By Prudence Minayo
Auntie Jemimah is many things in one. A radio and TV presenter, comedienne par excellence, influencer, MC and a mother. Her content on social media platforms commands thousands of views. Her easy to follow videos are mostly in her native Kikuyu language spiced with Swahili and broken English. Non-Kikuyu speakers are also able to understand her content and form part of her 400,000 plus fans on Facebook.
Auntie Jemimah’s real name is Mercy Wangare Nguri.
Auntie Jemimah was born in 1989.
It is not clear where the comedian went to school but she is an accountant by profession. While at school, she was part of the drama club. In fact, she started acting while still in Kindergarten and teachers would always give her comical roles because she was a natural.
She was also very energetic in school and was that student who would always crack others up in class. Jemimah was a noisemaker and she revealed it was because she had too much energy and did not know where to channel it.
The 33 year old actress picked the comedy bug from her father who had a sense of humor whilst her mom was a disciplinarian. She was strict and would not tolerate nonsense, like most typical African moms. She believes it was the strictness that shaped her into who she is today.
The funny lass had always wanted to be in the media despite doing a course in Accounting. This is no surprise for someone who loved drama and acting from a young age. She applied for jobs in different radio stations to no avail.
She decided to record a video about how men from her community love requesting for coitus. Although a bit controversial, this video was well received by many who encouraged her to make more such clips.
Slowly, she uploaded videos on YouTube and began doing comedy. Most of the comedy is in Kikuyu and a lot of people have asked why this is the case. The funny lass believes everyone should just identify their niche and flow with it. She is more comfortable acting in her native language.
In her videos, she plays the role of a rich Kikuyu woman who does not tolerate nonsense. She does it so effortlessly which may be the result of having a strict mother. The content is so relatable to many Kenyans. Despite the dialect being Kikuyu, those who do not understand it can still make out what is happening.
This is because the structure and flow of the video has been made so easy to understand. She has also collaborated with some successful online comedians, like, Njugush (Timothy Kimani) and Henry Desagu (Ithagu Kibicho).
Today, the comedian has garnered thousands of followers on social media and her YouTube channel has more than 169k subscribers. At times the videos, garner more than 10k views in less than two hours. Rising to where she is was no easy feat.
She did a number of videos that did not go viral. Fame did not just come overnight. She had to work so hard and at times was plagued with thoughts of giving up. This encourages so many other up coming comedians and content creators to be persistent as the journey is not an easy one.
Apart from being an online comedian, she is also a presenter with Gukena FM and a popular emcee.
Experience with cyberbullying
Kenya is full of keyboard warriors, some of whom are filled with bile and just want to spread it. Many popular people have been subjected to cyber bullies, some even without doing anything wrong. Others will attack how you talk, dress, your body shape among others.
Auntie Jemimah was not spared from the wretched words of cyber bullies. In a YouTube interview, she revealed how an attack on her body shape reduced her self esteem. Someone said she had very muscular arms and looked like a man which is as a result of working out in the gym.
“Severally, I was told I look like a man. The reason being that I am muscular because I go to the gym,” the radio presenter said.
“I even stopped wearing clothes that exposed my biceps,” she added.
This depressed her so much that if she’d break up with a guy, she would think it was because she did not look good. However, by sharing it with her friends and even visiting a therapist she was able to overcome the insecurities.
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