Jesus and Jollof: The Podcast You Turn To For Laughter and Learning
“D for don’t do it again, D for dunce, for dream killed,” said Luvvie and Yvonne as they laughed reminiscing about their earlier dreams of becoming doctors. Luvvie Ajayi, the co-host of Jesus and Jollof is referring to a D she received in chemistry in university that changed her career path and pushed her towards her gift of writing, a speaker, and a term she often uses, a ‘professional troublemaker’. Yvonne Orji, her fellow co-host of Jesus and Jollof, also had dreams of becoming a doctor when she was young but grew to find that her passion was in comedy, acting, and bringing joy to those around her.
Jesus and Jollof is a podcast hosted by Emmy-nominated actress and comedian Yvonne Orji and New York Times Best Selling author Luvvie Ajayi. The podcast is named Jesus and Jollof because these are the two things that they can not live without. In the podcast, they discuss what life was like growing up Nigerian in America, as well as their path to discovering what they love and growing into themselves. As hosts, they are not afraid to discuss things that are conventionally not talked about a lot in the African community. They discuss the importance of going to therapy and taking care of your mental and physical health as well as how to navigate relationships with friends and family. They also discuss the courage, fear, and dedication that comes with achieving your dreams, giving a real look into what it means to have faith in yourself. The podcast is powerful because it is relatable, real, and unfiltered.
Photo Source: @jesusandjollof
Before we get into the podcast itself, let’s learn a bit more about the hosts. Yvonne Orji is a comedian, speaker, and actress, Emmy-Nominated for her portrayal as Molly on Insecure and a budding writer as she is working on her debut book, 'Bamboozled by Jesus: How God Tricked me into the Life of My Dreams'. Luvvie is the New York Times best-selling author of ‘I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual,’ blogger, speaker, digital strategist, and host of another podcast Rants and Randomness. Yvonne and Luvvie met in 2012 while working on a show together. Luvvie was asked to work in the writing room, and Yvonne was an actress. The show never aired, but they have been friends ever since.
The podcast often begins with a proverb, and if there is one thing Luvvie is going to do, it's pull a powerful proverb to start the podcast with. The proverb often aligns with the topic discussed in that episode and has a lesson within it. They talk a lot about their path to the place they are in life right now, and it is inspiring because both of them had to take a huge leap of faith to get into the creative fields they now dominate.
Photo source: @jesusandjollof
Both Luvvie and Yvonne initially aspired to become doctors, but when they were in university they realized it was not the path for them. Luvvie in the first episode of the podcast explained how she switched her major from psychology pre-med to just psychology. Yvonne was still in the medical sphere until grad school where she was studying public health. Both, in a way, started their career off by pursuing what they initially thought was a hobby, something that they had a passion for but did not necessarily see as a career choice. Luvvie started her blog while she was in university, and in the beginning, it was simply a way for her to talk about things that interested her. For Yvonne, she stumbled across comedy when she participated in the Miss Nigeria in America pageant in 2006. When she joined, she did not know that there was a section where every contestant needed to have a talent. At this point, she had never done comedy before. But in her spirit and moved by prayer, she felt that comedy was what she should do. When she performed at the show, the reception, and rush she felt from performing pushed her towards comedy.
An important note that they both focus on is that their success was not overnight, and they do not shy away from the reality of their journey. They also point out, however, that what appears as losses can be blessings in disguise. Luvvie remembers that in 2010 she felt at a loss because she got laid off from her job. However, it ultimately gave her the push she needed to see writing as a full-time career. Yvonne also took a chance in herself when upon returning to the states from Liberia she saved up enough money to pay for acting class in New York. She remembers saving up around $450 and getting on a bus to New York. She had no plan for where she was going to stay or where she was going to end up, yet it worked out. She called her friend in New York who by chance had the basement apartment free.
The podcast is refreshing, inspiring, and hilarious. From Yvonne’s DMX impersonations to hearing them constantly hype each other up, showing what true sisterhood and friendship looks like. It is a constant ride, where you could be learning about the intricacies of finance, to crying laughing at stories of Yvonne and her brothers when she was younger.
So go ahead and bless your day by listening to the Jesus and Jollof podcast.