By Gayheart Anahor
Recently, famous comedienne, Helen Paul, attained an achievement that is not common among her peers in the entertainment industry, this side of the world. The single comedienne, actress, and filmmaker bagged a PhD from the University of Lagos.
In a chat with Saturday Beats, Tatafo, as she is fondly called by her friends and fans, disclosed that her family members always thought she would drop out of secondary school but against all odds, today, she has a PhD.
“In my family, no one believed that I would complete secondary school education not to talk of going to the university. My mother always told me that if I complete secondary school with good grades, she would kill a cow because I was very restless and playful. When I completed secondary school and took my result home, I demanded my cow but she was not forthcoming so I asked for a chicken, but she simply told me she had cooked rice and that I should go and eat it”, Helen said.
In my family, no one believed that I would complete secondary school education not to talk of going to the university. My mother always told me that if I complete secondary school with good grades, she would kill a cow because I was very restless and playful.
“What incited me more, is when she said that I should complete my university education, and that is when she would believe that I had really achieved a feat in life.”
The humour merchant noted that she did not gain admission into university for a while, saying, “I tried gaining admission the first time but it was to no service . I tried the second time and got admission at the University of Ilorin. By the time I got to the school, they told me that admission had closed. I began to cry as I was making a long journey everywhere in the school, showing people my result and the newspaper in which my name was published as part of those that passed the examination.
The third time she tried, according to her, she chose the University of Lagos, and gave it all her best.
“I would not say that “I am the most brilliant person but I have God’s favour. I believed that I could do it and I did it. Despite having a PhD, I would rather people continue calling me Helen Paul and not Dr Helen Paul because nothing has changed about me.” she said.
She added that being a PhD holder would not affect her career in the entertainment industry.
“Bagging a PhD would not affect my career at all; in fact, it would make me better at it. I have learnt ways to entertain and educate people at the same time,” Tatafo said.
She is still excited about her recent attainment, the famous comedian simply said, “I feel humbled about bagging a PhD and I cannot believe it because it is a dream come true. While I was studying, it was not easy combining it with my work as a comedienne and also an actress. There were times that I would get frustrated ; there were times I would write and feel it was the best work but my supervisor, who always believed in me, would tell me to do it again because he knew I could do much better. Eventually, when I passed, I was happy and eased at the same time. I am excited and calm. I really do not know how to explain this mood” she continued.
“Now I have an academy, that is the Helen Paul Theatre Academy, so I did not go to get a PhD to become a lecturer. I just want to impact life and I do not necessarily need to do it by becoming a lecturer. I just want people to know that education is key and they should always take in the culture of constant learning. I now feel I am already a teacher by being a good role model and mentor in my community.”