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Maraji Meet the Nigerian creative who turned social media to her audience

Real name, Gloria Oluruntobi, she looks to only be getting started as the bags roll in.

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Maraji Pulse play

Maraji, born Gloria Oloruntobi is an internet star

(Bella Naija)

Maraji is a Nigerian millennial familiar. She has over 900,000 followers on Instagram and another 69,000 on Twitter. Both accounts carry the name, @Maraji_

The internet and social media were always going to make stats and create new opportunities as they abridge the gap between creators of all kinds and consumers.

Consumerism is now a transformed concept with better inclusion from other angles that now include social media and that is only going to progress.

Nigeria came slightly late to the party. While certain people were getting rich on Facebook and businesses were becoming more accessible by creating pages, the era of the influencer was birthed in Twitter, but Nigerian brands didn’t fully appreciate that reality.

Nonetheless, OGs like @TweetOracle have been securing this ‘influencer bag’ for a few years now. The real stars were however birthed with the social media comedians as the first generation.

 

Circa 2011, creators like Craze Clown, Mark Angel and his protege, Emmanuella, EmmaOhMaGad and importantly, Maraji — who came slightly later — became stars by leveraging their raw talent.

Social media gave them the platform and content were being consumed almost instantaneously. At the root of their respective successes are internet, social media, talent, originality, great content, creativity, videographic sense and a a sense of direction.

Seven years later, Maraji is a star. Her videos generate thousands of views across all social media platforms and YouTube. Through the ever changing scape of advertising, she also started making money.

Asides that, her talent has also be noticed by a few. In 2017, rapper Falz — another beneficiary of social media comics — tapped her to be a lead character in his music video for single, Something Light opposite, Ycee.

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Who then is Maraji?

Real name, Gloria Oluruntobi and born on February 6, 1997. She has one sister and two brothers. She also seems family oriented as her mother regularly features on her skits.

She is a 21-year old comedian, actor, singer, dancer and creative from Edo State — though she grew up in Lagos.

play Maraji, when she graduated from Covenant University (Vibe NG)

 

In 2017, she graduated from Covenant University, Nigeria with a 2:1 in International Relations before completing her National Youth Service Corps.

 

You might know her. She is that you see on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube, with the handle, Maraji where she mimics numerous Nigerian peculiarities for humour and empirical relevance.

Usually, she plays multiple roles in these videos and effortlessly switches between accents and vocal pitches to suit each character she plays, all in two minute or under videos.

Through she years, she has worked to earn a reputation in an industry that only recognises prowess or connections.

How she started

play Maraji is a king at making faces (Twitter)

 

Interestingly, Stargist claims she started out by uploading lip-sync videos in social media. When those made her famous, she moved into comedy skits.

In an April 2016 with R2TV Breakfast Show, she claimed that her lip-sync sojourn started when she was in her third year, second semester and she was bored — like she always is.

She says a Nicki Minaj video led to her first lip-sync video. She says that she did a lip-sync of that song, and sent it to a friend who suggested she put it up, but she was reluctant due to fear of being mocked.

 

The friend neglected her reservations and posted it in her behalf — and it started, they started lip-syncing together. But then, it reached a whole new level when she did a lip-sync of Reekado Bank’s song, Sugar Baby.

play One of Mraji's earliest successes was based off lip-syncing a Korede Bello Song (Buzz Nigeria)

 

He reposted and people started flocking to her page. Then, she did for Korede Bello and other acts. The response even blew her away.

She says, “people started making it feel like it was so special. I was like ‘it’s not that hard ooo’ and then they started making me feel like it was a real big thing, so I was like maybe it’s actually a talent.”

From there, she moved to mimicking comical videos and the story started.

It is also obvious that she is very laid back and playful, and creates fun off even the slightest, overlooked things.

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Her strength

Relatable narratives told with humour accuracy and other extras like added pinches of underground exclamation or funny sound drops.

 

Asides that, it is mind-blowing that she is able to portray different characters within the space of minutes. Others doubt it’s her, but speaking to R2TV Breakfast Show, she confirmed it was all her ‘it’s not Jenifa.’

Her creative process

Interestingly, she claims that she never knew she would be on this path, but it makes sense that she tells Bella Naija that she is never satisfied.

For her creative process, she says she pens her ideas down, before spending tow hours shooting and editing. The entire process for those skits, takes, “a day or two before the final content is ready to go up.”

Generally

Oloruntobi told Bella Naija that she likes Jollof rice, prefers Twitter to Instagram, likes hanging out with friends, has no role models and wants to be the richest African female, Under 30.

In 2016, she told R2TV that she prefers acting to dancing, but will not be dropping her skits.

 

Currently, she hasn’t dropped making skits, yet. But she has definitely branched out into other things.

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