Laughter is a universal language that transcends barriers, and Africa boasts of a vibrant comedy scene that’s gaining global recognition. From sharp observational humor to cultural satire, African comedians have perfected the art of tickling funny bones while offering insights into the continent’s diverse cultures.
In this blog post, we’re rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the top 20 best comedians in Africa, whose talents have not only brought smiles but also shed light on pressing issues through humor.
Top 20 Best Comedians In Africa
- Trevor Noah (South Africa)
- Basketmouth (Nigeria)
- Ayodeji Richard Makun – AY Comedian
- Anne Kansiime (Uganda)
1. Trevor Noah (South Africa)
Leading the pack is none other than Trevor Noah, an international sensation known for his wit and insightful commentary. From “The Daily Show” to his stand-up specials, Trevor’s humor resonates worldwide.
2. Basketmouth (Nigeria)
Hailing from Nigeria, Basketmouth is a comedic powerhouse. His ability to connect with audiences through relatable jokes has made him a household name across Africa.
3. Ali Baba (Nigeria)
Ali Baba, born 24 June 1965, whose real name is Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, is an award-winning Nigerian stand-up comedian. He is considered one of the pioneers of stand-up comedy in Nigeria and has been active in the industry for over two decades. He is known for his observational comedy and satire. He started his career when he was in college.
He has won several awards, like the 1st Nigerian Entertainment Award, the National Comedy Award and the Diamond Award for Comedy. He is recognized for featuring in Merry Men and 30 Days in Atlanta.
4. Ayodeji Richard Makun – AY Comedian (Nigeria)
Famously known as A.Y (which is his stage name), Ayo is one of the biggest and best comedians from Africa. Born in Nigeria, this man is filled with talents – he is also an actor, a radio and TV presenter, as well as a producer.
He is from Ondo State (one of Nigeria’s southwestern states), and has grown massively since he started comedy years ago. Ayo is known for his A.Y live shows and A.Y comedy skits, and he is the boss at Corporate World Entertainment Nigeria. He lives in Nigeria with his wife and children.
5. Anne Kansiime (Uganda)
Anne Kansiime’s hilarious sketches and impeccable timing have catapulted her to comedic stardom. She has a knack for highlighting everyday situations with a comedic twist.
6. Carl Joshua Ncube (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe’s pride, Carl Joshua Ncube, blends storytelling with stand-up, delivering uproarious performances that touch on cultural quirks and societal issues.
7. Salvado (Uganda)
Patrick ‘Salvado’ Idringi’s versatility in mimicry and storytelling has solidified his spot among Africa’s comedy greats. His humor often reflects on cultural norms and experiences.
8. Julius Agwu (Nigeria)
Julius Agwu (born April 7, 1973) is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, actor, singer, and MC. Julius Agwu is the MD/CEO of Reellaif Limited, music, and movie production company. He is also an entertainment consultant and motivational speaker. He is the producer behind comedy shows like Crack Ya Ribs, Laff 4 Christ’s Sake, and Festival of Love.
Julius Agwu is also one of the recognized humorous people in Nigeria who earns a living through their incredible skills to make people laugh. He hails from PortHarcourt. Aside from being a comedian, he is also a motivational speaker, actor, MC and singer.
He began his comedy career in Port Harcourt, where he grew up. He is known for his shows such as Crack Ya Ribs, Festival of love and Laff 4 Christ’s Sake. He founded a genre of music in Nigeria known as music-comedy and is the first comedian to release a comedy album in Nigeria.
9. David Kau (South Africa)
Bold and unfiltered, David Kau pushes boundaries through his comedy, using humor as a tool to address social issues head-on.
10. Bovi (Nigeria)
Bovi’s charisma and ability to seamlessly blend stand-up and acting have earned him fans across the continent. He cleverly tackles societal norms with a comedic twist.
11. Loyiso Gola (South Africa)
Loyiso Gola’s thought-provoking comedy dissects societal norms, prompting audiences to think while they laugh. His humor is intelligent and impactful.
12. Churchill (Kenya)
Kenya’s comedy icon, Churchill, has nurtured emerging talent through his “Churchill Show.” His ability to tap into Kenyan culture resonates deeply with audiences.
