Yvonne Orji is telling her story on her own terms, dropping a new comedy special as she celebrates and highlights Nigerian Independence Day.
On Saturday, October 1, the Insecure alum hosted the 2022 Night of Nigerian Excellence at Beauty & Essex in Los Angeles.
Held in honor of Nigerian Independence Day, some of the Nigerian American actress’ former costars–including Issa Rae and Kendrick Sampson–were in attendance for the evening, along with other beloved Nigerian stars.
This celebration comes as Orji releases her latest comedy special: A Whole Me. Following the success of her debut special Momma, I Made It! back in 2020, Yvonne joined HBO once again, titling the show with a double entendre of a popular Nigerian phrase.
“I literally recorded Momma, I Made It! on February 29th — God gave me an extra day,” Orji told Shadow and Act, revealing her first special was recorded right before the pandemic. “And March 13th, the world shut down…The first one came out in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement and everything that was going on. So, it was just wild.”
She continued, “And then people needed the levity, but then once the work kind of stopped, the work began because then it was the internal work that I had to do. When you don’t have the distraction of the outside work, you gotta figure you out.”
“I talk in the special about how I think everybody [needs therapy], especially African Americans. There’s been so much trauma,” she said. “Bringing African Americans to America, traumatic. Already in the ancestral line of what it means to be an African American in America. Whenever people are like, ‘I don’t need therapy. I’m good on that.’ It’s like, no we all do.”
Orji continued, “Hopefully not only when Nigerians see this, when African Americans see, there’s lots of topics that I know that it’s hard for us to have the conversation either with our parents or with our friends. But I’m like, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m doing it for you.’”
A Whole Me is available on HBO now.
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