A comedian, Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basketmouth, on Friday said that adoption of Pidgin English on stage by Nigerian comedians had limited their reach and popularity.
Basketmouth told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that many comedians would have gotten international fame and recognition if they were entertaining in English.
He said that Nigerian comedians also needed to step up their game in order to be globally competitive.
“One of the problems we have right now in the industry and which makes it difficult to break out of our cultural background and society is the language barrier.
“Ninety per cent of our Nigerian comedians entertain their audience in Pidgin English and which limits their reach.
“You can only break even in Liberia, Ghana and Sierra-Leone, all English speaking West African countries, but can’t go beyond that in Francophone countries.
“So, if you continue being lazy as a comedian and not striving to be universal with your materials, you are going nowhere.
“Joke is a joke, as long as you don’t make it too cultural because nobody in America, with the right audience, knows about the Warri people or the Yoruba people or Hausa.
“So create your jokes and even more universal which is the major problem we have right now.
“This is the reason why South Africans can break into the Western world because of the fact that they deliver their jokes in English and their structure is better than ours.
“In Nigeria, the entertainment is massive, but with no structure,” he said.