Making comedy skits in Nigeria is the new oil economy. The list of Nigerians who have and are still making a fortune producing and marketing comedy skits is endless. Think of the likes of Oga Sabinus, Mr. Macaroni, Taaooma and Aloma Isaac Junior. These people became millionaires through this fast-growing industry. Many Nigerians are beginning to notice this vast gold mine and are beginning to ask many questions on Google: how to start comedy video in Nigeria, how to make comedy skits on Facebook, how much do skit makers make in Nigeria, how do Nigerian comedians make money, etc. Are there simple answers to these questions? No, there aren’t. However, this article will give you some ideas on what makes the industry tick and how to begin. There is no guarantee you will hit it big, but why not try?
The road to making comedy skits in Nigeria is long and only passion will keep you going
You must be tired of seeing the word ‘passion’ mentioned in every motivational or self-help article. I am too. But we can’t avoid it. So many people think these highly successful skit makers stumbled upon success. That they were simply “lucky” or “blessed”. These are correct, but do not tell half of the story. Everyone needs luck to make it in life. But Louis Pasteur once said that “luck favours the prepared mind”. For many successful skit makers in Nigeria, the journey was long and arduous. It took some over 10 years to hit jackpot. Years of consistent effort; of posting skits on Facebook that nobody wanted to watch or react to; of being told by friends and colleagues that they were wasting time and resources on a futile venture; of tears, sweat and sleepless nights.
Passion and will will keep you going
Therefore, I am going to tell you this. Creativity, in whatever form it comes – composing music, writing a novel, making comedy skits in Nigeria – is no child’s play. It is tough and will challenge your sanity and will. The one thing that keeps you going is passion. How do you know you have the passion for skit making? I have a one-question test. Would you want to make skits if there was no guarantee it was ever going to pay? The key word is ‘guarantee’. While we all want to make money off the activities we spend our time and effort on, passion means you would do it regardless. I wrote for many years before it began to pay. In all those years, I tried to quit many times than you can count. But I just couldn’t. Ask yourself if you are ready for this. There are absolutely no guarantees. It might pay or not. Keep this in mind.
Ideas generation is the way to begin making comedy skits in Nigeria
You ask, “I want to be a comedian who makes skits, where do I start?” Let’s talk about where and how to start making comedy skits in Nigeria. Ideas. Aloma produces a new skit at least twice a month, I think. Some skit makers produce with more frequency; others less. This means that as a comedy skit maker you have to be brimming with ideas for skits. Making comedy skits in Nigeria begins here. What if you start making skits and succeed in pulling in several viewers and fans who begin to look forward to more regular skits to keep them entertained? And the ideas dry off; you just can’t seem to come up with anything else. Of course, what happens in such a situation is your burgeoning business fades away. It has happened to a lot of newbie skit makers. You whet people’s appetite and fail to serve the main course.
Are you creative?
Subsequently I should ask, do you have a creative mind? No, seriously, do you? I am guessing you answered with a resounding YES! Alright, I believe you. We are not fighting. However, don’t trust your gut on this. See if you are truly what your mind tells you you are. Before you start making comedy skits in Nigeria, get a sheet of paper and a pen, or open a word processor on your laptop. Write down 20 funny skit ideas. Keep going until you have twenty of them or more. When you are done, go through them. How difficult was it for you? Are the ideas unique? Or are they overdone and overworn ideas in the Nigerian comedy market? Only you can answer this.
This is to say, you won’t make it in this business without creativity. If you have doubts, run your ideas by some trusted family and friends and see what they think. A caveat to keep in mind regarding this is that some friends and family are going to harshly critique your ideas just to discourage you from pursuing your dreams. People who are down and lack ambition do not typically like to see others moving ahead. If you genuinely believe your ideas are good, drown out the voices around you and march forward.
Writing scripts might help you succeed at making comedy skits in Nigeria
I am a scriptwriter, and what this means is that I take story ideas, develop them and turn them into screenplay. If you don’t know what a script looks like, download and read my free sample script, Detective Branch. A script is almost 90 percent dialogue. It provides structure to the story for your skit. At ChikaWrites, we offer a crash course in scriptwriting. You could be writing your own scripts in less than a week. Get in touch with us. And get better on your own from there. Let’s teach you the fundamentals and provide you with the resources you need. As a beginner, I do not advise hiring professional scriptwriters at this stage. Hash it out yourself.
