It’s the month of March so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the person being featured on The Cover is a woman. For those who aren’t aware A.K.A those living under a rock, March is Women’s History Month- an annual declared month that highlights the contributions and achievements of women all around the world. It’s my absolute favorite month of the year.
I was actually super excited when I heard Chigul was on this month’s edition of The Cover. Not only is Chigul an inspiring woman with an amazing story but she’s also hilarious. And to be honest, amidst this Corona Virus drama, we all need a little laughter. Chigul is hilarious, I know I already said that but I don’t think you understand, she is HILARIOUS! She even has a way of making things that aren’t supposed to be funny, sound funny. I remember watching an episode of “King Women” on Youtube where she was talking about how she used to fail in school and at some point was on academic probation, on her way to being expelled. There is absolutely nothing funny about that, but trust Chigul to make you laugh at her struggles. That’s why she is who she is today– one of the most outstanding women in the comedy industry. This woman was born to be funny.
Speaking on being one of the most outstanding women in the industry and what that means to her, Chigul talked about her time in the industry and that she was grateful to be doing something that she absolutely loves. “I realized last year that I had been doing this for 10 years, and first of all, there are people who have come before me and these women have sort of, in my opinion, paved the way for some of us to do what we do, Mandy, Princess, Helen Paul, Lepascious Bose… I knew all of these women and I used to watch them on TV and I just thought to myself that I don’t see too many of us and by that I mean women. So being in this space means more to me than anyone would ever know because I’m empowered every day and I’m just grateful to be doing something I love to do, something I’ve dreamt of doing.”
Chigul has a life-sized personality. In the short time I spent with her I found out three interesting things about her; she speaks five languages- English, French Hausa, Spanish, and Igbo, she has eleven characters in her head-and Chigul is one of them, and she’s not just a comedian, actress, and presenter, she’s also a Jazz singer- which was what surprised me the most. Among all these things how does she find time for herself and balance it all? “It’s sometimes difficult when jobs are coming and I have to put them in their place and figure out if I’m going to take a job or not. I’ve turned down many due to one reason or the other, so I have a calendar that I keep. My manager and assistant are on the calendar so when I put a date in, they also get those dates as well. Plus I have reminders, cause I try to be as professional as possible. I like to be on time, and I like to be ahead of the situation. I set reminders for the week before, the day before and two hours before, so my phone goes off to remind me of events so I don’t forget.” And she wasn’t joking about being on time; Chigul got to the shoot early and was running ahead of schedule. This shouldn’t have been a surprise considering the fact that she has a military background.
“It is finally good to see Fiona from Shrek in-person” – see when she said this, I was ready to fight, I was legit ready to stop the interview and ask “did he really say that?” Because as a fellow big girl, that hit close to home. At that moment I felt her pain because I could relate to that particular situation that she’d been through. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about: we asked Chigul if she had ever been discriminated against of her appearance and she recounted a situation that particularly stung. “We were at a function in Calabar and I was dressed and my hair was done, so I took a picture and posted on Instagram and this gentleman says “it is finally good to see Fiona from Shrek in person”. At the time, I didn’t know that people could be this horrible, so what I always try to do is counter bad with better, so what I did was put out a general post talking about how we need to be very careful about how we use our words but I realized then that this is what I’m going to be facing in this world.”
Chigul is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. She is one of the women that has paved the way for the likes of Maraji and Taaooma and is constantly encouraging more female comedians to come forward. She also said during the interview, “you have to take a leap of faith, believe in yourself, come out, get on a phone, get on camera, do what you do, put it out there and show yourself. You might get a ‘no’ sometimes but one day you’ll get that ‘yes’ and it’ll change your life, but you have to come out.”
And on that note ladies and gentlemen (actually, just Ladies) I wish you a happy Women’s History Month!
Cover Story: Dammy Eneli
Creative Director: Tokyo James
Fashion Assistant: Joan Vincent-Otiono
Photography: Izabella Agbaje
Outfits: Odio Mimonet
Hair: Tony’s Beauty Ace
Location: Sidewalk Lounge