Tatafo, the petite comedienne:Some people find my voice offensive ----Helen Paul

Source: With CHRISTINE ONWUACHUMBA - Nigeriafilms.com
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Helen Paul rose to fame with her distinctive baby voice, her trademark quirky humour. The pint-sized comedienne with a giant talent just got wedded and she is still shimmering from the moon dust of her honeymoon. She spoke with us recently. Excerpts:

Married life
“It's wonderful, glory be to God.”

What next, babies?
“Children are a blessing from God. You know, you cannot dictate these things, you just let things happen.”

Spouse
“He's very cool, confident, intelligent and creative. He's a mentor and a close friend.”

His virtues
“God-fearing, supportive, hardworking, caring, attentive.”

Any change in your career as a Mrs?
“I still go for events and my husband, being my friend understands perfectly. The only change is that things have gotten much better. With God's support as well as my husband's it's been great. We both see each other as friends before spouses. So, we have a synergy that only God can provide.”

Spotlight
“He loves privacy but understands the exigencies of my career, so he has no problem with it.”

Starting point
“I started comedy in year one at University of Lagos. Radio voice-over started with a friend Matthew in Radio Continental where I am known as Tatafo. Acting was cultivated in church. Basically as an actor, you should be able to re-enact yourself to everyday issues.”

Juggling school and career
“It's part of my life and it has been good. The Scriptures say I can do all things through God who strengthens me.”

Your craft, your voice
“It's not mine but a gift from God and it provides for my daily bread. Although I've come across people who don't like my voice and say that it's not proper talking like that, but then, everyone to his or her own opinions. It's all Art, a part of acting. Moreover, I am studying Creative Arts in school. Comedy is an Art.”

Life goal
“To be a woman of substance, impacting positively into people's life.”

Challenges
“Having to juggle my shows. Atimes, I get to do about six gigs in a day, just 15 to 20 minutes on stage. It's pretty difficult trying to keep all appointments, struggling to make it all. I also have cold feet doing drama stage performance. I am always scared that I would lose my lines, and not being able to carry them during the performance.”

Worst gig
“A beauty pageant which I was a compeer but unbeknown to me they had already chosen a winner beforehand. So I was warned to be very careful with the way I would relate to her on stage. In fact, she already knew her questions. It was totally undignifying.”

Handling your celebrity status
“My friends both in class and in the hostel give me special treatment in everything and that makes me feel cool. My fans are devoted and loyal. Hearing my name alone they make it down for any show I'm featured, that's a whole lot of love. The response on my facebook has been so tremendous. I meet great people. My fame has made me acquire new friends. Though of course you sometimes come across some funny ones, I just try and ignore them.”

Biggest act
“All my gigs have been big so far. I've been constantly featured in big gigs so, ultimately, stage performance is my biggest act.”

Future aspirations
“It is only God that knows the end from the beginning, so I leave it all to Him. Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying myself.”

Genetics
“I took after my mum. She's very playful and fun to be with, while my dad is the strict one. It's a friendly environment, we play a lot in my home. My parents gave me all the support. They only advised that I do not forget the home training they taught me.”

Entertainment as a choice
“I grew up watching Checkmate. I loved all the actors. Regina Askia and Liz Benson also fascinated me. I used to say to myself, 'oh these people are so beautiful, I want to be like them!' I can still remember how attracted I was to them when growing up.”

People I admire
“In acting, I still prefer Joke Jacobs. Musically, Yinka Davis for her strong, powerful voice. As I got older, Nike Adeyemi, wife of Pastor Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Center for her comportment and carriage. The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Sarah Sosan, for her motherliness. For comedy, Omo Baba is a good friend and Ali Baba for his calmness and maturity.”
for his calmness and maturity.”