The socio-political aesthetics of Nigerian Pidgin in stand-up comedy and popular music

Peter E. Omoko, PhD, Emmanuel A. Mede, PhD and Monday O. Akpojisheri
Keywords: Aesthetics, Nigerian Pidgin, Stand-up comedy, popular music
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2021 3(2), 42-51. Published: May 11, 2022


This paper examines the place of the Nigerian Pidgin in Stand-up comedy and popular music in Nigeria and foregrounds the socio-political tempers inherent in them. It explores the peculiar language features that have not only made stand-up comedy and popular music in Nigeria a national artistic brand but an international phenomenon that has endeared the Nigerian artists to global audiences. The paper adumbrates the fact that one of the most significant features of Nigerian stand-up comedy and popular music is the use of the English-lexifier of the Nigerian pidgin. The Nigerian pidgin is a domesticated version of the English language which has become a recurrent motif, both in the performance of telling jokes by Nigerian stand-up comedians as well as in the lyrics and metaphors of popular musicians. The paper establishes that by appropriating the linguistic elements of the Nigerian pidgin in their works, the artists not only employ syntactic features but adopt various rhetorical strategies to foreground and convey their message to the people.