Anita Asuoha, the talented stand-up comedian better known as Real Warri Pikin, is one of the most sought-after entertainers in Nigerian showbiz. She has received an avalanche of awards and recognition in Nigeria and abroad for her craft. In this interview with TheCable Lifestyle’s VICTORY ORIMEMI, the 32-year-old mother of three talks about family, career, and the struggles of being a married woman entertainer in showbiz.

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TheCable Lifestyle: You are also an actor, a social media sensation host, a certified coach, and a mother. How do you find a balance between these roles?

Real Warri Pikin: It is one of the hardest things to do. I am able to do all these things in one because I prioritise very well. I just focus on the things that are important. You know the energy one used to focus on only things that are important, makes more sense.

So, I really do not have unnecessary gatherings. So, it is family and work. I am not really distracted with anything else but just family and work and because I do the work-life integration, most of my work, my family is integrated like for content creation, my family is involved.

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Instead of working so much and not balancing family, whilst we are working, we are also spending time as a family. I could be creating cruise content and in that same content, I am still having time for family.

Another factor that has actually helped me to do all of these things is the support I get from my husband. You know when you have a supportive husband, it makes it easier. So far, my husband has been one of the major factors behind me doing all these things seamlessly and of course, I just focus on the most important things and the things that are true to me.

TheCable Lifestyle: You got married to someone who is not famous and you are a celebrity. Are there times when your husband struggles with your status as a socialite?

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Real Warri Pikin: Ikechukwu is more popular than I am. Let me shock you. I went to an event one day and fans wanted to have a picture with him instead of me.

So, I think Ikechukwu is a man, Ikechukwu is one very strong man. You know men whose wives’ status affects them are weak men but a man who marries someone like me, a powerful woman whose status doesn’t shake him, is a real man.

Ikechukwu, fortunately for me, is one of those people and that is why he supports me. So, we are like a team. When I started, we started together, he supported me, we are very good friends, we are like best friends.

I always carry him along, in everything he is involved in. He is Real Warri Pikin and I am Real Warri Pikin, we are one.

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You know, sometimes I get asked this question, how does your husband cope with you? And my response is always it is not by coping, we are the same, we are one. We have been doing this for the past six years, there is no time we have ever had issues or him feeling some type of way because of my status, not at all.

TheCable Lifestyle: Congratulations on your recent awards — ‘Stand-Up Comedian of the Year’ and ‘Best Comedy Show of The Year’ at Humour Awards. How does it make you feel?

Real Warri Pikin: I actually won three awards that night, I also won the ‘African Choice’ award. You know when you are working really hard… I want to explain how I felt that night. It is such a good feeling because you know how you have an exam and you have been preparing for the exam, you prepared really well for the exam and you wrote the exam and passed, that was how I felt.

Because winning those awards is just a confirmation that hard work pays because it defined me as a stand-up comedian. There was a lot of work, it was such a big deal for me because I performed in like five different cities, and all the shows were sold out. I performed a minimum of one hour on stage, and I worked really hard. So, when I got the awards, it was just a confirmation that hard work pays off and it was such a great feeling, I felt really honoured, I was so happy.

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TheCable Lifestyle: What has been the most outstanding moment in your career?

Real Warri Pikin

Real Warri Pikin: There is really no outstanding moment, it just gets better, you will think it is this particular one, and the next time another thing will happen. There is really no particular outstanding moment for me, like from the very first time I started doing this in 2018, it has just been growing, it has just been increasing back-to-back.

But I could say for stand-up comedy, it was my first comedy show. You know how nobody believes you could do stand up and of course, you are in a male-dominated industry, you know how people have their doubts because you are a woman and they start questioning if you will be able to perform and the next thing, I did my first comedy show and it was a homecoming in my town, Warri.

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See, the turnout I had in my Warri show, some male colleagues who have been doing stand-up comedy for the past 10 or 20 years have not been able to pull such a crowd. I couldn’t believe it, the hall was so full that the people outside were more than the people inside, there was no space, they had their cash to buy tickets but there was no space because the hall was full.

So, that is one moment that I can never forget and I can never take for granted. I think for my stand-up comedy, that August 1, 2020, was it for me. I think that was one of the moments I will never forget.

TheCable Lifestyle: We have heard about your foundation but I don’t think a lot of people know what it is all about. Can you shed some light on the Real Warri Pikin Foundation?

Real Warri Pikin: Okay, so, the RWP foundation started four years ago. Basically, it was birthed from the fact that in 2018, I and my husband went into debt we had serious financial issues and we couldn’t pay our children’s school fees and they drove our kids from school. So, I promised myself that I would be of help to children and that is how the foundation started. I started paying children’s school fees, which is one of the things that we do, it is called the ‘Back to School’ project and then we also do this Mother’s Day N1 million challenge.

Every March, like this which is women’s month, a few days before Mother’s Day, we go online to audition for women who need N100,000 to boost their businesses. We end up picking the top 10 and credit them, I have done that for four years.

