Renowned Nigerian stand-up comedian, Helen Paul, recently opened up about her inspiring journey of overcoming societal stigma associated with her birth. Helen, who had previously disclosed that she was born as a result of rape, shared her resilience in the face of adversity.
During a recent event, the comedienne reflected on the challenges she faced, revealing that she endured mockery and derogatory remarks, including being labeled a “bastard” by both strangers and family members. Despite this, Helen recounted the unwavering support of her grandmother, with whom she was raised.
She recalled instances where her own aunties advised her grandmother against investing in her, cautioning that she wouldn’t amount to anything positive in life. However, Helen’s grandmother remained a steadfast source of encouragement, consistently emphasizing the importance of staying focused on achieving significance in life.
Helen attributed her success as both a renowned comedian in Nigeria and a professor in the United States to the guidance and resilience instilled in her by her grandmother. In sharing her story, Helen Paul serves as an inspirational figure, demonstrating that strength of character and determination can triumph over societal prejudices and challenges.
“Some of us cannot take rejection. Some of us do not know that the words we say can make someone feel rejected forever but the way it worked for me, it was different. What Yoruba call ‘Akanda omo’, a special child, appointed child,” she said.
“You must have heard before where I shared on a stage saying, I was born out of rape and I grew up with my grandmother, where everybody in the area would call me ‘bastard’. So I grew up hearing that ‘you are a bastard’.
“I grew up seeing my aunties come to give grandma money for feeding and they will tell grandma ‘We are saying you should use this money to take care of one bastard child, we are saying you should use this money to take care of yourself, buy your medicine’.
“Once they leave, mama would turn to me and mama would speak in pidgin ‘you don hear wetin dem aunty dem dey talk, na like so this world be o. Na people wey suppose be your mama blood be that oh but dem don tell you who be. If you like grow up, forget yourself, say person no do well, nobody they celebrate ham’.
“But I realize that everytime I offended mama, she would not want to touch me because they have warned mama not to beat me. So you think a child looking at different people talk will grow up with love? oro ni, orokoro. E mo fojudimi o! A comedian in Nigeria, a professor in the United States.”
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