Kenyan comedian Elsa Majimbo has been listed among the Forbestop 50 social media creators for 2022.
With a total of 3.8 million followers on social media and partnerships with global brands, including Italian fashion house Maison Valentino, Bumble, and Beats by Dre, she is estimated to be making a total of $500,000 (Sh60,135,000).
“The inaugural Forbes Top Creator list highlights the 50 social superstars leveraging a combined 1.9 billion followers across social networks to earn $570 million in 2021 alone. Their average age is just 31. We evaluated each creator across three categories: earnings, clout, and entrepreneurship. Earnings figures are for calendar 2021 and are Forbes estimates,” Forbes magazine said on its official website.
“Clout measures not just the sheer number of followers, but also their engagement as indicated by likes, shares and comments. For follower count, we summed followers across platforms. This count includes people who follow creators on multiple platforms. Finally, each creator was given an entrepreneurship rank of between 1 and 3, rewarding people who founded companies, started investment shops or otherwise structured deals in creative—and lucrative—ways.”
Last June, Majimbo 21, was listed in the Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list.
Munching on snacks
She rose to fame in March 2020 when she posted a video of herself noisily munching on snacks and declaring she didn't, in fact, miss anyone.
Her online videos became a sensation during the Covid-19 pandemic as the world embraced digital social apps for entertainment and to help keep in touch with friends and family, and follow the news. In the blink of an eye, Majimbo rose from just being the girl next door to a celebrity with international recognition.
And since then her star has been shining bright. In the same year, she also won the E! People’s Choice Awards in the African Social Star category.
People’s Choice Awards
The People’s Choice Awards is an American award that recognises people in the entertainment industry. The nominees are voted for online by the public and their fans.
In 2021 she was named brand ambassador of sound appliance company Beats by Dre and was among 12 other powerful women mentioned by Beyoncé on the website Beyoncé.com as being women rule breakers.
The other 11 women mentioned in list are Janet Mock, Bozoma Saint John, Laverne Cox, Thasunda Brown Duckett, Meghan Markle, Amina J. Mohammed, Maxine Waters, Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jane Fonda.
American actor and TV host Steve Harvey went on record, saying that he is willing to adopt Majimbo as his niece.
But her journey to stardom has not been smooth sailing.
Speaking with Forbes, Majimbo lamented her “complicated” relationship with Nairobi. According to the internet star, she will not be returning to her home country any time soon.
“My relationship with Africa is amazing and I still go back every few weeks. I go back to Ghana, South Africa, because Africans know how to party and they make amazing food, no offence but you can never find that in LA, so just that sense of community and belonging is very important to me and I am glad I have it.
“I have a very complicated relationship with Nairobi, and there was a lot of ……… when things started going well for me there was a lot of backlash on me and just a lot of callous things were said to me and surprisingly it was people from Kenya. They were hell-bent on my failure and it was so insane, the rest of the world was cheering me on and Kenya was praying for my downfall. So when I got the chance I packed my bags and I left and I never looked back. And I am never going back,” she said.
“We have dark skinned comedians who are women so the comedy they (Kenyans) want them to do is based on self-hatred and I did not do that and they hated that. So it is not culture cancellation on my part, it was straight up bullying and saying wild stuff to me,” she explained.