13. Noko Moswete (Botswana)
A master of physical comedy, Noko Moswete’s facial expressions and body language evoke laughter without a single word spoken.
14. Celeste Ntuli (South Africa)
Fearless in her approach, Celeste Ntuli uses comedy as a platform to challenge stereotypes and address societal issues, breaking boundaries with every punchline.
15. Daliso Chaponda (Malawi)
Daliso Chaponda’s global recognition through “Britain’s Got Talent” highlights his clever humor, often reflecting on his experiences as an African abroad.
16. Sammy Obeid (Algeria)
With a blend of cultural insights and personal anecdotes, Sammy Obeid’s comedy captures the essence of growing up Algerian in the United States.
16. Idris Sultan (Tanzania)
Idris Sultan is a Tanzanian actor, comedian, and radio host who won the Big Brother Africa-Hotshots in 2014. Sultan also hosted a comedy news show called Sio Habari and regularly hosts his own stand-up comedy shows. In 2016, he also hosted a radio show called MwB on “ChoiceFM Tanzania”.
Idris Sultan is also the first Tanzanian actor to be featured in a film streaming on Netflix, titled “Slay” (2021).
17. Teacher Mpamire (Uganda)
In real life, Ssegujja is a teacher at Standard High School in Zana, there, he had the opportunity to teach alongside Arthur Mpamire, his former European History teacher at Greenlight High, on whom he based his stage name and character.
His performances have seen him stage shows in Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries. In 2016, Teacher Mpamire was named “discovery of year” at the Africa Youth Awards held in Accra, Ghana. He is also part of the Fun Factory cast in their weekly comedy shows at the National Theatre, in Kampala.
18. Riaad Moosa (South Africa)
Moosa started doing stand-up on campus during his fourth year at University of Cape Town. He started performing stand-up at the Cape Comedy Collective’s free Comedy Lab workshops, and just two months later, he was the winner of the “One City, Many Comics Talent Competition” held as part of the One City Festival in September 1999.
He became a regular headliner on the comedy circuit during his first year, where he was also invited to perform on Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Evita Live and Dangerous e.tv comedy show. In 2000, he came to prominence on the comedy-club circuit in Cape Town.
19. Eddie Kadi (DR Congo)
Eddie Kadi is a Congo-born (to be Kinshasa to be precise), British-born comedian who constantly woos everyone with his unique African-influenced brand of comedy.
Kadi won the BECA Award for Best Comedy Newcomer In 2006. He was the first Black British solo comedian to sell out London’s IndigO2 – two of those during 2009. In September 2010, he performed at London’s O2 Arena where he sold out the 13,000 seat arena.
He has since made appearances around the world including The Joburgh Comedy festival, Africa Laughs in Uganda, night of a thousand laughs in Ghana, as well the AMVCAs broadcast across all 54 states in Africa live from Nigeria.
Kadi joined hiphop star Lauryn Hill at the prestigious venue Radio City Music hall in New York City performing stand up comedy in 2017 followed up with Lauryn Hill and Nas on their powernomic tour in the US, performing stand up comedy across various states.
20. Eric Omondi (Kenya)
Eric Omondi (born 9 March 1982) is a Kenyan comedian and actor. He made his comedy debut in Churchill Show, a comedy show that airs on NTV in 2008. He has since won three African Entertainment Awards USA for ‘Best Comedian’ in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Eric Omondi’s energetic performances and diverse characters have earned him a place among Africa’s comedy elites, entertaining audiences across the continent.
Omondi started his career with a brief stint as a news reporter for NTV Kenya before meeting Daniel Ndambuki in 2006. He broke into the limelight in 2008 after he made an appearance on NTV’s Churchill Show. In 2015, he left the show, to host his own show called Hawayuni, which aired on KTN but was short-lived. He also did ‘Somewhere in Africa’ and ‘Untamed’.
In March 2017, Omondi became the first Kenyan ever to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Africa’s comedy scene is a tapestry woven with diverse voices and unique perspectives. These 20 comedians have earned their spots through their exceptional ability to make us laugh, think, and reflect on the world around us. With humor that transcends borders and cultures, they continue to enrich the global comedy landscape, leaving audiences with not only laughter but also a deeper understanding of the continent’s rich tapestry of cultures and experiences.