It was a nonstop celebration of African culture and all things Black girl magic as Luvvie Ajayi & Yvonne Orji brought their hilariously popular “Jesus & Jollof” podcast to the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Taking to the Apollo stage before a sold-out crowd that included ESSENCE cover girl Issa Rae, actress Susan Kelechi Watson, and a surprise appearance by actress Cynthia Erivo, the ladies ushered in a spirit of sisterhood, authenticity and jubilee that was present throughout the night.
“I have to say, this is surreal because I used to watch Showtime At The Apollo every Saturday with my family,” Ajayi said. “Watching Ray Chew and the Crew. But this is super surreal because, I didn’t have the dream to ever even be on the Apollo stage. This wasn’t even a bucket list item because it was too big. So, for me, the lesson is to continue to dream even bigger.”
The infectiously positive energy radiated from the stage to the audience as Orji & Ajayi played off of their undeniable chemistry during a gem-filled conversation that heard them touch on everything from the growing pains of friendships, to dating struggles, to Nigerian-American family dynamics, to the highs and lows of fame. Through relatable banter that was equal parts comedy and empowerment, they didn’t miss a beat.
Early on in the show, the pair also welcomed Elaine Welteroth to the stage to share the unforgettable story of how the idea for the podcast was born during a casual girls night in at the home of business mogul and close friend, Bozoma Saint John, who was also on hand to support the event.
Though of the evening was one of endless magical moments, including an impeccable hosting job by Young Prince, an audience dance off, and plenty of jolloff, Orji and Ajayi’s sharing of their individual roads to success proved true highlights of the night. From Orji’s humbling journey that saw her ultimately land a starring role as the now-beloved Molly on Issa Rae’s Insecure, to Ajayi’s path that birthed her New York Times best-seller, I’m Judging You, each of their stories were a true testament to the power of work ethic and unshakable faith in your purpose.
Needless to say, these two ladies are here to stay in the podcast space and beyond! Check out seasons 1 and 2 of the Jesus & Jollof podcast HERE.