Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basketmouth, is a Nigerian comedian, actor, TV presenter, producer, and MC. Born on September 14, 1978, in Lagos State, Nigeria, he has become a household name in the comedy industry, organizing popular stand-up comedy concerts like Basketmouth Uncensored across the globe. However, his journey to success was not always smooth, as he initially explored other talents before finding his true calling in comedy.
Early Life and Education:
Bright Okpocha hails from Abia State, Nigeria, but was born and raised in Lagos State. He completed his primary and secondary education in Apapa, Lagos. Afterward, he attended the University of Benin, Edo State, where he pursued a degree in Sociology and Anthropology alongside his brother, Godwin.
Basketmouth’s initial venture into the entertainment industry was through music. In 1991, he discovered his drumming skills, which he honed for over five years. During this time, he also explored rap music, forming a group called “Da Psychopaths” with friends and his brother. However, the group disbanded before releasing any music due to a lack of acceptance in the rap scene.
Transition to Comedy:
Undeterred by the setback, Bright and his brother formed another group called D Oddz, adding a third member, Muyiwa Osunrobi. Despite their efforts, the group failed to break through the music industry. It was during a disastrous stand-up comedy performance in 1999 that Basketmouth decided to shift his focus from rap music to stand-up comedy.
In the year 2000, Basketmouth’s breakthrough in comedy came when he met renowned Nigerian comedian Alibaba while still a student at the University of Benin. He made his first appearance at the Nite of a Thousand Laughs and continued to perform at various comedy shows. Basketmouth also ventured into events management, promoting shows featuring popular music artists.
Basketmouth’s fame expanded beyond Nigeria as he performed at international concerts alongside renowned artists such as Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, and more. He became a prominent figure in the Nigerian comedy scene and gained popularity internationally.
In 2014, Basketmouth launched his record label, Barons World Entertainment. In November 2020, he released a highlife album titled ‘Yabasi’ as a soundtrack for the movie ‘Papa Benji,’ featuring several notable artists. He has also received numerous awards and nominations for his outstanding contributions to comedy.
Basketmouth is married to Elsie Ngowi Uzoma, and they have three children together. He also has a daughter from a previous relationship who resides in the UK. The couple met in 2003 and tied the knot on November 6, 2010, in Ikoyi, Lagos. They have faced challenges, including miscarriages, but recently welcomed their third child in June 2021.
Basketmouth’s journey from a young aspiring rapper to becoming one of Nigeria’s most successful comedians is inspiring. Through dedication, perseverance, and a natural talent for comedy, he has won the hearts of many with his unique style and hilarious performances. Today, he is not only a successful comedian but also an actor, TV presenter, producer, and MC, leaving an indelible mark on the Nigerian entertainment industry.