She has a very distinct voice that has over the years become a signature.
Beautiful and talented diva, Helen Paul is one comedienne that has been able to stand out magnificently in this male dominated field, as she turns out rib cracking jokes, combined with rare knack for new concepts and ideas. She is indeed a special kind.
She recently talked to Akan X-Imoh about her personality, career and family. Enjoy:
What differentiates ‘Helen Paul’ from ‘Tatafo’?
Well, Helen Paul is most probably predominantly choleric in temperament while Tatafo is almost always sanguine. Helen Paul speaks as an adult, Tatafo has the baby voice. Helen Paul is probably more serious as a TV/radio presenter, Tatafo loves to get on air with her baby voice to criticise the ills she observes in the society – and always through the eyes of a little girl-child.
Their boundaries do cross at times, and those are only some of the differences but probably the major ones.
Describe yourself in three words.
I am Entertainment!
What is your most embarrassing moment on air?
I haven’t had any so far. I’m a very spontaneous person and most times I pretty much utter things without any regrets. That doesn’t mean I’m not careful though, it’s just me relying on my guts, and even when some of my co-presenters are stunned by some of the things I say, I just laugh and move on.
I must say, I don’t get embarrassed easily.
Who are your role model?
I grew up loving some personalities I used to see on TV, such as Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy and Oprah Winfrey. Bill Cosby’s sitcom, “The Cosby Show” was a major hit with me. I was very young then and my goals were not clearly defined, but then there were things I saw in these folks that attracted me to them – I loved Cosby’s smooth, effortless ability to make people laugh. He always seemed at peace with himself. I loved Eddie Murphy’s many abilities as an actor – he could switch from being a peasant to being a noble, and then to a pastor and almost immediately, a bad man. Who wouldn’t love his hit movie, “Coming to America”?
Then, I admired Oprah for her strength of character and depth. Although these were the people I grew up admiring, I had and still have some other personalities that inspired and still inspire me, mostly Nigerian comedians, actors and actresses.
What drives you (motivation)?
God is my major motivation, followed by social issues which I largely build my jokes and performances around.
How has working with Uti been?
Interesting, he is good at delivering his lines and can easily improvise when there are any issues – that helps me a lot. He also has a good sense of humour and more often than not, likes to try out new ideas.
How has it been combining family life with your career?
Combining family life with a career like this is indeed not a child’s play, how has it been?
I must say, God has been helping me. It was pretty challenging at the beginning but I have been faring well since then. I also have people around that help me with a lot of things. I find it pretty easy now!
What’s your favourite food?
As for food, I love Pasta.
What about a favourite colour?
I love two colours equally – Lemon Green and Burnt Orange
And a favourite movie?
Wow, that’s a hard one, I rarely see movies these days due to my busy schedule but recently I saw a comic flick, “3 Idiots” and it’s one of the best I’ve seen for a while.
So who would you pick as your favourite comedian/comedienne?
Helen Paul (laughs)
And also your favourite artiste?
That’s another hard one. I don’t have a favourite artiste; I enjoy listening to different artistes for one reason or another. Coupled with that is the fact that every good artiste brings something unique to the table. It would be difficult to single out a particular artiste.
So what about your favourite actor/actress?
It’s funny but I grew up loving Queen Latifah and Whoopi Goldberg. I thought Queen Latifah was naughty and Whoopi was deep. However, if I’m to add to that list now, it would include an equal blend of Nollywood and Hollywood celebrities and the list would be very long and unending.
What does style mean to you?
To me, style is wearing what fits and suits you, what accentuates your body shape, not following fad and trends. Fashion is not a venture of “one size fits all” – everyone has a hairdo, a dress, a specific type of shoe etc that fits more perfectly than others.
What’s your advice to young people?
Young people (to which group I also belong) should pursue their legal, God-given dreams and not allow anyone or anything to put them down.