This week we’re speaking to a familiar face, Esther Kazungu who has made us laugh and think on deeper issues. She was recommended for this segment and here is how our chat went.
1. What is your ‘why’ when it comes to content creation?
When I started out I just wanted to make people laugh, but as I grew into the person I am today went by I realized there’s a need to educate young people about so much that’s happening in our country. I also aim to encourage people who are going through certain phases in life thinking they are in it alone.
That’s as far as my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As for my YouTube channel, I also started out wanting to make people laugh on there but it has become a space where I share about my life and spiritual journey and keep memories of special occasions such as my close friends’ weddings and moments with my family. In short my YouTube is mainly for me. hehehe
2. When did you start your content creation journey?
I started creating content (short funny skits) in 2015 and started my youtube channel in 2016 when I got my first iPhone.
3. How are you able to create content that relates with your international audience?
I didn’t even know I have an international audience. Hihihi. I thought most of my international peeps are Kenyans who are abroad. But seriously though, I think my ideas have always been out of the box ideas like they were mostly ideas that anybody could relate with. And that’s not something I can take credit for. Let’s just say ni God, because He is the manufacturer. He knew everything about my thought process even before I mastered it myself.
4. Having studied media and communication, did the course equip you with advantageous skills in the content creation front?
Ummmm, I can’t fully say yes but I also can’t fully say no. hahaha. Let’s just say it wasn’t all in vain.
5. Which Bible verse has carried you through 2020?
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that surpasses all human understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’Philippians 4:6-7
And I always tie that verse to
‘Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?’ That question makes so much sense. Like why waste your time being anxious when it doesn’t solve even just part of the problem?Luke 12:25
6. As a Christian how did you transition from a holier than thou culture of judgement to accepting people who know God at their pace?
Wah! You’ll require a pamphlet for this answer. Hehe. My turning point I believe was when I fell into something I really didn’t see myself falling into. I always knew I was a perfect Christian looking for another perfect Christian guy to create the perfect Christian narrative. And so I was in a relationship where I felt like the guy I was dating wasn’t “holy enough” for me. I don’t even know what my idea of Holy was. I looked down on him and despite that, he still stuck by me.
One day I cheated on him and for the longest while I was very disgusted with myself. It hit me how fake I had been. My person surprisingly still stuck by me and that’s how I learnt about Grace. It wasn’t an immediate lesson but I’m glad I eventually saw it. This guy showed me what a God type of love looks like. While I was disgusted by my deeds he made it a point to remind me that I am not what I did. He never treated me any different. Just like God never treats us any different when we sin, so why would we treat fellow struggling Christians harshly? Who taught this to us? We’re all struggling Christians. If anyone says otherwise they are calling God a liar.
That incident led me to see so many other things that were wrong with me that needed to be dealt with. I broke up with my then guy and went on a self-discovery journey. It was very important for me to go about it while single.
You see my salvation was more of me wanting to have a perfect story that people will be interested in hearing one day – Stories like the ones I was interested in reading about, like the Lindsey’s story. Not that they are bad people, my obsession was what was toxic. I wanted my life to pan out exactly like theirs. But while I was so fixated on the idea of salvation and the idea of how I wanted my life story to pan out, I struggled because it wasn’t me and I wasn’t living. I was just pretending.
That whole self-discovery period is where I learnt about Grace.
7. Your 2018 to 2020 hair growth has been amazing, what tips would you give ladies embracing natural hair?
As Cliché as this tip sounds it’s the absolute truth. PATIENCE is Key! I still haven’t achieved all I’d like to achieve with my hair. I would really love to gain length but I’m grateful for the volume. I don’t want to sound ungrateful and needy, always asking and never appreciating.
It’s true what they say. A regimen is also key. I’m still not so consistent with my regimen – maybe that’s why I don’t have length – but I have done better than I did before 2018.
8. Do you think as women in Kenya we are becoming better at supporting each other, or are we still pulling each other apart?
I’m not so sure, I’d need actual statistics to know the answer to that but what I can say is that we’re at least striving to stop being fake. If your heart has refused to support someone instead of staying and spewing bitterness, you just move on to find someone your heart supports easily. Not everyone is at this level though but I believe we will all eventually be there. And the best part of all this is that regardless of the support we get or don’t get, God has the final say.
9. If you had to pick one, TikTok or Instagram?
Definitely Instagram. For obvious reasons, I have my biggest following and engagement on there.
10. With the numerous cases of police brutality in Kenya, what role do young people play in ensuring a system of accountability and actively standing against injustices?
One of the things young people can actively do is be vocal about the injustices, whether they have a huge following or not. And it doesn’t end on social media. These conversations should be held even at get-togethers and whatever social gatherings they attend. These conversations should be had in homes amongst siblings.
This is all a part of the bigger picture which is mass education. Young people should also seek a lot of information regarding systems in this country. We can’t all be spending time on the Entertainment side of Instagram/TikTok . We need to also follow news pages and pages that offer knowledge about different subjects from leadership to entrepreneurship. The more knowledge we have the more empowered we are and the harder it is for anyone to dupe us.
11. You constantly hint on your videos that some stories may end up in a book, should we look forward to one?
I really pray that it’s God’s will for me to write one. I wouldn’t ever want to go somewhere I wasn’t sent. Doing things God hasn’t asked us to do is always a recipe for frustration. If God says it will be so I would definitely be glad to voice everything He has taught me through what I’ve been through via a book.
12. Which are your favorite coasterian dishes?
Hands down, Biryani.
13. If you had to pick between being a comedian or an actress what would you go for?
I really don’t even know which one is less stressful. I thought I’d always be able to make people laugh but that has proven to be very difficult. Kenyans are a tough crowd. Heh! But being an actor is also not that easy. I’ve been to a couple of auditions and can’t seem to advance past the second stage. I am however hopeful. I just need to grow and some feedback. Hihihi.
I guess I’d pick acting,
14. As a creator who has said no to brands that did not value your work, what tips would you give creators to make sure they don’t sell themselves short?
What I’ve come to learn is that when you put in a great amount of work into something, you don’t let anyone devalue it. When you personally have invested so much time and money into producing a product it becomes very difficult for you to accept to be short changed.
There’s a time I would accept free gigs, but that was when I literally had made no investment in myself. I had no ring light, the first iPhone I got I actually won it through a competition. I didn’t think my creativity was a gold mine. So I’d even shy off of charging anyone since to me, whatever I was doing wasn’t “all that.” Once I started investing in myself and seeing the value of my work, my thought process changed.
The people who come after me don’t have to walk the exact same path. I would rather they start out already knowing that what they have is special even before the monetary investment. The Brands wouldn’t look for you if they didn’t need you or hadn’t seen something in you.
15. What do you imagine your legacy to be?
That just like Moses, I used whatever was in my hands to fearlessly bring forth greatness.