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The remarkable rise of Munya Chawawa – 2020’s breakout star

17 December 2020

If the pandemic has given us anything, anything at all, it’s the endearing presence of Munya Chawawa. The producer turned comedian blessed our feeds this year and kept us entertained during one of the most uncertain periods in our lives with a series of parodies and skits that warranted viral success every single time. Before many of us can even process the latest in UK news and culture, Chawawa has already offered a satirist take on the discourse while the topic still remains a trending point of discussion. Just this week alone, following the announcement of London’s move to Tier 3, the comedian released a video on the government’s decision hours after the news broke. Performing under the alias “BoJo” on a sample of Jojo’s Leave (Get Out) – which the singer herself even retweeted – saw the entertainer yet again, attract and expand a wider audience.

Chawawa, who previously worked as a producer for Red Bull, started building his presence on Instagram after not getting a job as a presenter at 4Music. Despite assuming the task of writing joke-led scripts for personalities on the channel’s show, Trending Live, his social media following wasn’t enough to warrant a spot on-camera. In response, Chawawa began producing bi-weekly sketches on Instagram and soon his follower count grew, earning him a presenting gig on the show right before it was cancelled. However, little did he know that his emerging presence on Instagram would mark the journey of his role as 2020’s biggest breakout star.

After two years of entertaining people on Instagram, it was lockdown – as for many digital creatives – that truly catapulted his career. Off the back of countless parodies which included mainstream media’s coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests, Tory MP’s votes against free school meals and my personal favourite, his take on Pure Gym’s “slavery workout”, the comedian has since amassed over half a million of followers on Instagram and over 300K on TikTok. Last month alone, he signed a major label record deal under one his most popular aliases, Unknown P – a posh drill rapper – and received a MOBO nomination in the award ceremony’s new media personality category. And to top it off, this week, the entertainer revealed his new writing role for Netflix ’s upcoming series Death to 2020 – not to forget to mention that he hosts the streaming service’s web series, Netflix News.

Chawawa’s worth ethic is truly unmatched. His ability to consistently upload and hit the mark each time without fail is what has gained him a loyal following amongst both Gen Z’s and Millennials. It’s even reached top tier influencer demand in the sense that his followers and non-followers eagerly await for the comedian’s take on the latest announcements or controversies, often borderline harassing him. And despite his overflowing surge of brand collaborations and exponential audience growth, Chawawa always remains true to his brand – a rarity in this digital age.

By Jennifer Adetoro, culture editor of CORQ.