Interview: George ‘M-Pesa Lady’ Kagwe, One of Kenya’s Biggest TikTok Stars
George Kagwe, popularly known as M-pesa lady, is a renowned Kenyan comedian who rose to stardom with his witty reaction videos by M-pesa agents.
I caught up with him on email to find out about his creative prowess behind being one of the country’s most popular creators on TikTok. TikTok has become one of the most downloaded applications to date, allowing users to view, and express themselves by sharing short-form videos.
KenyaBuzz: First, what are the basics to creating a good TikTok video according to you?
It depends on the type of content you want to create on the platform. For example, for dancing you need a lot of coordination. Overall, you just need to create content and keep on being creative with the various tools the platform has provided. You should try it! LOL!
KenyaBuzz: When did you decide to join TikTok?
I joined TikTok when it was formerly musical.ly. I played around with it and then fell off the bandwagon. I later joined TikTok again in 2017/18 and became active when a lady, whom I credit the #mpesaladychallenge to, named Flora Alya brought one of my characters to the platform. That was HUGE!
KenyaBuzz: You have built a steady, (very) interactive audience within a short period. How would you describe the fans’ reception to your videos?
TikTok is a platform that I did not have in mind in my strategy when I started creating videos. However, consumers whom we call our fans are the ones who requested me to be on the platform and to be active. The reception was amazing! It was and still is amazing to see the kind of responses I get on the platform on the various pieces of content I put out. Consumers are supreme, it is vital to listen to them!
KenyaBuzz: TikTok has given rise to new household names, Azziad Nassenya topping the list. As a creator yourself, is TikTok the future?
TikTok is definitely the present and the future! Every social media platform has taken us to a higher floor in the content and community game. TikTok has enhanced the content creation game by providing almost everything you require through filters, audios, instructions etc. Azziad is a great example of what this platform can do for a normal user who is not a celebrity. And that is where TikTok wins, they have focused on the normal consumer rather than focusing on ‘celebrities. TikTok also makes it way easier than any other platform to cross share your content to other platforms at the click of a button.
KenyaBuzz: From “put your finger down”, “banana drop” to “weave me alone”, you’ve done almost every single one of TikTok’s popular challenges. Do you have a favorite, and why?
KenyaBuzz: TikTok has become a super fun experience for many. However, not all challenges are as easy as 1-2-3 to create. Any particular one that took you a while to fully create?
Hehehe! You should see my drafts! #catchthesplash was a hard one! I think I did about 6 attempts on that challenge because it needed to be precise, matching the audio with the lip synch and also the picture/ video.
KenyaBuzz: Needless to say, you have brought so much joy to Kenyans especially during these uncertain times. What can we expect from “m-pesa” lady in the days to come?
There are great things coming that are in the pipeline. From long form shows harbored on social media to new concepts that we are developing. We definitely want to keep guys happy, smiling and optimistic now and in the days to come, of course, God willing! I am super humbled by the response from the audience, may God bless them mightily!