When Jesus says yes, nobody in their right mind can say no. So when a 33-year-old luxurious, well-moisturized bearded Christ spoke, Yvonne Orji and Luvvie Ajayi had no choice but to listen; and thus the Jesus and Jollof podcast was born.
“I mean, you can ignore Jesus if you want. Tell me how that goes for you,” says Orji in conversation with The Root. Accordingly, these two proud Nigerian women let him use them and created a podcast that is pepper soup for the soul.
Jesus and Jollof offers tools in dealing with various parts of adulting and provides a space to have conversations about the way many of us were raised. Orji says that the various topics provides a breath of fresh air to listeners because it allows them to realize that they’re not the only ones who may have experienced certain things while being raised by their parents.
“Our parents were working with the tools that they themselves were given and doing the best they can, but that does not mean we shouldn’t have honest conversations about upbringings,” Orji told The Root. The conversations around upbringings stem from our community’s decision to not air our “dirty laundry.” Orji got on a figmental pulpit and dropped a word by saying that we need to make it a practice to start doing our laundry in public and making “washing clothes a consistent habit because everyone loves clean laundry. No one wants to be out here in these streets funky.”
When you’re an immigrant you have four career choices 1) Doctor, 2) Lawyer, 3) Engineer, and finally 4) Failure. The first three are what our parents strive for us to be because they that’s the traditional knowledge that they were able to comprehend and grasp. When you’re creative it’s hard to give your parents reassurance that you’ll be OK, because sometimes you don’t have the answers yourself. When Orji told her parents of her career choice, she knew that she had an assignment from God and a purpose to follow.
So she followed her heart and applied the principles her parents instilled in her and by the grace of God, Orji is out in these streets providing entertainment to the masses!
With their second season in full-swing, Orji and Ajayi are bringing their talents to the Apollo Theater for a live showing of their podcast. “It’s a homecoming for me,” says Orji who once lived in Harlem. Orji recalls making her way downtown, walking fast to the A train and passing the Apollo on her daily commute. And now the day has come for her to return to the streets she once called home and she couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity
Orji says that her and Ajayi are a perfect balance to each other. “If we were kettle corn, one would be salty and the other sweet. A perfect compliment.” A snack supporting a snack. Now that’s empowerment.
Orji and Ajayi have mixed 33-year-old, luxurious, well-moisturized, bearded Jesus with rice and our souls are filled as a result.
Jesus and Jollof will be live at the Apollo on Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. as part of the Africa Now! Festival.