Nigerian comedian, Basketmouth came under fire last week for a joke he posted on Facebook in which he drew comparison between white women and black women. Many people found the joke in bad taste. It raised a storm and women rights activists began a campaign again the comedian. He later apologized, but he had to do it twice.
The comedian in currently in London and he granted an interview with Adesope Olajide on Vox Africa in which he spoke on the controversy.
You may read excerpts from the interview below:
On Rape Joke Controversy: “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 not 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’.”
Adesope & Baketmouth
On topics that are off limits: “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.
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.”
On people finding jokes offensive: ”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 take 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.”