Ike Nwala: Meet the Nigerian who is one of the most famous comedians in Japan

Ike Nwala

Ike Nwala left finance to become a comedian in faraway Asia.

In a homogeneous society like Japan, you will be shocked to find that one of the biggest comedians in the country is a Nigerian.

Meet American-Nigeria, Ike Nwala, 31. At the age of 21, he moved to Japan to get a job with Goldman Sachs. Lo and behold he is a big sensation in the Asian country.

"I worked in computer engineering. And the whole time I was watching comedy DVDs nonstop, teaching myself Japanese, and working on my material" he told VICE in May 2017.


Nwala would later join a comedy troupe on the side. His big break came when he did an impression of the announcer at the Tokyo Disney Resort on a popular TV show. It went viral and he was suddenly in demand.


Today his face is all over TV stations. Apart from being a funny man, he applies his knowledge about business into his shows. On the program  Nakai-Kun no Manabu Switch, he uses his business acumen and his comedy formula to teach the Japanese about bitcoin.

In a country like Japan where black people are viewed in a certain way, Ike Nwala's success is phenomenal. With his success comes a responsibility to represent black people.


"I don’t see it as a responsibility. I see it as an opportunity. That’s all I see, just opportunities. It’s one of my goals, just opening their eyes, you know? Showing that not all black people are the same. Me coming out of doing technology, I think that helps" he told VICE.

If Nwala stops comedy he admits that he would go back to tech and finance because he knows he is not funny in English.