Day Uncensored Basket Mouth held Lagos hostage

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THE traffic snarl began from Kuramo Beach gate and it stretched to the gate of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, venue of the much advertised Basket Mouth Uncensored comedy show.

It seemed every car was heading to the venue of the show and driving through the gates of the high-class hotel was like the biblical Camel head passing through the eyes of the needle. Held at the Expo Hall, Bright Okpocha, popularly called Basket Mouth, last week did not disappoint his fans.

The show was sold out. Those that waited till the last minute to buy tickets got the shock of their lives when they were told that ticket sales had stopped.

The four-thousand capacity Expo Hall was filled already! The attendance was unexpected as people had earlier expressed fears about the supposed high gate fee of N2, 500 and N10, 000 respectively.

The comedian had allayed the fears of many in an interview before the event: "If anybody wants to come and see Basket Mouth, he would come, I don't need to pack my other colleagues on the bill to attract audience members. I know that I am well loved by a lot of people, so I expect my fans to come on April 1," the Best Comedian of the Year 2003, 2004; Virgin Atlantic Award for Best Comedian 2005 and 2006 Best Comedian (The Future Award) recipient had said.

He continued: "All the singers on the bill are currently the best in the country at present, but I am the only comedian as I said earlier on. It is high time we start doing things right in this industry. That is why I am spearheading this revolution.''

The problem with show business in the country, he lamented was the fact that corporate Nigeria is yet to fully grasp the importance of the entertainment industry as related to their business. "Very few like Virgin Atlantic, Starcomms, HP, Digiprints and Guinness are warming up to us, and I am happy that this is happening. I am optimistic that more sponsors will come on board."

He defended the gate fee of N2, 500 and N10, 000 respectively. "The show is meant for all classes of people, and a survey was carried out before the organising committee fixed the gate fee, so we believe that it is meant for all Nigerians."

It was Basket Mouth's night. He yabbed non-stop. The comic who took on everybody, from government officials, politicians, common men on the street and students among others rebuffed signals for him to step aside awhile. Hip hop act Tu Face Idibia, the compere of the night was not spared either. Basket Mouth is simply on top of his game at the moment in the comedy scene.

Some of his old jokes were repackaged to give them a wholesome freshness, but the new ones from his kitty sent people reeling with laughter at regular intervals.

For 60 minutes, Basket Mouth held all hostage. The choking heat in the large hall was temporally forgotten.

Before the comedian's first appearance, the large crowd was treated to an array of performances by artistes such as Nomorloss, Faze and Dare Art Alade. Disc Jockey Jimmy Jatt sent all to the dance floor with his heavy sounds. But he was not allowed much time to torture the turntables. While the duo of Faze and Nomorloss put up a commendable performance, it cannot be said of Dare Art Alade's. Was it Fuji in another cloak that Dare was heard singing on Saturday?

Dare who will in a couple of days launch his first effort, did not impress the large crowd. Nomorloss saved the crowd from experiencing some boring moments.

Compere of the night, Tu Face pulled the biggest surprise. There were fears that his reported lack of command of the English language would mar his performance. But he must have done a whole lot of homework as he took the audience through the proceedings of the night, glibly.

Before discovering his real talent, the comedian had tried his hand in acting, starring in television series and music videos such as Flatmates, videos of artistes such as Tu Face, Lagbaja, Ruggedman, Sound Sultan, 2 Short, Dare Art Alade, Terry the Rapman among others.

He runs what is reputed to be Nigeria's first comedy club-Laugh and Jamz, a monthly comedy show in Lagos at Fantasy Land for about two years now.