Yvonne Orji would ordinarily fall into the category of the typical [Nigerian] kid whose career path was defined for them from the onset but still chose passion above any other path in life.
Orji, a rising star in Hollywood, is a first-generation Nigerian-American actress.
Her first major shoot-to-fame effort was doing room comedy shows but her role in HBO’s breakout comedy series ‘Insecure’ is what put a face to her unique talent.
Here are nine things to know about her:
1. Orji started her career as a medical doctor but today, she is a comedian and an actor gaining popularity for her feature as Molly in HBO’s new show, ‘Insecure’.
2. Molly, the character she plays, contradicts her real life personality. Molly is seen to be a young woman who is afraid to freely express herself, while Orji is a proud virgin in real life. So much that she isn’t afraid to show off her virginity.
“I don’t hide it. It is the same way people say they have one night stands. If you can say that, I can say that”, she said during an interview with The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1.
3. Her journey to the fame she has attained so far isn’t an uncommon one. A proud Nigerian of Igbo heritage, Orji was born in Nigeria but left for America at a young age and has spent most of her life in the country of the free and brave.
4. After her university education, the next step was medical school as expected by her strict Nigerian parents. But forsaking this dream of theirs by going ahead to get a masters degree in public health and subsequently heading to Liberia to practice, was what put her on the path to becoming the most favourite person to watch on ‘Insecure’.
5. The one thing Yvonne and Molly have in common is their goofy personalities.
6. She travels back home in Nigeria every year to balance her dual citizenship. She can proudly say she is more Nigerian than American.
7. Orji founded her own company, Rock Your Stance, in 2008 which sells neon tee-shirts and tanks with inscriptions like “Keepin’ It Locked ‘Til I Get That Rock”. The actress launched the company partly to “educate” people about being a 33-year-old virgin.
8. The Insecure star is very devout in her faith and prayed severally to God before taking up the role of Molly in the comedy series.
“I legitimately heard God tell me to do this,” she says.
9. Before she signed up for Insecure, Orji created her own show called First Gen. First Genis a story about a young Nigerian girl who was chasing the American dream.