Comedians continue to cheer up people through online platforms
Many people across the world are spending more time indoors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenyan comedians have continued to cheer up people through their online platforms. GRACE WACHIRA talks to a few of them
Among the new crazes taking Kenya by storm is TikTok. The video-sharing social networking platform has helped the masses ride the coronavirus storm.
Not only are people able to express themselves, the also engage in fun engagements just to pass time and bring a cheer to the gloom.
“So many people are online because we are being urged to stay at home and there is growth.
On Instagram, which is not such an easy place to grow, I have since grown by about 6,000 followers and on TikTok by about 30,000,” says online comedian and TikTok ambassador Javier Aranzalez aka Kamau, adding that now, is the time for creatives to be super productive because there are so many eyes online at this ‘stay at home’ period.
Before Covid-19 hit home and it was business as usual, the social media streets had strict rules of engagement.
Posting pictures or videos was within certain times of the day, which was determined by the availability of social media users online.
Most of the times it was in the morning as Kenyans made their way to work and in the evening when heading home.
Within these parameters, posts would attract the most hits, which was good for business. But not anymore.
King of vines Seth Gor has made a mark on social media with his funny content. He notes that presently, he does not need to post his stuff within certain times anymore.
“The reach now is not determined by time. I can post any time of the day or night and my audience will be on it. It is obvious because now, we are encouraged to stay home.
There’s a lot of free time and so, the posts are getting crazy hits. My reach has grown by 40 per cent,” he tells Spice.
Good for brands
Comedian Wangari Nguri, who is known by her viral ‘Auntie Jemimah’ online videos, says the period has seen her online grow substantively.
“Cumulatively, I have amassed about 1,500 new followers and that is really good, but it’s because of obvious reasons,” she says.
She notes the growth is as a result of people looking for content to smile and laugh about during this difficult moment.
“I have seen how people will tag their friends in the comments and even watch older videos because they were too busy then but now, we all have the time,” says Wangari.
Flaqo—known for his ‘Mama Otis’ skits—has also also recorded an upsurge in numbers across his accounts since the directive to stay at home was issued.
“It depends on how we look at Covid-19. I chose to look at it as a blessing in disguise; not that I am glad we have the pandemic but, I’m looking on the bright side,” he says.
He adds his skits are now garnering an upwards of 2,000 comments and that the engagement has been good to his brand.
“A lot of us are now at home with loads of free time on our hands and that’s why even on Twitter, the vines are getting more retweets than before,” says Flaqo.
Fast-rising online comedian David Oyando aka Mulamwah says: “I have been playing my self-isolation role from my Kitale residence and I am still at my craft.
The consumption is high indeed. I can boldly say I have never reached these heights,” he says.
He adds that when he looks at the number of visitors on his pages, things have improved for the better for his craft, despite the cyber-bullying episode he had to endure recently.
“I have presence on Facebook and Instagram where I post my content. I am also on YouTube, although I am yet to monetise it.
For instance, my Facebook interactions and engagements one time registered 200,000 visits. This is a great time for online content creators to make a killing,” he says.
The downside effect
But even with the growth in reach, not all clients are plugged in as before. “There are some advertisers who are still advertising; those that have necessities that are appropriate for this period.
Many have backed away and so, my team is not earning as much as we used to before the pandemic,” added Seth.
“I was working with quite a number of companies and we had great campaign strategies lined up, but all that has now been put on hold.
It has affected business for sure, but we keep moving on nonetheless and wait for things to look up,” says Mulamwah.
Content creation has not been without its challenges. Wangari notes that she’s been getting a lot of messages from her fans asking for more videos.
She says, “It is not as easy to create and as such, productivity has also been affected.”