I don’t think any fat person wants to be fat. As someone who has been fat, then slim, then fat and is now somewhere in-between, I relate completely with that statement from Chigul, Nigerian comedienne and actress.
In a recent interview with Genevieve Magazine, and excerpted by Bella Naija, she talked about how she’s missed opportunities because of her size. She said,
“It is a constant struggle. I know some things I lost because of my size. I have been refused opportunities because I am not younger and slimmer but you lose some and win some. I always assumed that if I didn’t get something it was never mine but then again I am in this market and I have to give the world what the world wants.”
Reading this was poignant and it brought back a lot of insecurities that only a fat person can really know about. The truth is that the world looks at a person who is fat as less than desirable, and if this is the case on other continents, it should not be the case on a continent where the women are historically curvy.
One reason why I’ve admired Nollywood is the consistent casting of real African women with hips and everything. These are women I can relate to.
I love Chigul because she has an incredible sense of humour; she has the gift of making people laugh and most of all, she is authentic. Watching her on Ebony Life TV, you always get this sense that what you see is really what you get; genuineness and authenticity.
There is also a relentlessness of spirit that does not allow her to give up, even though many people I know have run into hiding because of unkind comments and undue criticism.
It is noteworthy that she has not let any of the negativity affect her, not even a cruel comment by a troll likening her to Fiona from Shrek (that was just mean). She does want to lose weight and get “healthy, fit and fabulous” (her words), but in the meantime, she loves herself. And that’s what it’s all about!
As for her dreams, they are simple: to help another woman’s dream come true.
If we were not already in love with her, we would be.
The full interview is available in Genevieve magazine, March, 2017 edition.