American-Nigerian actor and comedian, Yvonne Orji honoured her roots by making the first stop of her comedy tour in Lagos. In partnership with The Bloom Africa, the Insecure actor entertained fans and friends at the beautifully afro-centric Bogobiri House in Ikoyi on Wednesday, Jan 8th. For two hours, she made us howl in laughter, want to shed a tear or two and applaud several times.
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What strikes you most about Yvonne is how funny, yet totally down-to-earth, relatable and wise she is. At various points, the 36-year-old inserted some truly powerful thoughts into her speech, so much so that it would almost be criminal not to share. So, here they are:
On success and failure:
“The worst thing for me is to have success without joy. [I’ve realised] if I’m feeling sorrowful or fearful, what I’m doing is not a blessing. For me, what’s important is to continue finding my job and maintaining it.”
“It doesn’t cost anything to fail. All you have to do is just stop; it’s easy. Being successful is the hard part.”
“I literally went from Oliver Twist to having enough to pay my bills and eat, and it takes a lot to shake off that poverty mindset [of always wanting more]. You can be rich and still have a poverty mindset.”
“Something I’ve fought very hard not letting money be my motivator. Integrity and character are really the only things that sustain you in any industry.”
Speaking on Issa Rae:
“If a black girl didn’t take a chance on [other black creatives] to do this thing, how long would we have had to wait for the next opportunity?”
“I told God: The minute I’m depressed, take me out of Entertainment. I’d rather stop it, because I want [my work] to represent God and if I can’t do that, it’s not about God anymore.”
“The spotlight that’s on you will kill you if the light that’s in you is insufficient.”