We’re the experts of our experiences and the best storytellers of the lives we live. When we see our stories not being reflected, we should tell them.
I was born and bred in Nigeria but I’ve been here since I was young. Being a first generation Nigerian-American is interesting because no matter how American you might feel outside, when you step into your home, you better get it together and know who you are. There are certain experiences that most of us can relate to, like the fact that Naija parents have no chill or care about your feelings. And at one point or another, we were expected to either be doctors, engineers or lawyers. In this stereotype is an ounce of truth.
Even me. I’m a writer today but I was told I’d be a doctor since I was 5. I went into college majoring in Psychology Pre-Med. Long story short, that didn’t work out. And I don’t like hospitals.
ENNEHWEIGHS, one of the funniest people I know is my friend Yvonne Orji. When I tell you the girl has no sense? I MEAN IT. Every time we get together, we show out and it’s not our fault. Yvonne is an actress, comedian, overall dope chick and she is also a child of Nigerian parents in America.
She came up with the idea to do a show about her experience as a first generation chica and that is how First Gen Show came to be. She collaborated with two other Nigerian ladies (Chika Chukudebelu and Kay Oyegun) to make this show come to life and the pilot trailer just dropped and I love it.
YESSSSS!!! If she don’t come on and sing our life with her words and imagery!
The shady mom, Agatha, is like many of our mamas. I cackled at “What about your daughter? The one with the cross eyes.” WELL DAMB. Reminds me of the time my mom walked up to my cousin and went “OMG you got fat. ARE YOU PREGNANT?” She was. And she just hadn’t told anybody. Shady boots.
I’m here for the afro-centric neighbor too. “Agatha. See that’s the name the white man gave you?” “That’s my Grandmother’s name.” HA! Daddy’s proverbs slay me. “Even in the jungle. The lizards and the chameleon. They’re not mates o.” HA!
And of course, the want/need for us to get married by force.
This is my story and many others will see themselves in this too.
I am looking forward to seeing more of First Gen, and I hope it’s picked up by a network. Our stories matter, and when people say there is no audience for them, we can show them that people of color have driven the success of so many projects that are excelling right now (see: Scandal and Empire). In the same token, you can also see how well Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are doing. Then add to the fact that Nigerians are powerful numbers-wise? Yes, this show is overdue.
I am so proud of Yvonne and her team for making this happen and I’m ready to support this. If you like what you see so far, check out the First Gen Show website, subscribe to the YouTube channel and follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@FirstGenShow).
NAIJA NO DEY CARRY LAST! Yvonne, may you prosper in all your endeavors, my sista! I’m rooting for you and this project!