 18 years and above. The interviews were conducted in five major Nigerian languages: English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; and geographical quotas were assigned to ensure the selection of a nationally representative sample, which proportionately covered all senatorial districts and states, and the FCT.
In addition to the national telephone survey, semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with 13 leading Skit Comedians and 1 Skit Producer in the country, using a convenience sampling technique, supported by snowballing. This second stage of data collection contained questions that enabled the Skit Comedians to shed some light on the business of producing comedy skits and digital content in Nigeria. Overall, the 14 Skit Comedians and producers interviewed have a cumulative fan base of over 70 million followers across various social media platforms.
API considers this study extremely important, given its academic relevance; as there is no single scholarly literature on this subject in Nigeria. The study therefore represents a novel attempt by the Institute to understand a seemingly under-researched space, which is contributing significantly to the economic growth of the nation and mental wellbeing of citizens.