Helen Paul, the Nigerian stand-up comedian, has recounted how she overcame the societal stigma she faced while growing up. 


The comedienne had revealed she was born out of rape.

Speaking at a recent event, Helen said people, including family members, mocked her and even called her a “bastard” who would not achieve anything good in life.

She recalled how her aunties would caution her grandmother — who she grew up with — not to use her allowance on her.


Helen said her grandmother, however, consistently urged her to stay focused on becoming someone significant in life.

Helen said due to her grandmother’s advice, she has achieved success both as “a comedian in Nigeria and as a professor in the United States”.

“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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