“Warri no dey carry last” goes the saying and the city of Warri, Delta State is definitely not a backburner when it comes to Nigerian comedy. From acts like I Go Die and Gordons to AY Makun, the city of Warri has greatly influenced the art of comedy in Nigeria for many decades. Weirdly, it had not produced a lot of Warri-born comediennes despite all of the impact the city has had on Nigerian comedy. Not until Anita Alaire Afoke Asuoha, better known as realwarripikin – the biggest comedienne out of Warri yet. Through a truly unique hustler’s journey and social media, Anita has slowly grown her brand and become a rockstar in the comedy industry.
Born and raised in Warri, Delta State, South-South Nigeria, the third of eight children, dance was Anita’s first love and it drove her early hustle. In 2005, she auditioned for the Big Brother Naija reality TV show but she didn’t make the cut. In 2008, she was a contestant in the Glo Rock ‘N’ Rule dance competition and took first place and was signed on as a Glo ambassador for a year.
“I’ve always been told that I am funny but I really liked dancing and I just felt that was what I needed to concentrate my efforts on,” she said in an Instagram video with influencer, Temisan. After her Glo contract ended, she auditioned at the Peak Talent Hunt in 2009 but didn’t make it past the preliminary stages. Yemi Alade won that competition that year. The next year, Anita tried again, this time auditioning in Ibadan but it didn’t yield any results either.
The Maltina Dance All auditions in Benin City was the next audition Anita would attend with the hopes of kickstarting a career in dance. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out either. The second year however, in 2011, she auditioned again in the same competition and this time she made it past the audition stage, eventually finishing the competition second overall with her family. This level of success didn’t really move the needle for Anita and she turned up at the Malta Guinness Street Dance competition in 2011 with a girl dance group called “Sistahz.” They didn’t make it past the auditions.
She got married in 2013 and stepped back from dancing. “By that time, I just didn’t think I had the right motivations for a dance career so I tried to focus on something else,” she said on her Instagram page. She would go on to attend several movie auditions for parts she didn’t get, try her hands at music, modelling, MC’ing and several host/red carpet gigs.
The turning point in Anita’s career came after a very traumatic experience which involved a failed business venture, debt and a suicide attempt. “RealWarriPikin was created out of Pain & Depression… “DEPRESSION.” Yes, you heard me. I fell into depression early this year..After a business i did together with my husband went bad and we lost all our money putting us into a huge debt worth millions …..We even sold all we had ever worked for in our life to pay up, including begging the people i was owing but they kept putting pressure on me…some came on social media reposting my pictures and writing stuffs and calling me out….. I began to look for help..But help never came…We were given quit notice by our Landlord, my kids were sent out of school… I became sick, couldn’t sleep at night, crying every day, lost appetite, and became sad and depressed,” she wrote on her Instagram page about the entire ordeal.
Soon she started to post skits and commentary on problems centered around women on Instagram. Using the Warri pidgin and language that has now become her signature style, she soon started to amass followers. In just over two years, she has grown to several thousand views per video from a 516K-strong follower base. She has performed at Basketmouth’s shows, AY Makun’s shows and a host of others. Anita also does commercials and influencer posts for brands including Access Bank, Redson Bet and others. She is also an ambassador for health brand, GoWellness, and regularly hosts/MCs events all over the country.
Anita, as realwarripikin, is managed by her husband Chiazor Daniel Asuoha and plans to hold her first headline stand-up show in June 2020. She also hosts a daily show on Hot 90.9FM Abuja. From the streets of Warri where women are mostly considered second-rate citizens, Anita has managed to break the glass ceiling of the Nigerian comedy industry and made some space for herself. The only way is up.
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