The script for your skit will establish the settings, characters and dialogue. When you shoot this script, feel free to deviate every now and then. Do not bridle your creativity. Moreover, scripts are meant to guide you; they are not law. Do not be rigid. But you need them to make shooting a lot easier. Here is an article on how to write a simple script.
Get the hardware
Obviously, to make comedy skits, you need a camera. However, your phone will do, provided it is of good quality. I do not advise you to buy a professional camera at this stage. Begin testing the waters with your phone. Further more, you might want to buy a phone stand and an external microphone. The stand makes it easier to position your phone where it needs to be to capture great shots. An external microphone will enhance your audio. Search Google for these products and buy the cheapest ones in the market to begin with. You might also want to invest in a good lamp for providing additional lighting where necessary.
Now you have the idea, script and hardware. You are almost ready to start making comedy skits in Nigeria. First, take some time to do a bit of research. Read articles on how to shoot videos with your phone. Watch YouTube videos on this. Find whatever freely available information you can find. There are tons of them out there. You need to know how to get the best out of using your phone to shoot. What Apps you need to download. And so much more.
Most importantly, you need to learn some video editing. There are free Apps you can download and use to edit videos. Editing is one of the most important aspects of making a skit. It is probably the most important. Without video editing, filmography wouldn’t exist. All you would watch at the movies would be random meaningless shots. Film editing is whereby you bring your shots together into a meaningful whole using the right tools. You add transitions between scenes; add animations if you have to; add subtitles; add extra sounds, etc.. These happen during editing.
Learn to edit
Editing is daunting but it is not impossible to learn. Taaooma learned to edit her skits herself while starting out. How do you think she is able to dish out those many slaps in her skits? You don’t actually think those are real slaps, do you? No, they are not. She makes good use of video editing. Also, she plays several roles in the same skit. Editing. At first, you will find it frustrating to edit your skits. Therefore, take the time to practice and keep learning. Do it over and over again. You will get better with time.
Do your first shots to get closer to your dream of making comedy skits in Nigeria
Now is the time to actually make your comedy skits. If you can act, fine, be your own star. No problem if not, find friends with talent. Be the producer and director. Tell them what to do. Emmanuella wasn’t making skits herself when she started out. She was a kid who had talent and was recruited to act in Mark Angel’s comedies. Capture good shots. Do scenes over and over again if you have to, until you get the best. Capture it from different angles. Don’t worry about being perfect the first time. It will get better. For now, do the much you can.
Edit and make your comedy skits go viral
I already talked about editing. It is hard. But with resources all over the internet and free Apps, you can do it right. Choose the best shots. Add the right sounds. Make it short and funny. If you think some shots aren’t good enough, bring your actors back on set and re-shoot those scenes. Have a finished product. It might not be exceptionally good, but it will be a good start. Any start is a great start. I am sure your next concern is “how to promote my comedy skit”. Your skit might never go viral. Deal with that. It doesn’t matter that you put in a lot of effort into it. Life is not fair. But try anyway.
I recommend that you begin with Facebook. Instagram, TikTok and Twitter are fantastic, but they are tougher platforms for a newbie content maker. For some reason, Facebook is very accommodating to novices. Create a Facebook page and post your content. Share it as much as you can. If people find it funny, they will recommend it to others. I am not a marketing expert, so I won’t be going further with this. However, keep sharing and making new content.
People who watch your skit and like your page are going to unlike your page if they see nothing else to watch months after your first. Even if there are no viewers, keep making skits and keep sharing them online. Continue researching and learning from experts in the field. Don’t stop generating better trendy ideas, shooting better clips and editing better. Like I said, it is a long journey. Making comedy skits in Nigeria is no mean feat. Brace yourself. You might just be the next big thing in the Nigerian comedy skit industry, if truly you have what it takes. Dip your toes in the water and find out.