'Professional Bragger': The Rise Of Viral Kenyan Star Elsa Majimbo
Nairobi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Jul, 2021 ) :Please don't call her an influencer: Elsa Majimbo prefers "comedian and social media sensation".
At the age of 20 Majimbo is a digital diva with a carefully cultivated image courted by international brands and praised by Rihanna and Beyonce -- all just over a year after launching her career with a smartphone and a bag of chips.
In March 2020 as the pandemic swept the globe and people everywhere lamented the sudden loss of human interaction, Majimbo posted a video of herself noisily munching on snacks and declaring she didn't, in fact, miss anyone.
"And those people keep on telling me 'I miss you'," she teased in her debut video about pandemic life.
"Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Do I pay your school fees? Do I pay your rent? Do I provide food for you? Why are you missing me?" The offbeat but honest take on a bleak new reality struck an immediate chord with housebound viewers.
- 'Sassy and unabashed' - The international press has rolled out the red carpet for Majimbo, with profiles in the New York Times, CNN and Teen Vogue.
Months of discussions between AFP and her Los Angeles-based agent resulted in no interview nor photoshoot -- but plenty of advice on how she is to be portrayed.
This included the rejection of the "influencer label" and her preference not to lean on her Kenyan origins or solely be seen as someone who "made it out of Africa", but rather be recognised for what she has achieved.
Majimbo has faced some online backlash in Kenya, with feelings hurt by her adoption of the South African flag in her personal profile (she says it's the country where she first broke through).
But the young black comedian has broadly proven a hit across the African continent.
"Elsa Majimbo is only 19 years old. She is smart, sassy, confident and unabashed," Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi said earlier this year.
These days her comic videos are rare and her feed is a mishmash of the high life and teen life, mixing business class flights, skateboard and pizza sessions, commercial partnerships and numerous selfies.
Anyiko Owoko, a public relations expert, said Majimbo "is now becoming her own brand. She is the girl next door who got global".
Majimbo has also used her new platform to back social causes that dominated a tumultuous year, speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and sexual rights for all.
In it, Majimbo discusses the burden of colourism, or discrimination against darker-skinned people.