A comedian from Nigeria who has mostly boasted his comedic trade through Instagram and other social networks is now the new brand ambassador for Vomoz Communications, a company that offers airtime and international calling, and the endorsement deal is worth one million dollars. Henry Obiefule, better known as Chief Obi, is an internet sensation whose showbiz dreams are speedily taking off. Chief Obi’s brand of comedy is very much attuned to modern life in Nigeria; some of his best-known material centers on parodies of what it means to be a Nigerian father and head of household in the often chaotic African metropolis of Lagos.
Chief Obi started his comedy career in 2012 on the Keek before moving to the micro video blogging site Vine, which has been losing steam due to internet trends and lack of enthusiasm by parent company Twitter. Once Chief Obi made Instagram his new home, he found very attentive Nigerian audiences who love his sharp wit and hilarious commentary of life. Prior to his Vomoz deal, Chief Obi had been making incursions into music. In February 2017, Nigerian-American hip-hop artist Jidenna tapped the comedian for a vocal appearance on his debut album; Chief Obi voiced a character named Uncle Palmwine, a sage man who warns the Nigerian-American that his African family may not have the best intentions. The topic of tenuous family bonds is often tackled by Chief Obi, and this is a lamentable reflection of the capitalism and consumerism sweeping across many African nations.
African comedians are slowly emerging as major players in the world of showbiz; this has been a trend observed since South African Trevor Noah took over anchor duties of The Daily Show on the American cable network Comedy Central two years ago. Chief Obi has also produced his own music single featuring Olamide; however, fans are currently more interested in his comedy. Nonetheless, he is very excited about his deal with Vomoz and has even been quoted on CNN explaining that this is only the beginning as he is planning to branch out into other industries. In his own words, he wants to become the “Jamie Foxx of African comedy.”