Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule popularly known as Okey Bakassi is a famous Nigerian stand-up comedian, television personality, Nollywood actor, producer, director, entrepreneur, master of ceremony and a television host. He was born on 23rd October 1969 in Owerri, Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria to Mr. Livinus Onyegbule, a retired military personnel and Mrs. Felicia Onyegbule, a nurse.
He is currently 48 years old. He is very handsome, creative, gifted, skillful and talented. He is the first son in a family of five children. Okey Bakassi is originally from Mbaise, a small town in Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria and is currently married with beautiful kids. Okey Bakassi completed his primary school education at the Alvan Ikoku Demonstration School in Owerri, Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate.
After completing his primary school education, Okey Bakassi proceeded to Mbaise Secondary School in Imo State, Nigeria where he studied briefly before moving to Federal Government College, Port Harcourt in Rivers State in the south southern part of Nigeria, where he completed his secondary school education and obtained his West African Senior School Certificate.
After completing his secondary school education, Okey Bakassi proceeded to Rivers State University of Science and Technology in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1992. After graduating from the university, Okey Bakassi got deployed to Lagos State for the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme.
Okey Bakassi wanted to study Theatre Arts, but for the fact that the school he got admitted into which is Rivers State University of Science and Technology does not offer Theatre Arts as a course, he decided to settle for Agricultural Engineering. While in the university, Okey Bakassi and some other students who had the same passion and interests came together to form a group known as “Theatre Kolleagues” for the purpose of acting and entertaining the university community.
After completing his university education, Okey Bakassi came to Lagos for his mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme and was posted to Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) where he worked at the Project Resuscitation Department. Thereafter, he met with popular movie producer and director, Zeb Ejiro who in 1993 gave him his first opportunity to appear on a network television production “Fortunes” where he played the role of “Nick” one of the Johnson’s bodyguards. Okey Bakassi featured in about eleven episodes of the soap opera “Fortunes” before the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood) was given birth to and took the centre stage.
Considering his experience both as an actor and stand-up comedian at Rivers State University of Science and Technology and coupled with experience garnered during his service year as a member of the Lagos State drama troupe it was only natural for him to want to carry on in that direction as a career.
He has featured in several international comedy shows both home and abroad and has acted in several Nollywood movies before focusing his career fully on stand-up comedy. In 2014, he won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Igbo) category at the 2014 edition of the Best of Nollywood Awards for his role in the film “Onye Ozi”.
Now Okey Bakassi is fully involved in comedy, he has featured in several comedy skits and has entertained many people on different stages across the length and breadth of the country as he got a new appellation for stand-up comedy.
In a bid to make the entertainment in general and stand-up comedy in particular more popular, in 1995, Okey Bakassi in collaboration with Opa Williams and Nollywood actress Reginald Ebere sat down together to fashioned out a way forward. That idea gave birth to “Night of a Thousand Laughs” a stand-up comedy show hosted in different part of Nigeria.
According to him, Opa Williams invested some money he realized from his movie business into the project and it became a success. According to Okey Bakassi, it was him, Reginald Ebere and Opa Williams that created the concept of “Night of a Thousand Laughs” which has made many Nigerians stand-up comedians successful including I Go Dye, AY, Ali Baba, Gordons, Bovi, I Go Save, Basketmouth, Julius Agwu, Funny Borne and a host of other top comedians in Nigeria.
Also as a movie producer and director, having produced “Final Decision” in 1996, directed “All For Winnie” in 1998, produced and directed “Just Once” in 2000, Okey Bakassi admitted that the Nigerian entertainment business has really favored him financially.
Having come this far and attaining so much success in the entertainment industry, Okey Bakassi during an interview stated that he intends going back to engineering one day. According to him “Once an engineer, is always an engineer. He however, plans to establish an engineering firm as soon as possible.
Okey Bakassi in the cause of his career has won so many awards which include Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Best of Nollywood Awards, Best Actor in Comedy at the Africa Movie Academy Awards and African Best Comedian of the Year at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards. Okey Bakassi is a brand ambassador of telecom giant GLO and has several multi-million endorsement deals to his name.
Okey Bakassi is currently one of the richest and most influential comedian in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $5 million.
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