By Isabella Carmona Ramirez
The College’s student-led College Union Board (CUB) and Black Student Union (BSU) came together on Feb. 16 to organize a live lecture featuring comedian, writer, actress and sensational TikTok star Ziwe Fumudoh.
The lecture was a hit among students who gathered in Kendall Hall to witness the interviewer become the interviewee. Ziwe is best-known for her satirical approach to politics, race relations and young adulthood, and kept the audience entertained with her witty humor and unique comedic style.
She gained fame on the popular social media platform TikTok, with viral clips of household celebrity names under the pressure of Ziwe’s shameless questions. She is also a writer for Showtime’s hit television show “Desus & Mero” and has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Forbes 30 Under 30, among other major media outlets.
The show began with a warm welcome from CUB organizers, who highlighted the importance of the event and the role of organizations like theirs in creating safe spaces for marginalized groups.
Gianna Glover, a sophomore nursing major and BSU events chair, was encouraged to take the opportunity to moderate the show and speak one-on-one with one of her favorite celebrities.
“She’s comical, witty, fast on her feet talking and pushes celebrities to almost get canceled,” said Glover, amusement and admiration brushing her words. “She’s a darling person.”
Throughout the show, Ziwe engaged the audience with ease, repeatedly evoking roaring laughter from spectators as she responded to Glover’s questions and banter. She touched on her impressive academic background as a Northwestern University alumna, how she persevered through the start of her career despite the odds against her, and the passion and discipline that propelled her to success.
Following the interview, Ziwe took the familiar reins as interviewer for the next Q&A session, where three students were selected to join her on stage and recreate some of her trademark interviews with celebrities, including Julia Fox, Michael Che and Phoebe Bridgers. Segments from each interview with Fox, Che, and Bridgers that went viral on TikTok were recreated by Ziwe and the students, before asking the students for their own answers to such controversial and satirical questions.
Two of the three students selected as hot seat guests were Serina Montero, a senior interactive and multimedia major, and Daniel Inwood, a senior psychology and statistics double major; both students were randomly selected through a Google Forms application.
Inwood, who had a later introduction to the social media sensation through TikTok, was starstruck when given the opportunity to meet one of his personal favorite internet personalities.
“I first saw Ziwe on TikTok when she was interviewing Nicole Buyer, and I thought, ‘who is this woman?’” Inwood said. “I found her on Youtube, did a whole binge, so I’ve known about her for like a year…. Once I saw that she was coming [to TCNJ], I thought, ‘Oh, I’m coming!”
The event was a major success, with attendees expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to see Ziwe’s charming yet chaotic personality live, while engaging in important discussion around the understanding of diversity and inclusion within her industry. The live lecture featuring Ziwe was a testament to her magnetic and lovable character, leaving the stage with a crowd screaming for more.