“Technology has facilitated new avenues on how comedy is delivered. It has revolutionized the way the industry works and how it operates. One can sit in the comfort of his home and deliver humour straight to you, anywhere in the world”
With comedy industry being the third largest entertainment industry in Nigeria after Nollywood and music, more millennias have been striking gold in the industry. The Nigeria comedy industry is said to worth an estimated N50 billion annually.
One of the ace stars making waves in the industry is Bukunmi Adelani, popularly known as Preacher, – a witty event host, brilliant actor and producer. He is majorly known for his ethical rib cracking jokes.
Bukunmi has being a comedian for nine years and his professionalism on family-friendly jokes has adhered many to him.
For him, comedy started when he was still a young lad. He didn’t come from an influential family and had to work his way through life while also keeping up with his academics.
In 2004 while in school, he narrated how he hosted a few of his departmental programs and birthdays for his friends. This for him, he mentioned was a great source of income and how his popularity grew.
“Officially, I started comedy in 2012 when I resigned from banking, I became a banker three and a half years before then, but later realized that banking was not for me, so I decided to explore the world of entertainment, particularly, comedy”, he said.
For Bukunmi, comedy is part of life, “we work with things that we can see, the things that we experience and comedy is largely based on emotions. The joy comedy brings cannot be likened to taking alcohol, because when you get to the bottom of the bottle, it’s all back to square one but humor helps people to see beyond their problem”, he explained.
He added that comedy can be medicinal, therapeutic, fun, and romantic. “So, it largely depends on the angle you see it from, because life is about perspective. Comedy is, however how you look at it.”
Bukunmi expressed dissatisfaction in the evolving capacity of the Nigerian comedy industry with very little or no government support, as compared to other counties of the world, stating that if it were a software, it would be loading at 20% going to 100%.
“This is an industry that can contribute heavily to the GDP of the country if we have a very serious government, who can see beyond oil.” Bukunmi said.
Recognizing the potential comedy industry has among other industries in the entertainment sector, he mentioned that comedy specials are the most viewed programs on Netflix.
When asked how technology aided the comedy industry, Bukunmi replied “technology helps in every way, more particularly during the start of Covid-19.” He recognized the undisputed role technology played in keeping the comedy industry alive.
He pointed that it helped combat the depression people were faced with in the course of the lockdown.
Bukunmi and a few of his colleagues generated a hotline for people who felt emotionally down and needed someone to talk to lighten their moods during the first outbreak of Covid-19.
“Technology has facilitated new avenues on how comedy is delivered. It has revolutionized the way the industry works and how it operates. One can sit in the comfort of his home and deliver humour straight to you, anywhere in the world”, he stressed.
“Let’s not forget that even from the recording to the distribution, its technology”, he added.
He also pointed that technology has significantly crossed the barrier of limit – a large number of people can now simultaneously view a live comedy show.
He urged every comedian or aspiring comedians to harness the power of technology and key into its benefits, otherwise they would not be able to function in the world that is unraveling.
“In the next ten years, we would show the Nigerian government that they should have invested in us”, Bukunmi said,
Highlighting the developments that the comedy industry is facing, he sees comedians running their own radio and TV channels online and making more use of the new age technology to produce moral induced skits and run shows that not only carry humour, but a message to address societal issues.
Bukunmi pointed out that the King of Comedy, Ali baba had recently established his own television station. He commended the cooperate bodies that saw the vision that the Nigerian Government failed to see.
He hopes to redefine the comedy industry with his own original style of delivery that includes the artistic use of drama and music to portray his message with humour to blend what people usually see in most comedy shows in Nigeria.
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“I share my experiences with comedy. I talk about things that are happening in the society and use humour to address governmental issues”, he explained
Bukunmi shared a dramatic representation of his life journey in his show held last year, ‘Bukunmi Becoming Preacher’.
“The story happened in the streets of Ibadan where I sold soft drinks in traffic to working in a block industry, then going to school and becoming a banker, till I resigned from banking to pursue entertainment, it was spectacular”, he said with a grin.
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