British-Nigerian comedian Gina Yashere is telling it like it is. A self-made star, Yashere is enlightening the world and informing the culture one joke at a time.
Born and raised in London to Nigerian parents, Yashere began her journey into adulthood studying engineering. However, one day while working on elevators, she decided to make a switch. A naturally funny and charismatic young lady, Yashere took to stand up comedy and the rest was history.
After much success in the U.K., she moved to America in 2007 to further her career in comedy. A year later she sold her first comedy special, Skinny B*tch to Showtime network. Having produced the entire experience herself, she learned she could be successful if she takes matter into her own hands and to wait for no one.
The hardworking comedian has yet to slow her pace. Since then, she has broken records, being the first and only British comedian to appear on the iconic Def Jam Comedy. Sold her second comedy special Laughing to America to Starz network. Her most recent, The Standups with Gina Yashere which debuted on Netflix came out in 2018.
Her love of comedy stems from the joy she gets from making people feel good and entertaining friends and family. Not only that, but it’s allowed her to reach millions and fill them with laughter.
“I love that I’ve seen so many countries and interacted with so many cultures, as humor is universal,” she shared. “I also love that I haven’t had a day job in 25 years.”
Proud of where she comes from, Gina uses her life’s story to respectfully tell jokes and give insight on what it truly means to be a comedian who is British, Nigerian and a lesbian. “Don’t care what people think,” she stated, “Don’t doubt yourself.”
In many of her comedy specials, she details the ideal life for Nigerians, many of which don’t turn out like hers. Though she originally chose a stereotypical path, she chose to follow her heart; which was a decision that took her mother years to understand.
As it continues to pay off, Yashere celebrates her culture on American television network CBS as co-creator, writer, producer, and actor on the new hit show, Bob Hearts Abishola. “We’re bringing authentic African culture onto mainstream TV in America. Making history!”
The show follows Bob (Billy Gardell), a successful business owner who ends up in the hospital due to the stress of running his sock company. There, he meets Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku), a hardworking and kind nurse. Abishola moved to America from Nigeria for a better life for her and her son and lives with two of her relatives in a small apartment in Detroit. However, despite the differences, Bob falls in love with her during his hospital stay and is doing what it takes to win her heart.
“This show brings people together. Viewers are finding common ground with people they may not have thought of in that way,” she says. Yashere plays “Kemi,” Abishola’s best friend who also works at the hospital with her. Together, the team brings authentic representation paired with big laughs for the family. With Bob Hearts Abishola now added to her resume, Yashere is making history and changing the face of comedy.
Today, her future brighter than it was a day before, Yashere looks forward to growth and expansion, staying true to her roots and her core beliefs. “I’m working on a book about my life, thinking up more TV show ideas, and will be at a comedy club or theater near you as soon as this apocalypse is over.”
Watch Gina Yashere on Bob Hearts Abishola Sundays on CBS or streaming platforms.