Comedian and online sensation Elsa Majimbo has risen to become one of the entertainment icons among the youth globally.
How Elsa Majimbo's manager created a multi-million brand without ever meeting her
Forbes described Elsa Majimbo's manager as her secret weapon yet they have never met.
Even more surprising than her sharp rise to fame is that she has never physically met her manager with whom they have signed multi-million shilling deals.
A recent report by Forbes described Mohamed Kheir as a branding extraordinaire and Majimbo’s secret weapon.
They two said they became partners courtesy of an Instagram DM and have only met each other on virtual platforms such as Facetime.
Kheir is behind the powerful Majimbo brand that saw the comedian rise go from making funny videos in her bedroom to landing deals with Fenty and Valentino.
“Mo was clearly a fan who saw me the way I saw myself, not just for where I was at, but where I could be. He was strategic like me, we set huge goals, and achieved all them in a matter of months, then set even bigger ones — we are now surpassing those as well,” she told Forbes.
One of the first genius moves he made was to remove the Kenyan tag to position herself as a global brand.
“We prefer that the press doesn't mention where Elsa is from in the titles, like if you're going to talk about Timothee Chalamet in an article, you wouldn’t mention where he’s from in the title. In reality, we knew that Elsa had built a cult community from being genuinely funny and creating global humor that everyone could connect with.
“So, we adjust ‘Kenyan comedian’ to ‘comedian.’ And we adjust ‘first female Kenyan comedian to get a couture collaboration,' to ‘first comedian to get a couture collaboration,’” he said.
Despite studying architecture, Kheir is a talent manager who understands that to play in the big leagues, requires both strategy and innovation.
Just as Majimbo is a 15-time chess champion, Kheir is also a “long game” kind of person who convinced Majimbo to say no to certain brands as they waited for the big money.
“So my manager tells me all the time. ‘Don't do this now. Don't pick this campaign now' and you know, it was thousands of dollars and to me, it would seem insane,” Majimbo said in a past interview.
And after being approached with many opportunities for TV series and projects, which Majimbo and Kheir turned down, the dream team now officially has three television projects in development, which they concepted.
An example of strategy is that the world only came to know about her 15-time chess championship status when the two used it for a concept to promote the Queen’s Gambit.
In the popular Netflix original series, Majimbo explained the similarities between her and the film’s main character, Beth.
Kheir also insists that the comedian keeps the intellectual property rights for any brand collaboration concepts. Sometimes Majimbo uses her own money to film or produce campaigns to maintain the quality and consistency of her brand.
“It's almost unheard of for a comedian to rise in the speed that Elsa has, but then to also land the couture collaboration, of which we retained the IP ownership — it’s unprecedented for a comedian to do that in a period of less than a year,” Kheir explains.
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