Everyone has met or seen or interacted with a Nigerian in America because we leave Nigeria for here. We're your doctors. We're your lawyers. We're your child's best friend. All of the above.
— Yvonne Orji
You turn 'Insecure' on, and you see a sea of brown. You see at the core of it a strong friendship between two brown-skinned girls.
Getting into comedy was difficult for my parents to comprehend. I think now they are really proud I stuck to it.
Sometimes you're just regular. Sometimes you wake up, and your breath stinks like everybody else, and you had a bad hair day.
I was supposed to be the doctor in my family.
I was looking around this room, this sea of industry folk. If I had have worn black and white, somebody would have asked me to get them a cocktail; the only other people of colour there were servers.
I used to work in public health, and the issues were sustainability, how the funds were being delineated, and if the funds were actually helping the people we think they're helping.
On TV, as in life, white folks are allowed to make mistakes, but usually, black people aren't.
Comedy's the ultimate pill that helps the really hard truths and hard facts go down, right?
What you see on TV is what you believe you can be.
Some people just don't subscribe to labels.
I like things to happen organically.
As for my role models... you know, I'm an immigrant, so we didn't grow up with too much TV. My parents were like, 'You must read your books.'
By the time I got to George Washington University, I had been a straight-A student in high school.
Sometimes you are the only living, walking, breathing version of the Bible that people will ever see. What long-lasting taste are you going to leave in their mouths? A lot of people have left a bad taste. And it's so unfortunate, because God is the best!
As a performer, the thing you want the most is to be your authentic self.
Sometimes you have to experience things for yourself to learn the lessons that you need to learn.
It's only in acting where I've heard in auditions, 'Can you black it up a little bit? Can you make her a little bit more urban?' And it's just like, 'What?' I don't even know the word for that.
I remember, growing up, it wasn't sexy to be African. We got called names.
If I'm home on Wednesdays, I go to Bible study. I get my God time in, definitely.
There's not one black narrative. There's not one way to be black.
There's this idea if you are a woman of colour, that you must never let them see you break down. That we've got to show ourselves in the best light, always, as the 'Strong Black Women' and bring that 'black girl magic' all the time.
If you're a woman of colour and you have any level of education, you have to adapt.
It's great for people to give out of the kindness of their hearts, but because we're in a consumerist society, it's also great to have the opportunity to give and get.
Any show that speaks to people of color feels the burden to never mess up, never make its characters look bad - to always get it right.
I've been fortunate that the men I surround myself with in the comedy world are really decent people: men who are very aware, who are very respectful, and understand their place and maybe even some of their privilege.
You can't tell me no, because you can't tell Jesus no. It doesn't work.
I would never do something I'm uncomfortable with.
I knew I didn't want to be a doctor but didn't know what I wanted to do. I prayed, and all I heard back was: 'Do comedy.' It was something I had never done before, but I gave in, tried comedy, and the rest is history.
Before 'Insecure,' I was a wedding emcee - a host for weddings. That's a world that a lot of people are not familiar with.
I took organic chemistry, and I got my first-ever F. I ended up going to summer school, and the whole time, I'm thinking, 'I am not good at sciences.'
A lot of people have done things in the name of Christianity and religion and faith in a not-so-nice way.
I have immigrant, African parents. They would say, in their Nigerian accents, 'So you want to be a jester?' And I was like, 'I don't want to be a court jester, Ma. I want to be a comedian.'
A lot of times, especially in the black community, where therapy is talked about, it's like, 'Just go to church.'
Black girls can make the best girlfriends.
I have a saying: Nigerians don't fit in second place. Everything we do we go hard.
A healthy smile has always been important to me.
For me, I just stuck to school. I thought you can't be bullied and dumb, so books and I will be friends.
I don't know how often white people look around and think, 'Wow, there's really a lot of white people here; we should fix that.' But I know black people often look around and think, 'Wow, I'm the only one here - why?'
I worked for a company called Population Services International, a social marketing company advocating healthy behaviors. We had a big branding campaign with celebrities to help educate about the proper use of mosquito nets, for example, to help prevent malaria.
I don't know who I'll end up with, but whoever he is must have a strong religious commitment, must be someone who loves God.
My faith has really been the biggest asset of my career. It has grounded me and let me focus on what's important.
On 'Insecure,' Molly works at a law firm, and there's scenes where her boss doesn't value her voice and doesn't value her efforts. And we had a lot of women tweeting 'Me too' in that situation. We're saying, 'Hey, no more. Not on our watch.'
There's a lot of negative speak about what it means to be an immigrant. I'm like, 'OK, I don't know where that came from.' We do the dirty jobs. We do the good jobs. We get the job done.
There are so many professional women who have to be this boss, but when they get home, it's like, 'Can someone take care of me? Can I not be so powerful?'
I came to America when I was six. In true African form, my parents wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer or engineer.
Don't take it personally if you're met with opposition. Work hard anyway.
I grew up in a place called Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the youngest of four. What I remember most about Nigeria was the ease. I would play by the pool, have fun with friends.
I started comedy in 2006. I didn't even think it was a thing I could do.
Wanda Sykes and I have had similar career trajectories. We're both from the D.C. area. She spent five years working as a contracting specialist for the NSA, and I got my master's in public health.