Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule popularly known as Okey Bakassi (Born 3 October 1969; Age: 53 years old), is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, television personality, and actor. He is best known for his stand-up comedy and for his role in “Onye Ozi”
The Nigerian entertainment industry is a home for multiple talents, including comedy for which the likes of Okey Bakassi have been known for many years. His long years of experience in the business of cracking people’s ribs have made him a major force to reckon with in the industry. A reward for his talent commitment is not just fame but also notable awards to go with it.
Summary of Okey Bakassi’s Biography
- Full name: Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule
- Nickname: Okey Bakassi
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: 3 October 1969
- Okey Bakassi’s Age: 53 years old
- Ethnicity: Igbo
- Nationality: Nigeria
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Religion: Christianity
- Marital Status: Married
- Okey Bakassi’s Wife: Ezinne
- Okey Bakassi’s Children: Dera, Fechi, and Cheta
- Okey Bakassi’s Parents: Mr. Linus Onyegbule (Father)
- Famous for: Night of Thousand Laughs
- Okey Bakassi’s Instagram: @okeybakassi
- Twitter: @keybassy
Okey Bakassi Hails from Imo State, SouthEast Nigeria
Okey Bakassi whose real name is Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule hails from Mbaise, a region in Imo State in southeastern Nigeria. He was born into the family of Mr. Linus Onyegbule on October 3, 1969, and although it is not clear if he had any siblings, he grew up in the Barracks.
Okey Bakassi started his primary education in Potiskum, a community under the Potiskum local government area in Yobe State, Northern Nigeria. He then completed it at Alvan Ikoku Demonstration School, Owerri. He also briefly started his secondary education at Mbaise Community Secondary School before relocating to Rivers State, where he completed his secondary school and began his University education.
At Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Okey Bakassi studied and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1992. After successfully completing his degree, he was then deployed to Lagos State for the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme.
Okey Started His Career as an Actor
Though a graduate of Agricultural Engineering, Okey Bakassi was a passionate lover of entertainment since his early years and even when he was at the University, he made efforts to entertain his fellow students. Alongside some other students with like minds and interests he formed a group called ‘Theatre Kolleagues’ with the sole aim of entertaining the university community.
Okey’s first official launch into the entertainment industry was in the early 1990s when he moved to the city of Lagos. There, he met Zeb Ejiro, a popular movie producer and director, who in 1993 offered him an opportunity to appear on a network television production – ‘Fortunes’. He played Nick, one of Johnson’s bodyguards, and appeared in over eleven episodes of the soap opera.
Whilst acting in the soap opera, Okey Bakassi joined the Lagos state drama troupe where he further sharpened his acting skills. When the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) began to gain center stage in the entertainment sector, he then gracefully made his way into it and not long after, he began making history in the industry.
For several years, Okey remained committed to entertaining people through acting and film production. He has produced and appeared in many films, including “Final Decision”(1996), “All for Winnie” (1998), and ”Just Once”. However, his rise to fame as an actor happened in 2014, after his appearance in an Igbo movie, Onye Ozi”.
His role in the movie also offered him his very first notable award when he won the “Best Actor in a Leading Role” category at the 2014 edition of the Best of Nollywood Awards. The 2013 film written and directed by Obi Emelonye, has Okey Bakassi appearing as Metumaribe Onuigbo, and playing alongside key actors like Anthony Aclet, Stephen Moriaty, and Ngozi Igwebike, among others.
Still a renowned actor, Okey Bakassi has appeared in films like “Badamosi”, “Love is in the Air”, “Chicken Madness”, “Storekeeper 2”, and “9 Wives 2”. He also has a recurring role in the popular comedy show, My Flatmate produced and co-directed by his fellow comedian, Basketmouth.
Okey Bakassi’s Movies Includes
- Onye Ozi,
- Love is in the Air,
- Chicken Madness,
- Storekeeper 2,
- 9 Wives 2
Movies he has Produced
- “Final Decision”(1996),
- “All for Winnie” (1998),
- ”Just Once”
How Okey Bakassi Veered into Comedy
Finding his path as a stand-up comedian wasn’t a challenge for Okey Bakassi as it may have been for some of his colleagues in the industry. This is because, while at the University, Okey was into stage and drama sketches, particularly on the comical side. It means he was already a known comedian, though just within the University community.
Even as an actor, he was more drawn to parts that create comic relief. So, as an entertainer picking up standup comedy as a profession was with much ease. Officially, his career as a stand-up comedian could be traced back to 1995 when he collaborated with Opa Williams and Nollywood actress Reginald Ebere to put together the popular comedy show, Nite of a Thousand Laughs. The comedy show not only gave him a big break to the limelight, but it also officially sold the likes of Basketmouth and Bovi to the international market.
Okey Bakassi has participated in many stand-up comedy shows held both in Nigeria and abroad. One of his recent comedy shows, Okey Bakassi Raw has seen him tour around the UK, visiting places like Aberdeen, Glasgow, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol, Basidon, and Newcastle
His long years of professionalism as a comedian has seen him win various notable awards, including Best actor in a comedy at the African Movie Academy Award, and African best comedian of the year
Has Okey Bakassi Retired?
Okey Bakassi may not be one of the faces that now frequently graces your television screens but he sure is still committed to comedy. Obviously, the new era of skit-making has extended comedy shows beyond one particular venue to the internet, thereby catching wider viewers. Consequently, only fewer fans enjoy stage performances.
In 2014, the stand-up comedian was appointed a Senior Assistant to Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo state for Entertainment, and through his years of service, he was more visible in the political arena than he was seen in the entertainment sector
However, despite the new wave of comedy, alongside his involvement in politics, Okey Bakassi is still very much active in the entertainment sector. He debunked rumors about him quitting his career as an entertainer for politics. He said comedy will always be part of him even when he takes on new positions in life.
The comedian recently had a show he titled Okey Bakassi Raw which had him touring around the country. He also appears in Basketmouth’s “My Flatmate”, a comedy series that airs on daily basis.
Aside from all activities listed above, the 53-year-old comedian is currently hosting a daily comedy show on Lagos Talks 91.3fm called “It’s Okay with Okey” alongside other comedians like Acapella, Senator Comedian, and Dan de Humorous. He also hosts a program called “The Other News” on Channels TV.
Okey Bakassi is Married and Has Three Children
Okey Bakassi has been married to his wife Ezinne since 2001. He met her while she was at the Federal Government Girls College, Abuloma, Rivers State. She traveled abroad to further her education and they reconnected after eight years. A few years afterward, the two got married and started their own family.
While celebrating their marriage of two decades, Okey Bakassi appreciated his wife for being understanding and supportive of his career despite the hurdles they faced. Their union is blessed with three children named Dera, Fechi, and Cheta.