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How M-Net’s leverages Nigeria’s comedy

By Yomi  Awelewa

 The comedy industry in Nigeria recently got a boost courtesy of M-Net, premium content provider for Dstv, which introduced the Comedy Club circuit. The second season of this increasingly popular show debuted a few weeks ago. Every Saturday at exactly 8pm local time, DStv viewers are now treated to a bouquet of fresh entertainment, as M-Net Channel 102 brings Comedy Club, an initiative meant to boost local content production and to help grow the comedy industry in the country.

 The Comedy Club phenomenon has been described as the lifeblood of any established comedy industry because comedians, young and old, experienced and start-ups get a chance to engage with audiences and fans and stumble across new material to help develop as comics.

 This Comedy Club _-‘Live in Lagos’ initiative by M-Net, which started in 2009, provides support for a circuit that hosts the comedians on regular basis. M-Net rode on the crest of the wisecrack that “there’s nothing as interesting and amusing as a business of making people laugh” and brought to the audience’s delight, on a platter, an entertainment which hitherto was not available to them freely. At a select venue, people from different walks of life gather to listen to the acts performed. Usually, M_Net blends experience with vision by offering the audience two acts on every show _ one established and one upcoming. There is also a life band, The Sharp Band, which adds verve to the occasion with their melodious voices, exotic dancing steps, and assorted music for the listening pleasure of the audiences.

 It doesn’t stop there. Through the show’s versatile anchor, IK Osakioduwa – the host of BBA Revolution, another M-Net production, the audience is made to experience the new dimension of comedy while the viewers at home enjoy quality time in front of their TVs, watching the performances, IK’s side comments and interviews with the acts as well as life music from the band. This way, M-Net contributes in no small measure to boosting local content production on pay television.

 Mrs Biola Alabi, Managing Director M_NET Africa, said most of the recently introduced programmes like Let’s Dance, Tinsel and Comedy Club are part of M_NET’s contributions to local content development, emphasizing that Nigeria is increasingly becoming source of good programming on M_NET. She said the programs create a platform for home_grown talents in the arts (dance, drama and comedy) to showcase their abilities particularly upcoming acts.

In the line up for Comedy Club – Live in Lagos Season Two, viewers will have opportunity to see their regular established stand-up acts like Basketmouth, Omobaba, Owen Gee, AY, Jedi, Federational Mallam, Lepacious Bose, Julius Agwu, Gandoki, I Go Save, Mandy, Seyi Law, and Gordons. There will also be a cameo appearance for Kevin Chuwang Pam, the winner of BBA Revolution and the first Nigerian to win the continental reality show. This season also, M-Net has lined up acts from other parts of Africa. There will be Lediga, Loyiso Gola and Brent Palmer  from South Africa; Bob Nkosa from Zambia; and Pablo from Uganda – all of them performing “live in Lagos”. The ultimate benefit of this season will be the fresh talents that Comedy Club will be unleashing on the industry.


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