The ailing entertainment industry in Africa could become a viable economic force globally if continent started to support and encourage its own, Popular Nigerian comedian Basket Mouth has said in Accra.
?We don?t like supporting our own. I?m sorry to say this but most Africans, we hate ourselves. There is a little bit of beef inside everyone. You see the next person doing well and then you start hating. Most of the time, people hate only because it makes them feel better about themselves.
?It is mostly a ?black? thing. When you are doing well and you are successful, they look for something bad about you to say to the next person to make that person see what they see in their minds?, Basket Mouth noted on Starr FM?s ?Morning Zoo? on Saturday.
?There are a few people who are genuinely real and have been supporting us to do what we do. They are the genuine fans. The rest of the people, they are just on the edge and if you fall they would come celebrating and that?s why a lot of people (African artistes) try to bring out clothing lines but it did not sell? There is a little bit of rivalry between African countries for some funny reason. We look at Europe now and you can drive from any EU country to another without any borders. But here in Africa, the rivalry is overwhelming,? he added.
The comedian was in the studio with his colleagues, Sim Card and Uche, to promote the rib-cracking comedy show, ?The Lords of the Rings?, held over the weekend.
Basket Mouth narrated an experience he had in a transit flight: ?One time I was flying back to Nigeria. I was on business class and they said if I upgrade to First class, I would get more space and won?t pay extra luggage. I was grateful. But during the flight, I was not comfortable because I did not want people to see me flying First Class. I would rather be in the middle. They are comfortable with you in the middle. The rich people don?t want you to come too close to them and the poor ones done want you to go too far from them.
?So I was hiding all through and when we landed I started thinking that if you step too far from the poor people that supported you, they would start hating you and if you step too close to the rich people, they try to move you back.?
Basket Mouth said he had personally experienced needless hate in his career where the persons criticizing him had applauded others for the same things he did.
The comedian, during the live radio interview, said he disagreed with an assertion that his recent show in Ghana was sexually explicit and was quick to defend his position: ?The jokes were not sexual per say. I wrote the material and it was a one hour- ten-minute set. It had about ten minutes on the sexual part, about thirty minutes on relationship then I did normal stuff about Mandela and other things.
?The thing with Africans is that we are quick to condemn our own. If it was Chris Rock or Dave Shapiro who came down here, when they are performing, you would hear the ?F? word a million times in one sentence and we all laugh. I don?t even use the swear words. I am a comedian that does things that everybody lives by our everyday lives.
?I don?t say things that are not in our everyday lives because that is the only way I can live in your mind subliminally. I can talk about sex, relationship, politics and all topics. I have performed that script all over and it is only in Ghana and Nigeria that people said it was sexual. When we did it in the UK, US, everyone loved it because they are more open-minded.
?I don?t know; I don?t understand. I think we are all hypocrites here. We say all those things in private but when you see someone say it, you condemn it to make yourself look good. As if you do not support such and I have come to understand this. That is why my set for this show is talking about everything,? Basket