A 19-year old journalism student, Elsa Majimbo, is social media’s newest sensation, The New York Times reports.
Majimbo burst into social media fame back in March with her videos about quarantine life, pairing basic beauty supply store sunglasses with lots of chip eating, relatable content, an infectious laugh with genius comedic timing. Back then, the 19-year-old journalism student had just 10,000 followers, most of them from her native country of Kenya. Less than 6 months later, Majimbo has raked up almost 1 million followers across social media sites, with more than half of those coming from Instagram.
“Ever since corona started we’ve all been in isolation and I like miss no one,” Majimbo says in one of her first viral videos on IG before displaying that signature laugh and switching back to her native tongue, Swahili.
“Why am I missing you? There is no reason for me to miss you. People keep on telling me you haven’t participated in corona challenges, you haven’t joined Houseparty, you haven’t joined TikTok – it’s not by mistake. It’s not,” she continues with a smirk and chuckle as she crunches down on a chip.
The video to date has nearly 300,000 views, a signature style of Majimbo’s videos that she would continue with, garnering her features in major publications like The Guardian, CNN, and The New York Times, while also creating a new influx of followers for the teen.
The Nairobi native has joked in her videos that this is her fast way to wealth and success, despite her continuing to pursue her academic studies. Even after her father, an interior designer and devout Christian took umbrage with her video jokingly urging someone to post nude photographs of her so she could get famous “the Kim Kardashian way,” she continued on to The Times, opting instead to block everyone who knew her Dad.
“My Dad said, ‘This is not how a Christian girl in a Christian home behaves,’ and I tried to explain that it’s meant to be funny. He said, ‘I don’t see anything funny here, stop making videos of this nature immediately,” Majimbo told The Times.
She didn’t stop and even though her father doesn’t understand her newfound fame, he’s still happy for her. The $2 glasses she purchased from a street vendor outside of her school and the unknown brand of chips she keeps snacking on, which she swears not to reveal, have brought a little more sunshine to the internet. But Majimbo said that it has not been without its fair share of hardship.
“I’m young, I’m African, I’m a woman, and on top of all that I’m dark skinned, so things are way harder [for me] than they are for others, especially men. Then there are men – it’s always men, I don’t know why – online who say, ‘You’re in Africa, so you can’t do comedy there,’ which isn’t true at all,” Majimbo said.