The idea that women are weaker folks is not uncommon in African societies. It has been since time immemorial. It transcends this present generation to the days of our forefathers whose representation of womanhood as captured in their proverbs is negative. The late Chinua Achebe captured it well in his novel Things Fall Apart. Of course, this can be attributed to the fact that most African societies, Nigerian inclusive are male-dominated and oriented societies. Little wonder some industries such as entertainment were male-dominated until recently when Nigerian female comedians gave it a shot.
The comedy niche which was herald by the likes of Alli Baba and Opa Williams saw the emergence of the male comedian’s like late Sam Loco Efe, Julius Agwu, Teju Oyelakin, aka Teju Babyface, Francis Agoda, Bovi Ugboma into the limelight. The female counterparts have also swum against the tide of male dominance and venture into ‘a man’s world’. The revolution began with Mandy and Princess leading the pack and has seen female folk embracing comedy business. This has changed the trend; although, they had to work hard to earn respect and acceptability from their male counterparts.
Let’s take a look at the Nigerian female comedians who have and are treading the once impossible route, stood their ground and are cracking interesting jokes on stage. Yes, some of these ladies have had their downtime on stage, times when their jokes were met with stony faces and awkward giggles. They are however still blazing on.
Mandy is one of the female pace setters who took the bold steps in challenging the male-dominated industry. She had lamented that nobody took her serious when she first started. Her first real chance came when she appeared on Charly Boy show in 1992. She then began to appear in more shows afterwards.
Princess is another veteran female Nigerian comedian who is a trailblazer. She cracks funny and fresh jokes. She makes the audience laugh at her own expense and sometimes continue to act even when the audience is gone to bring them back.
Bose Ogunboye (Lepacious Bose)
Bose Ogunboye popularly known as Lepacious Bose warmed her way into our hearts with her quick tongue and sharp wit. Her name is a comic irony. The humorous comedian who was called to bar in 2010 dumped her law career for comedy and has since proved her worth.
Hele Paul (Tatafo)
Helen Paul popularly known as Tatafo is loved by many in the industry. Her approach to comedy is unique. She possesses a childlike voice which portrays her as a witty kid who comments on social issues. She is the most popular female comedian with the highest endorsements rate. She is also a singer and actress.
Funke Akindele (Jenifa)
Jenifa has become a household name in Nigeria. Although she is a Nollywood actress, she often cracks people up with her delivery of the Jenifa character in shows. Jenifa is a Ghetto girl who always gives a big girl impression to whoever she encounters. She wants to be given a sense of belonging among the rich folks. Funke delivers the character well.
Emmanuella Samuel (Mark Angel)
The last but not the least is the 8yrs old girl called Emmanuella. She is a child comedian who wears an adult rope. She cracks up everyone with her funny delivery of different characters. She isn’t going to shows yet. She delivers her hilarious comedy online is sure to go viral.