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bird TenX: Top African skit makers

SKITMAKERS in Africa have become pivotal figures in the highly diversified entertainment industry, skilfully blending humour and social commentary to captivate audiences across the continent and beyond. These creative individuals harness the power of digital platforms to craft short, relatable, and often hilarious snippets that reflect the everyday lives and idiosyncrasies of African society significantly contributing to the fast-growing creative economy.

THE rise of skit-making in Africa underscores the depth of the continent’s digital revolution. With over 526 million internet users in 2021, Africa has seen a surge in content creators harnessing social media’s vast reach. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok serve as stages for skit makers to showcase their talent, in some cases resulting in viral fame and even fortune.

Skit-making also adds substantially to the bottom line of Africa’s creative sector. Projected to reach US$12 billion by 2025 in East, West and Southern Africa alone, the sector is increasingly driven by online video content. Skit makers stimulate job creation, with many establishing production companies that employ writers, directors, and technical staff.

Culturally, skits serve as a medium for storytelling, preserving African languages and dialects. They incorporate local slang and expressions and their authentic nature resonates deeply with viewers. Collaborations with traditional media outlets further extend skitmakers’ reach.

Beyond entertainment, African skit makers serve as cultural ambassadors, reshaping global perceptions by showcasing the diversity, creativity, and resilience of African communities. As they gain international acclaim, these skit makers are not just eliciting laughter—they’re transforming narratives. Senegalese-Italian, Khaby Lame, perhaps Africa’s best-known skit maker, even transforms narratives in and about Europe. Here are some of Africa’s biggest skitmakers:

1. Isaac Olayuwola – Nigeria
Popularly known as Layi Wasabi or The Lawyer, Olayiwola developed his lawyer persona based on his experiences studying law and being surrounded by lawyers. In a previous interview, he mentioned, “I served at the Ministry of Justice, Ibadan, so there were a lot of lawyers like that.”

Through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, Layi Wasabi entertains his substantial following of nearly 5 million combined followers with lawyer humour. Recently, he has also introduced a new persona, “Mr. Richard,” focusing on motivational speaking in his skits.

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2. William Last KRM – Botswana
William is one of Africa’s biggest skit makers with a combined 30 plus million followers on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. His skits are described as Mr Bean style, centred on physical humour, slapstick and non-verbal cues. Last year, the 24-year-old won the Digital Content Creator of the Year award at the African Entertainment Awards USA.

3. Somi Lynda – Nigeria (based in the Netherlands)
Somi Lynda is a content creator who makes skits and posts them on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram under the username @driplist. Her skits are known for their humour and relatability, often focusing on everyday situations and cultural observations. Her content includes parodies and fun stories which resonate with a wide audience.

She often portrays common experiences, such as the quirks of living in a foreign country, in a light-hearted and entertaining way. Her approach to content creation has garnered her a large following and millions of likes on TikTok.

4. Abraham Ereme – Nigeria
Known as Twyse Ereme, the Nigerian is famous for his “Twyse & Family” comedy series, which humorously portrays the daily lives of a popular family. Twyse takes on multiple roles within the series, offering a deeper insight into each character’s journey. He boasts a substantial social media presence with over 1.4 million followers on Instagram, nearly 1 million on TikTok, and half a million YouTube subscribers. In 2022, Twyse consolidated his skits into the comedy film “Twyse and Family (The Movie).”

5. Charity Ekezie – Nigeria
The award-winning creator and journalist uses humorous, sarcastic skits to dispel negative stereotypes about Africa. She debunks ignorant ideas about Africa’s appearance while showcasing the continent’s advancements in infrastructure and access to key amenities. With more than 3 million followers, she enjoys a viewership exceeding 200 million across her digital platforms. She was a runner-up for the TikTok Top Creator Award for 2022.

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6. Uncle Mo – Uganda
Ugandan comedian Moses Kiboneka’s character uses satire and situational comedy to address politics, breaking news, culture, and dating dynamics. Listed in Avance Media’s top 100 most influential young Africans of 2023, his comics have a significant impact on the youth. In an interview with the Nile Post, he revealed, “I have been a mechanic more than I have been a creative, which is about ten years. Uncle Mo’s content started in 2020 when he did his first video…”

7. Fatboy and Kapinto – Kenya
Kenyan animation investor and creator Michael Muthiga brings life to the animated character Fatboy, known for his body paintings, distinctive flaming red cornrows, and thigh-length ponytail. Voiced by Kenyan content creator Kapinto, Fatboy’s skits cover a range of topics from motivation and encouragement to promoting self-awareness. The animations have garnered widespread attention, including a share by Hollywood star Will Smith in March 2024, captioned “I love this character @fatboykenya.” Fatboy boasts over 1.2 million followers on TikTok and 605k on Instagram.

8. Thenjiwe Comedy – South Africa
The South African comedy queen is known for her fresh, witty takes on everyday life experiences. Her skits, shared across multiple platforms, receive high engagement, making her one of Mzansi’s most beloved comedians. She boasts nearly 200k subscribers on YouTube, over 350k followers on TikTok, and more than 400k followers on Instagram. Besides skit-making, she is also a standup comedian and actress.

9. Mohamed Moula – Egypt
The Egyptian actor, formerly a dentist, has appeared in several films, most recently the 2022 romantic drama “Me and Her.” Besides acting, he is a renowned skitmaker, known for hilarious skits that mimic phone conversations with various people. His exaggerated takes on everyday Egyptian life leave his massive social media following in stitches. Additionally, Moula is a published writer.

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10. Maryam Apaokagi – Nigeria
Known as Taooma, the 25-year-old content creator, cinematographer, and social media influencer has taken the internet by storm. With over 6 million followers on Instagram, an additional 5.1 million on TikTok, and more than 1 million YouTube subscribers, she ranks among Nigeria’s top skit makers. Recently, she has featured international stars like Canadian-American King Bach and actor Terry Crews in her comedy skits, showcasing her global reach and influence.

Extra: Khaby Lame (how could we not include Africa’s most famous skit maker, even if he does not live in Africa?)
Senegal-born, Italy-based Khaby Lame is one of the most popular skit makers in the world. With over 162 million TikTok followers and 81.5 million Instagram followers, his short comedy clips spoofing famous memes have garnered more than 2.4 billion likes on TikTok alone. Since starting in 2020 after being laid off from a factory job, Khaby has become a global sensation, collaborating with major brands and headlining events like the 2023 Super Bowl. Recognized in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2022, he has also received the Premio la Moda Veste la Pace award from the African Fashion Gate organization.

By BONFACE ORUCHO AND FISKE NYIRONGO

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