Yvonne Orji: ‘I Love Being Nigerian, I Love to Laugh, and I Love Jesus’ (Gospel Light Minute #233)

She is an Nigerian-American comedian and actress who plays Molly in HBO’s dramedy series, Insecure. She has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress. She was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and raised in Maryland. Her parents expected her to become a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, or engineer, but after receiving a master’s degree in public health from George Washington University, she moved to New York to pursue a career in comedy.

While working the New York comedy circuit, the big break she was looking for didn’t come as fast as she would have liked, and the actress said she “hit the beginning stages of depression.” In an interview with the Guardian, she said that, during this time, as she was contemplating going back home in defeat, she had a conversation with the Lord which inspired her to create a web comedy about being a first-generation Nigerian. It was this comedy that caught the eye of Insecure creator Issa Rae, and the rest is history.

Though the character she plays on HBO is an often-promiscuous single woman, the actress herself is a virgin and says she will remain so until she is married. But that wasn’t always the plan. She told The Breakfast Club, “Personally, I had plans to have sex when I turned eighteen. I was dating and I had it figured out. But I got to college at seventeen in D.C., and then I got saved.” Her Salvation is working itself out in her life, and she says her goal in the entertainment industry is to ‘make God proud.’ She told another interviewer, ‘For me, there’s no separating faith and Christianity from my walk. I don’t take my Christianity off and put on my acting. I’m just me. I love being Nigerian, I love to laugh, and I love Jesus.’

Her name is Yvonne Orji. Continue reading “Yvonne Orji: ‘I Love Being Nigerian, I Love to Laugh, and I Love Jesus’ (Gospel Light Minute #233)”

“Andy Griffith Was Prepared for the Day he Would be Called Home to his Lord.” Are You? (Gospel Light Minute #61)

Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith

He was an actor, television producer, writer, and Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer. He is best known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in the 1960–1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and in the 1986–1995 legal drama Matlock. As a young man, he served as choir director at First Baptist Church of Goldsboro and pursued pre-ministerial studies at UNC Chapel Hill before changing his major to acting. He earned Tony Award nominations for two Broadway performances. At age 69, he went back to an early dream of singing Southern Gospel music. And he recorded gospel songs for “I Love To Tell The Story – 25 Favorite Hymns.” This album was certified platinum by the RIAA. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. He went home to Heaven on July 3, 2012 at age 86.

His wife said of him at his death, “He was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without him, but I take comfort and strength in God’s grace and in the knowledge that he is at peace and with God.” In a 1996 interview after he was diagnosed with Guillen-Barre syndrome, he said, “I firmly believe that in every situation, no matter how difficult, God extends grace greater than the hardship, and strength and peace of mind that can lead us to a place higher than where we were before.” His name is Andy Griffith.