Comedy is often the last profession that most African parents would chose for their children, and yet that is what Nigerian-born Yvonne Orji did when she decided to defy her parents’ wishes and pursue a career in writing, stand-up comedy, and acting. With a BA and Masters in Public Health, Orji’s parents expected her to go into the medical profession, and were dismayed when she gained an interest in performing for large audiences. They believed that she could not earn a living on the salary of a comedienne, but were soon proven wrong when she began writing for the TVOne show Love That Girl, which starred Tatyana Ali, and was named the new Queen of Comedy by Ayiba Magazine.

It is probably from this experience that Orji  decided to create a web series called First Gen. The show tells the story of a Nigerian immigrant daughter who forgoes her medical degree to pursue stardom. The series’ pilot went viral and Orji gained attention from HBO producers who then cast her in Issa Rae’s new show, Insecure.

To learn more about Yvonne Orji, check out Fresh on the Screen’s video about her here.