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Monday, 19 May 2014

Helen Paul aka Tatafo on Her Journey to The Top

It is always such a great encouragement when one comes across inspiring stories of success. This story was done by Konnect Africa last year but it is still very timely and relevant. Nigerian female comedian Helen Paul took the entertainment industry by storm and has continued to be a force to reckon with. From her endearing baby voice to her keeping you glued to your radio and TV, there is surely never a dull moment with her. But all these did not come on a platter of gold, she had her own share of challenges but refused to give up. Read below:

Helen Paul was brought up by her grandmother, and did not attend the best of schools or have the choicest opportunities. After her Primary education at Omiyade Primary School, she traversed Jibowu High School, Maryland High School and Bejide Memorial College, all in Lagos, in pursuit of a secondary education. Lack of funds prevented her from proceeding to a tertiary institution after her secondary education. In a bid to raise funds, she became an exam ‘mercenary’-writing exams for others until she learnt of the possible repercussions.

Thereafter, she got a job as a receptionist at the rate of N10, 000 per month which was insufficient to meet her needs. A night job was added on to supplement her meagre income, which soon rose to a grand sum of N40, 000. That baby voice we all know so well was discovered when Helen was all grown up. She realized that she could talk like and mimic kids, and constantly caused havoc at the radio station where she was employed. Her breakthrough came when a client needed a replacement for a baby’s voice in a radio program, her manager recommended her, and the rest as they say is history.

Helen went on to feature in several music projects with artistes and music groups including P-Square, Infinity, Olufunmi, Yinka Davies, etc. She also recorded radio jingles for a number of companies and brand names, including Bank PHB, Peak Milk, Indomie Noodles, and Cowbell Milk. Finally, the funds were available for her to continue her education. She enrolled in the University of Lagos Creative Arts program.

She happened to attend an event one day, and it turned out that the comedian billed to entertain was a no-show. Somehow, Helen stole the show from him and fed the spellbound audience from her witty well. She became a comedienne to watch out for, and the invitations to bigger and bigger events to perform and compere poured in. 

Today, the girl that had no money to go to school holds a Master’s degree and is considering undertaking a Ph.D. programme. She hosts a radio show for Radio Continental where she stars as ‘Tatafo’ the voice of a humorous child who addresses and caricatures societal issues. She has worked as both a freelance and full-time presenter at several media houses, including M-net’s JARA which won the entertainment TV Program of the Year at the 2012 edition of the Nigerian Broadcasters Awards.

She has starred in block-buster Nollywood movies like the ‘Return of Jenifa’ and ‘A Wish’. Helen recently opened Massive bridals, a bridal boutique in Lagos in addition to selling materials of all weaves and knits. Helen never fails to acknowledge God for the heights she has attained. After all, it was just a ‘baby voice,’ wasn’t it? God made all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. There is always a story behind the story. Ride on baby-voice Helen.