Aunt Jemimah: I hated myself when people said I looked like a man

Aunt Jemimah
Aunt Jemimah. [Photo: Courtesy]

Mercy Wangari Nguri is your ultimate dose of laughter but many know her as Aunt Jemimah.

Since her childhood in Kinoo, Kiambu County where she grew up, she wanted to work in a radio station and nothing else ever took her from this.

Aunt Jemimah describes her childhood days theatrical which is what inspired her ambition to end up in the radio industry.

Unknown to her, this was not as easy as she thought and her parents had different plans for her career path.

After secondary education, she wanted to pursue journalism but it was too expensive for her father who advised her to take up accounting as an alternative.

But this was not her passion but still took the course just to “make her parents happy.”

“I did CPA but I would still feel this is not where my heart is,” she said in Metha Ya Kagoni’ YouTube show.

Somewhere along the line, she ditched accounting classes and enrolled for a journalism course at Zetech University. However, she stayed there for only two semesters and left because she could not pay for her exam fee.

Left with no choice, she humbly went back to her CPA classes and completed her course.

Aunt Jemimah landed her first job in accounting and worked for a year before resigning due to huge workload involved.

“There was too much pressure because you start working from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm…” she recalled.

She then secured her second employments at an accounting firm in Westlands where her breakthrough into the world of comedy came through.

She would work from 9 am to 5 am, leaving her with plenty of time to be creative. In April 2016, she did her first video highlighting how Kikuyu men rudely ask women to make out with them.

She got a lot of backlash and decided to focus on accounting alone. A few months later, she came back with a viral video on Kikuyu weddings and this secured her a seat in the comedy industry.

A few more video and emceeing events, she made good money and left her accounting job to focus on comedy.

Four years later, she has become a household name and a top influencer for family-related brands. She is also a co-host on Gukena FM’s Drive Show, a job she loves so much.

Aunt Jemimah, nevertheless, pointed out that it took decisiveness and determination to make it reliving her lowest moment caused by online bullies.

She recalled an incident years back where online bullies demeaned her saying she looks masculine and it took a toll on her self-esteem.

“One of my lowest moments is when I was trolled so much on social media in 2019 and part of 2020. It got to a point and I started hating myself. People said I looked like a man which is fine because I look like my father.

“People used to say I am masculine and I took that seriously, I saw myself as not beautiful and I started hating myself.”

This affected how she related with people and she eventually had to seek therapy which has helped her navigate the world of online bullies.

Today, she has developed a thick skin for online bullies.