Ziwe on the Advice She Has for Black Women Coming Up in Entertainment: 'Get Really Good at Being Yourself'

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Ziwe in ZIWE Season 2. Photo Credit: Lelanie Foster/SHOWTIME.
Ziwe in ZIWE Season 2. Photo Credit: Lelanie Foster/SHOWTIME.

Lelanie Foster/SHOWTIME.

Ziwe is sharing her best advice for fellow entertainers in the industry.

The comedian, 30, stopped by :BLACKPRINT, the Black employee affinity group at Dotdash Meredith, to talk about her self-titled show ZIWE on Showtime — which debuted its second season on May 1 — and all things entertainment.

Each episode of Ziwe's variety series features interviews, sketches and musical performances that highlight race, politics and culture, which all follow her creative vision. The entertainer knows that this opportunity to be at the helm of her own show came at the right time for one big reason.

"I could not have done this show five years ago," she said. "It came exactly at the perfect time in my life because you have to have a strong P.O.V if you want to create something because people will come in your ear and have so many different pitches and they don't know what they're talking about."

RELATED: Comedian Ziwe to Star in and Produce Showtime Variety Series: 'Beyond Excited'

She shared that trusting her inner voice and asking herself the tough questions like, "do I stand behind this?" helped her get to this space creatively — but the entertainer also knew she couldn't do it all alone.

"I collaborate with so many brilliant, talented women, Black women, but so many people make this show," she noted. "My costume designer, Pamela Shephard is this beautiful Black woman who I worked with at The Rundown with Robin Thede. Hunter Speese is this Black guy who I worked with at The Rundown with Robin Thede. He was an assistant. It was my first writing job. And now he's the showrunner of my show."

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Ziwe Fumudoh attends the 2022 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Ziwe Fumudoh attends the 2022 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Paul Morigi/Getty Ziwe Fumudoh at the 2022 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

Ziwe credits and trusts her entire team that she found working in entertainment over the years for helping her reach the success she has today, especially since she can't be at every meeting or answer every question. "The writer's room for my show is meeting right now, but I have to do press to promote the first half of season two while we write the second half," she said.

This lesson is one she follows closely and recommends to other Black women and people who may want to follow in her footsteps in entertainment. "Find the people who have the same taste as you, or whose opinions you really respect," she shared. "The boats rise with the tide, so work your way up together and have each other's back and employ each other and recommend each other."

Her second piece of advice is to have a point of view that is exclusively your own and to try not to follow the path of posting on social media just to go viral.

"You're never going to be good at pretending to be someone else," she said. "They're always going to call you derivative, so all you can do is get really good at being yourself. And I'm very good at being Ziwe. And that's where I shine. I'm the best damn Ziwe that ever damn existed."

"Honestly, if you're aspiring to be like me, don't, aspire to be like you, that's way more interesting," the comedian added. "It hasn't been done before. And I want to watch that. I want to listen to that. I want to read that."

For more, follow :BLACKPRINT on Instagram.