OSG WCW: Chioma “Chigul” Omeruah, From BBM Voice Notes to TedX
It all started with a voicenote that went viral on BlackBerry and that one voicenote once bounced from phone to phone until it came back to her from the US.
According to our WCW, Chioma Omeruah was in bed one night, sleepless, and decided to record a song. At that time she was an aspiring actress and musician who tended to do goofy accents to amuse herself, friends and loved ones. So, she recorded the song, Kilode, in her “Chigul” accent, “which sort of came on that moment,” and sent it off to friends. They all thought it was funny and then one of her friends decided that it was too funny to keep to herself and sent it off so others could listen to it. Next thing you know she had family in the US calling her up and that was it.”
Born in Lagos, Chioma lived there for the first 18 years of her life. She attended Airforce Secondary School, Jos, Plateau State for four years before acquiring her WAEC certificate from Airforce Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos. She went on to Abia State University Uturu “for three hot months” then moved to the US where she studied French Education at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. She lived in the US for 12 years before returning to Nigeria at the behest of her father who sadly, died a month after she came back. She worked in Lagos for two years and eventually moved to Abuja in 2008.
Her 12 different accents, a major part, if not all of her comedic act, have all evolved into characters; each with its own name and back story. There’s Modinat, the well-exposed Yoruba girl with “two Masters and one Bachelor;” Bintu is a Hausa girl who is going to school and so on. Still, Chigul remains the most famous one, the one that brings in the dollars, as Chioma says.
Her ultimate dream, however, like any other multi-talented entertainer is to conquer Hollywood and Broadway. “And I believe I will get there. I am a star already; if you don’t hail yasef, who will hail you? Lupita nwa-child (Nyong’o), I’m coming for you,” she jokes.
Chioma considers herself lucky to have come very far with an act that started in 2011. But it is not always fun and games and lots of sunshine. There are the usual detractors or “haters,” especially on social media and the fact that, according to her, the world favours skinny. Being plus sized – or fat, as she insists on calling herself, comes with a lot of disadvantages for a celebrity especially when it comes to endorsements.
“It takes a bold, self-confident, love-yourself attitude to get through that, which is what a lot of us are trying to create in ourselves,” she says. She acknowledges the love from her fans for helping her get through some of the more pesky nastiness.
For those who would love to follow in her footsteps, she advises to find that which is natural to you and work hard at improving on it.
Watch some of her videos here: