Culture

South African Student Elsa Majimbo Is Using Laughter to Get Herself - And Social Media - Through Quarantine

South African Student Elsa Majimbo Is Using Laughter to Get Herself - And Social Media - Through Quarantine

She's keeping away the doldrums one chip at a time.

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. 

Already the budding comedian has worked on two projects with Comedy Central, received product giveaways from Fenty, and is currently in talks with MAC Cosmetics Africa about a possible collaboration. She has no plans on slowing down either, with plans to continue shooting hilarious content in Swahili and English on her rose gold iPhone 6 that she saved up 6 months to get. The only thing she worries about now is how to decipher which continent her followers are from based on their comments. 

“Americans say ‘OMG’ so much, Africans use a mother tongue, Arab followers comment in Arabic and I never understand what they are saying, but I appreciate it and I’m still trying to figure out how to separate the Europeans,” Majimbo laughed while telling The New York Times. 

Elsa we are tuned in and you haven’t disappointed us yet! We stan!

Photo Courtesy of @mosesmaraga/@majimb.o/Instagram