Elsa Majimbo, you know the name, you know the face, you definitely know the voice, the crisps and the shades. To some, she is an icon, a comedienne, a COVID-19 relief package and a star in the making. To others… Elsa who? She’s not that funny! Why is she getting so famous?
Fortunately or unfortunately, that’s the canvas you get when you finally find a pedestal worth holding your great achievements. A mix of adoring fans and passers-by who could care less. With social media taking over most of our lives, many of us wait to jump on the next big thing to hit the Twitter and Instagram streets and either hype it up or talk smack about it.
However, sometimes we may not know what effect it has on the people you’re building up or breaking down. In Elsa’s case, her fame soared through Africa namely Kenya and South Africa. Since she studies in Kenya, she had both flags up on her Twitter bio.
However, the backlash from Kenyans based on her skits and popularity led her to take the Kenyan flag down. So let’s talk about the rise of Elsa Majimbo on social media and the ‘struggle to stay afloat’.
Elsa Majimbo: How it all began
What made it happen?
She would regularly post videos on Instagram even before this but Twitter was her evident pathway. Owing to COVID-19 and the government directives to curb its spread, most of us have been in quarantine since the pandemic began. It is during this time that Elsa Majimbo started what has since become her comedy act.
With an average of 300,000 views on Instagram and 50,000 on Twitter, Majimbo’s quirky monologues have been providing comic relief to her fans during the pandemic.
She first went viral in March after posting a hilarious clip on the restrictions meant to contain the pandemic and hasn’t stopped growing since.
All About her act
It’s all about the short sentences relating to regular life, mixed in with a peal of hearty laughter that just makes it her own kind of comedy. Basically, she says what most people can only say in their heads and not out loud. What started as an accident, when she ate crisps in one of her videos, has now become part of her act.
In a candid moment, she opened up about her comedy being universal and not standard for Kenya’s comedy scene. Elsa’s fanbase is made up of people from around the world and not from Kenya as one would expect.
The fame and popularity
The first clip actually went viral in South Africa, where she was nicknamed “Mpho” or “gift” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Just a tweet to acknowledge love and support I’ve received from SZA 💕✨
— Elsa Majimbo 🇿🇦 (@ElsaAngel19) September 12, 2020
In a recent interview with the Nation, Ms Majimbo said that before she got international recognition, her sole base was South Africa. Filming from Nairobi, Kenya, the young comedian has been featured in CNN, The Guardian and many local papers.
This also includes partnerships with MAC cosmetics and most recently Fenty. Some videos have even been featured on BET, E! News and American owned cable channel, Comedy Central.
Like I’m really loving tonight 🙂 pic.twitter.com/4X6WLq4S2T
— Elsa Majimbo 🇿🇦 (@ElsaAngel19) September 24, 2020
Now we move on to her most recent achievement, becoming the youngest ever nominated for E! People’s Choice Awards.
So honoured to be the youngest ever nominated for E! Peoples Choice Awards, African Social Star category. Vote by tweeting both #ElsaMajimbo & #AfricanSocialStar in one tweet. Vote up to 25 times a day!
— Elsa Majimbo 🇿🇦 (@ElsaAngel19) October 1, 2020
She broke the news on her twitter page and this raised quite the tide with the comment section indifferent about how they should react to the news. Here’s one who does not understand the premise.
Whats so funny here?🙄
— Da Amour (@realDa_Amour) September 24, 2020
And one who absolutely adores her.
Love everyting bout har. D confidence, d hairstyle, yes d hairstyle 😂, it's like a me dis n mi a do me. When she laugh n den nyam d chips always kills me 🤣. D likkle funny glasses, is like cho, mi naah try a juss me dis.
— Tish Campbell | Interior Decorator (@CuteTish) September 24, 2020
Even her own brother is on the fence.
I just asked my brother if he laughs at my videos and then he sighed and said ‘sometimes I giggle’
— Elsa Majimbo 🇿🇦 (@ElsaAngel19) September 10, 2020
Many thought she wouldn’t make it and once she did, they started giving her advice on what to do. However, some would not let them forget their earlier actions.
Same Kenyans were the ones who didn't support her dreams now you want her to focus building herself in Kenya??? Laughable.
— Karuiru (@das_karuiru) October 1, 2020
Elsa Talks Kenyan Comedy Space
Some even relate her to Chebet Ronoh who also got a similar response from the Kenyan audience and was even recently congratulating herself for making her first million.
Recently, on a show with CNN’s news anchor Anderson Cooper, Elsa Majimbo claimed that she doesn’t receive acclamation in Kenya. She notes that many locals don’t find her funny. She admitted her jokes delve and address international problems and some Kenyans don’t ‘really’ get it.
“It’s funny that my comedy has garnered more fans outside my own country. The comedy scene here is quite different with most of the jokes in Swahili and it’s about tribes. That’s not my comedy, mine is all about what’s happening in the world.”
There was as I said a lot of backlash from this and this is probably why she had to take down the flag seeing as it looked like there was more hate than love. We have contacted Elsa on the matter and if there is a different take from her, then we will update the article with the relevant information.
But here’s the thing…
If you don't find Elsa Majimbo's Jokes funny, don't worry, You are not her target audience. Her Target audience is The Rich. Sit down and wait for your favourite comedian to drop one for you. 😂
— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) September 14, 2020
Kenyans are known to be quick to comment, judging or praising. We’ve seen the keyboard warriors work wonders with ArtCaffe and Equity on the same platform. However, As Bravin Yuri and Urunzi say, if you do not find her funny, then move on. It is not your business to hate on others just because they do not resonate on the same frequency as you do.
Do i find Elsa Majimbo funny,?? NO,?? but shes one of us and the award will mean something to her..,just vote for her it wont take anything away from you😕😕
— Optimus Prime🦅 (@Urunzi_) October 2, 2020
I admire what she's done for herself. But her humor is not for me.
— .. (@UstadhKimongo) October 5, 2020
The greatest thing about her is that however, it may affect her personal life, Whatever your take on the matter, here’s what Majimbo has to say to you;
My reaction to being nominated for the E! People's Choice Award.
Share share share! pic.twitter.com/FhFQ5XyrWm
— Elsa Majimbo 🇿🇦 (@ElsaAngel19) October 5, 2020