Religion is a very serious issue in Nigeria.
A lot of people see their religion as better than the rest, having different beliefs and they expect that others should respect that perspective.
This has spurned the latest of rants from several men of God concerning Nigerian comedians.
Recently, some pastors have lashed at comedians accusing them of making light of the message of God.
The few pastors who have disapproved of such comedians for it have asked why they are quick to crack jokes about Christianity and say little or nothing about other religions.
While defending his colleagues in an exclusive chat, veteran Nigerian comedian, Okey Bakassi, who has been in the business for 25 years, replied that such pastors were speaking out of ignorance. He said,
“I think sometimes people talk out of ignorance. With due respect to what people believe in; when some of these pastors talk, you see a lot of ignorance. If you do not understand some aspects of a business, you either keep quiet or ask questions.
“You can also do your research. We do not talk so much about Islam simply because most comedians are Christians and we understand our own religion more than other religions, so we try to stay away from subjects we know nothing about.
“Do you want us to talk about a religion we know nothing about and stand the risk of misinforming the public as opposed to talking about what we know and understand?
Even the pastors, do they talk about Islam on the pulpits?
Is it not Christianity they talk about and don’t they make light of some things in the Bible just to get their message across?
So why is it that some people just like to pick on comedians as if we are the only problem they have?
I think it is ignorance.”
Incidentally, the actor and comedian, who recently celebrated his 17th wedding anniversary to his wife, talked about how it would not be easy for anyone to be married to an entertainer.
“For me, marriage has been an amazing experience. It has been challenging for my wife. I doff my hat for anybody who is married to an entertainer, especially when they are not in the same business as it can be emotionally challenging to have a partner who is always out there all the time, mingling with all manner of people.
“If you have a partner who has been with you for 17 years, they must trust you a lot. Trust me, in those years, there must have been a lot of tolerance. Half the time you are not even at home as you are away entertaining lots of people.”
“My wife has been my backbone and everything I accomplish today, I give my wife the credit because if she did not hold the home front together and allow me do what I had to do, this job would not be easy for me.
My job is to make people happy and if the home front is not good, then my job would be difficult. She has done an amazing job and I am very grateful for that.”