Also, the month of May is Children’s Day and mental health month. My foundation partners with some mental health organisations and we do free therapy for people who need it. Basically, that is what we do in the foundation.

TheCable Lifestyle: I am glad you talked about International Women’s Day (IWD) and I know for sure that there are a lot of women who look up to you and are inspired. What would be your advice to them?

Real Warri Pikin: I know a lot of women are feeling some kind of way at the moment, a lot of women are really down right now because of everything that is going on in our nation. But I just feel like at the end of the day, we will survive. Let us just take one day at a time and always believe in ourselves. Especially when you are a woman in this part of the world.

First of all, being a woman, you are already disadvantaged because there is this narrative that women are not supposed to be doing too much, a woman is just supposed to have kids and all that, we can be more than just having kids. You have to be fearless! Whatever you can’t control, leave it for God and do what you have to do.

TheCable Lifestyle: In 2021, you said you’ve had to work harder as a female comedian who is married. Do you mean single females are having it easy navigating their way into the industry?

Real Warri Pikin: It is very easy to support a single person, especially single women in this country. A lot of people will ask why they have to give a married woman money when she has a husband, especially someone like me that talks about my husband so much. So, it makes me work harder.

I get help only when I work hard, my talent is the only thing that speaks for me because I’m married and I’m not just married, I’m faithful. So, the men who buy my ticket and come for my show are people who just love my talent and love me and see that I’m working hard.

Being a woman is already a disadvantage, then you are now a married woman and you now give the men the impression that they cannot even do anything with you, if it was the era where you need a man to make it, it would have been hard for me.

But we live in a social media age now. I don’t need anybody to come and take my CV or help me to do something because now everybody is seeing it. You put out your content, you gain followers and brands naturally come to you because of your numbers, that’s it.

TheCable Lifestyle: Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry?

Real Warri Pikin: Oh AY, Bovi, Omoni Oboli, Mercy Johnson, Funke Akindele, and RMD. By the grace of God, I am close to them, I can pick up the phone and call at any time for advice. So, yes, they have really inspired me greatly in the movie industry, comedy, and hosting, among others.

Real Warri Pikin

TheCable Lifestyle: You were recently appointed as the special adviser on gender equality by the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). What do you think are the lapses of the guild and how do you plan to make it better?

Real Warri Pikin: Well, they called me in late December about the appointment and I asked them what? And they said gender equality and I was so excited because you know, one of the things that I stand for is equality and I think to an extent I define the word gender equality because my industry is dominated by men. So, you know, I have defined it in a way, I have changed the narrative to say that whatever you want to do as a woman, you can do it.

So, being appointed as special adviser on gender equality, I was so excited because it won’t be hard for me to handle the position because it is already something that I stand for.

Women deserve to have equal rights to do whatever they want to do in the guild or in Nollywood.

Sometimes you just see a woman who you know is not that talented and is not supposed to feature in a film, getting a role and a man who can act but he is deprived of the opportunity because of some things. At the end of the day, I am not just there for women, I am there for both genders. I feel like every human being in the Nollywood industry deserves an opportunity to express their talent.

TheCable Lifestyle: Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety and how did you overcome it?

Real Warri Pikin: Performance anxiety is a usual thing, I don’t think performance anxiety is something you will outgrow, you can never outgrow it. It is just that it has different levels. The kind of anxiety I used to get three-four years ago is not the one I have now, that is because I am now comfortable with what I do.

You know you get confident with what you do when you do it consistently. So, to an extent, I’m more confident in what I do now, the anxiety is not like when I started and I don’t think you can overcome it.

There is no comedian in this country that will tell me that before he or she performs, the person doesn’t get anxious, it is a big lie! Especially stand-up comedy, that job is very hard.

TheCable Lifestyle: Would you say comedy has given you true fulfillment or you would rather do something else later in life?

Real Warri Pikin: I was born an entertainer, I am fulfilled and it has given me fulfillment, I don’t know what God holds for me in the future but I am fulfilled, and I am happy.

You know before 2018 when I rose to fame, I used to dance professionally. I won the Maltina dance hall, I was one of the GLO ambassadors at the time when there was blackberry. So, coming back again six years ago is a dream come true. I was born to do this but if something comes up later because we don’t really know God’s plans for us, we’ll see.

TheCable Lifestyle: What project are you currently working on?

Real Warri Pikin: I’m working on a lot of things. So, this is March, we are going to be doing the N1 million challenge to celebrate women this month and in May, my foundation is going to be doing children’s day events / the mental health and you know I’m getting married again. I’ll be having my vow renewal and yes, I am finally having my dream wedding. I am also going to have a tour in Europe, I’ll be doing my Europe tour in October.

TheCable Lifestyle: What words of advice would you like to give your teeming fans? 

Real Warri Pikin: First of all, I want to say thank you all for supporting me. I want to say thank you for the love and support thus far. The strength I get from them, words can’t explain. I want to thank my fans for always showing me love regardless. As you work hard, don’t forget your health, don’t forget to pause, don’t forget to rest, and don’t forget to show yourself love.



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