Basketmouth lays controversy to rest and gears up for upcoming Valentines Shows in the UK

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Vox Africa brought another edition of ‘Live @ Battersea’ hosted by Adesope Olajide featuring Basketmouth fresh off controversy of his Facebook joke drama.

Without any hesitation Adesope dove into the controversy in which Basketmouth said “Definitely I am sorry about what happened. The people that it offended…I won’t say the people that misunderstood but the people that it offended. It’s no like I left Nigeria because of that, I already booked my ticket since three months ago.

It limits me though. Now it limits the type of jokes I’m going to be cracking right now. Sadly, every joke hits people the wrong way. If I crack jokes about food, there are people in third world countries saying, ‘Why is he cracking jokes about food? Have I chop na?’ They will just go on twitter and say ‘This guy should stop cracking jokes about food, I haven’t eaten’.”

When asked if he felt that there were any topics that are off limits for a comedian he replied, “No. If you’re a comedian, you have the power to crack jokes because the truth is humour has no limits. You can crack jokes about death, living, anything you want to crack jokes about.

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Humour has its own education that sends a message. Everything is funny. Everything in life is funny, there is humour in everything that we do. Society actually structures one. For me, the only thing that limits me is if I go for a church event I won’t crack any joke that has any X in it. Then if I go for an event where everyone is drinking and drunk with their wives, I’m not going to be cracking jokes about Noah and Solomon, I have to crack a joke that suits them. I crack my jokes according to the audience. So that’s my limit. I limit myself according to the audience, but when it comes to jokes there shouldn’t be any limit. But because of the culture and everything, you have to respect the fact that people might find it offensive and just hold back.”

In regards to the Basketmouth Unleashed Valentines shows he has scheduled for February in Manchester and London, he said, “I have created two hours of my stand up performance. I’ve done my performance already, it’s written, and it’s down there. I’ve tested some of them. I’m not going back to writing new material because of what happened. The material stays the way it is. If I’m going to do anything, I’m just going to add to it because there are things that are still happening. I’ve created room for about 15, 20 more minutes. So, just in case anything happens before then I’ll pick it up.”

He finally stated, “The truth about jokes is no matter what type of joke you crack there are people in the audience that won’t find it funny. People get offended for different reasons.  Wale Gates was telling me about a joke he cracked about his wife and how someone was upset and said, ‘Why would you crack a joke about your wife.’ And he said ‘Look, she’s my wife. If anyone is going to be upset, can you let her be upset?’ And she heard the joke before and she wasn’t upset. People takes jokes in different ways, unfortunately everybody made it look like it’s the first joke that I’m cracking. I cracked a joke about “Two things involved” and it ended up being a positive angle and nobody talked about it. The only joke that people like that I’ve cracked right now is about me dying. I cracked a joke about my funeral and they loved it.”

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Adesope took the opportunity to mention that Basketmouth was named the number 2 comedian in the whole of Africa, losing out on the number one spot to South African comedian Trevor Noah. When asked how he felt about being recognised so highly in a category of comedians who have had more global exposure than himself, he said, “To be honest I really don’t want to be number one, God knows my heart. When you’re number one the pressure is too much. Trust me, if was an upcoming comedian that did they joke people will be like ‘Whatever’ because they can’t harm you. But when you’re number one there will be people that are striking you. But God has made it possible that I’m getting there and I’m happy that I’m relevant enough to be labelled as number two in Africa. Trevor Noah deserved the top position. If I were the one that compiled it I would have put him first.”

Basketmouth also shared his feelings on giving back to the less privileged this past Christmas. He said, “Stand up comedy is a trade, it’s buying and selling. You’re giving me laughter and I’m giving you jokes. It’s a transaction. Yes, I’m always happy when they laugh, definitely anyone would be happy. But it is not fulfilling than just giving without receiving something return. The passion I get when I’m on stage is totally different from what I got when I was at the hospital. In the hospital I was actually fulfilled. I felt like ‘I’m okay now’ because it was just giving. The only thing I got back was appreciation and thank you and tears. But I just wanted to give back.”
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