In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with British-born comedian and actor Gina Yashere. The interview spans from Gina’s upbringing in London, being raised by Nigerian parents to her path emerging as a globally recognized comedian.
Gina, Kweli, and Jas discuss what it was like for her to grow up as a first generation Nigerian-Brit facing racism from every angle following her from her youth through later years as an elevator engineer. They speak on American’s ignorance of world culture, the contrasts of US versus UK racism, Nigerian stereotypes, and the ‘Nollywood’ Nigerian film industry. Eddie Murphy’s ‘RAW’ is also brought up for a debate on if we can still laugh at comedy considered taboo by today’s standards.
As the conversation progresses they touch on UK and US black entertainer’s accusations of stealing talent from on-another, UK racist media coverage of Meghan Markle, white people not understanding N-word rules, gauging her own racial wokeness in comedy, Trump silver-linings, The ‘Mock Of The Week’ show, and her path to coming out of the closet and owning her lesbian identity.
Finally Gina gets to talk about her hugely popular, ground-breaking sitcom ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ on CBS. She speaks on originally being brought in by Chuck Lorre to be a consultant, but then becoming a co-star. Gina outlines her passion for a show, with a platform that would finally shine a light on her Nigerian heritage. In closing Gina talks about her long-time love of hip hop music. The whole interview is as as insightful as it is hilarious.