Helen Paul is a comedian, singer and actress from Nigeria. She is also a stand-up comedian, known as Tatafo, characterized by a voice range that made her sound like a child.
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Paul spent most of her early years with her mother and grandmother, both in Lagos. As a kid, she used to entertain small groups of peers, neighbours and friends within the neighbourhood. In many of the interviews she later granted, she would recall that her growing up was not easy, as it was filled with “ups and downs” – raised by two disciplinarians. She is a graduate of Theater Arts of the University of Lagos.
She has worked as both a freelance and full-time presenter at several media houses in Nigeria. These include Lagos Television (LTV 8), Continental Broadcasting Service (CBS), and MNet (as a co-presenter on Africa Magic Channel 114’s “JARA”).
Paul broke out as a naughty comic character on a radio program known as “Wetin Dey” on Radio Continental, 102.3FM, Lagos. She is known on the programme as “Tatafo” – a witty kid who addresses and lampoons societal issues in a satirical manner. She also presents programmes on TV Continental.
Paul began working in the entertainment field when she started working at Eko Reelmix Studios, Radio Lagos/Eko FM as a front desk manager whilst doubling as a back-up and voiceover artiste.
As a comedian, her first professional performance happened whilst she was a student at the University of Lagos. She attended an event with a group of friends but the stand-up comic billed to perform failed to show up.
In July 2012 Paul released her debut album “Welcome Party”.
Helen opened a bridal and fabric boutique in Lagos in 2012, called “Massive Fabrics and Bridals”. She has since proceeded to open three other outlets of the Boutique in different parts of Lagos.
In 2014, she opened a film and theater academy, named “Helen Paul Theater and Film Academy”. It consists of a dance studio, a makeup studio, a recording studio, a rehearsal studio, a photo studio, a mainly digital library, an editing studio, and a hostel for students who enrol for courses in the Academy.
In 2014, she was appointed as an ambassador by Telecommunications company Globacom. In 2015, she was appointed as Ambassador for the Harpic brand. She was also appointed as an ambassador for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which appointment was made before the March 28 General Elections in Nigeria. She also has other endorsements, including GoTV, a cable television station owned by Multichoice, and Olumide Emmanuel’s “School of Money”.
Paul currently anchors two radio programmes – “Tatafo Gist” on Naija FM, and “Comedy Drive Time With Tatafo” on Metro FM. On both programs, she speaks about trending societal issues in a comic manner, with a segment where people phone in to share their comments on these issues.
Notable awards and recognition
- 2012 African Film Awards (Afro-Hollywood, UK) – Comedienne of the Year
- 2012 Exquisite Lady of the Year Award (Exquisite Magazine) – Female TV Presenter of the Year
- 2014 Exquisite Lady of the Year Award (Nominated) – TV Presenter of the Year (Jare, Africa Magic)
- 2014 Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards (NBMA) – Outstanding TV presenter (Female) (Entertainment/Talk Show)
- 2012 National Institute for Cultural Orientation – Merit Award in Recognition of Support for Children’s Initiative
- 2009 Exquisite Lady of the Year Award (Exquisite Magazine) – Female Comedian of the Year
- 2012 Effizie Style and Effects Awards (Effizzie Magazine) – Comedienne of the Year
- 2012 Sacramento Productions – Children’s Entertainer of the Year
- 2012 Doyen – Naija Growing Green Media Dinner Award – Recognition Award as Advocate/Ambassador of Peace and Unity for a Better and Greener Nigeria.
- 2011 Rotaract Club Award – Outstanding Female Comedian of the Year
- 2011 City People Entertainment Magazine Award – Female Comedian of the Year
Helen received a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts in 2010 and a master’s degree in 2012, from the University of Lagos. She also has certifications from other institutions, including a “Certificate in Media Enterprise” from the School of Media and Communications, Pan-African University, and a “Basic Presentation Certificate” from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). She is currently undergoing her PhD degree in Theater Arts, also in the University of Lagos.
- 2011 – ‘”The Return of Jenifa role of Tunrayo
- 2012 – A Wish Lead role – a lady who battles cancer.
- 2011 – Damage Cameo role
- 2012 – The Place: Chronicle of the Book
- 2014 – When Love Happens
- 2014 – Alakada2 Supporting role
- 2014 – Akii The Blind Supporting role
- 2014 – Abiodun Kogberegbe Supporting role
- 2012 – Osas”” (Omoge Benin) Comic act
- 2012 – Igboya
- Mama Put Lead role
- Pawns Supporting role
- The Lion and The Jewel, a stage drama written by Wole Soyinka and directed by Tunji Sotimirin
- The Wives, a stage drama written by Ahmed Yerima and directed by Wole Oguntokun
- Moremi Ajansoro, a stage drama written by Lekan Balogun and directed by Benson William
- Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, a stage drama written by Ola Rotimi/Ahmed Yerima and directed by Alex Osho
She writes mostly on societal issues and her style borders on comedy, tragedy and tragi-comedy. In 2015 she completed work on her play “Life Burial” also known as (live burial). The world premier took place at Helen Paul Theatre and Film Academy in September of the same year. The play later toured some schools, including: University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University and Redeemers University.