Flashback Fridays: Basi And Company - Classic Naija Sitcom

Who ever remembers 'Basi and Company'? Oh...okay, let me rephrase that - how many of you were born when the 'Basi and Company' series ran way back on NTA between1985 -1990.

Well, this is my Flashback Friday reminisce...

Basi and Comapny was a comedy series that stood out way back then for many reasons.
  • It was one of the first if not the first Naija comedy sitcom that had a laughing background audience.
  • It gravitated from being a TV show to being published as a comedy fiction book series.
  • It also had album series for listening pleasure.
  • Its comic references and material was unique and so different from that of other funny sitcoms in those days.
  • It received syndication to stations across Africa. 
  • It 'derived inspiration from African folklore, and lampooned widespread corruption in oil-rich Nigeria while highlighting its consequences'.
  • So far, 'to date, it remains one of Africa's most watched comedy programmes, with an estimated thirty million viewers during its peak'.
  • It was written and produced by the late great Ken Saro-Wiwa a writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize.who was criminally executed by a specially convened tribunal in 1995.

Late Ken Saro-Wiwa
The series was also reputable for its use of impeccable spoken English which was deliberate. Saro-Wiwa once stated in an interview in 1987: "We should go for proper English so we can relate to the rest of the world...one reason Basi is so popular is that young people are using it to learn English".

Another memorable aspect of 'Basi and Company' was its well defined character who all had well defined mannerisms. Each character had their own peculiar catchphrases.

Basi (aka Mr B) - To be a millionaire, think like a millionaire!; Holy Moses!

Madam (aka Madam de madam): Come in if you're handsome and rich; It's a matter of cash!

Alali: I'm hungry, Mr. B!

Dandy: Hell, I should have known that!; Can I have a piece of the action?

Segi: Ciao!

Has any Naija comedy sitcom of today been able to match up to the peculiarity of 'Basi & Comapny' today? I don't know of any at all.

Or does anyone know of any?

I someday hope the series could be rebooted...or rather another sitcom that applies the same peculiarities.

I rest my case. Have an awesome week y'all!

1 Screamer(s):

I have many fond memories of watching this as a child..... Not sure i got many of the anecdotes at the time.
But we religiously sat in front of the screen every Wednesday night(or whatever day it was) to watch with my siblings and sometimes mum :D

Good stuff!!!!