Last week , popular comedienne, Helen Paul , achieved a feat that is not common among her contemporaries in the entertainment industry .
The ace comedienne, actress , and filmmaker bagged a PhD from the University of Lagos .
In an exclusive chat with
Saturday Beats , Tatafo, as she is fondly called by her friends and fans , revealed that her family members always thought she would drop out of secondary school but today , she has a PhD .
She said , “ In my family , no one believed that I would complete secondary school education let alone attend university .
My mother always told me that if I finished from secondary school with good grades , she would kill a cow because I was very restless and playful.
When I finished from secondary school and took my result to her , 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 .
“ To motivate me the more , 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 avail.
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 trekking 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 I tried , I chose the University of Lagos and I gave it all my 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 further hinted 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 , ” she said .
Still excited about her recent achievement , the mother of three 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 redo it because he knew I could do better .
Eventually , when I passed , I felt happy and relieved at the same time .
I am excited and calm . I really do not know how to explain this mood .
“ Already I have an academy , 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 people should always imbibe the culture of constant learning .
I feel I am already a teacher by being a good role model in the society . ”