A chat with MaximBady: The Gambian boy making millions of dalasi on social media

Written by Alieu Khan

Gambians have talents and MaximBady, a UK-based young Gambian has turned what started as a classroom joke into a million dalasis affair. With more than a million social media followers, he has signed up for appearances with the BBC. He explains his journey in this exclusive interview which reads below. 

What’s On-Gambia: Tell us briefly about yourself and your childhood days in The Gambia?

MaximBady:I am a Mandinka boy, born and raised in The Gambia. I had a normal Gambian childhood, nothing out of the ordinary. My parents did their best to provide all the basic needs for me and my 4 siblings and we are forever grateful to them.

When and why did you move to the UK?

I moved to UK around 2011 to study. I wanted to learn something that has to do with computers because I wanted to work with computers. I was not sure what I wanted to do with computers, but I knew I wanted to work on them.

How often do you visit The Gambia?

Unfortunately, since I came to UK, I have not visited The Gambia yet even thought I have been to almost every country in Western Europe. I am currently in Belgium for a while but I will visit The Gambia for sure this year.

How did you start making videos and posting them online?

We were learning how to edit videos in college and I was just being silly in class making jokes and editing those jokes, instead of the stock videos our tutor gave us to edit. When I finished editing them roughly, I played it in class and all my class mates started laughing, including the tutor. Then they advised me to upload them on the internet. So, I did and people kept sharing them to their friends. But most of those early videos have been deleted now.

Which video do you think catapult you into international fame?

It was my first ever video of me on camera making a super hyped up Kanye West song review that got me some attention at first, but I think the video that sealed the deal is my Hey Baby comedy song.

When you started, were your parents worried that you were spending a lot of time online?

My mum did not even understand what was going on or how big it is, until recently when I started working with BBC. So, she never had an opinion about it, but she did ask whether I was making money of it and I said yes and she said that’s good. But when I told her I will be on BBC from now on, she said ‘waw you must be big then’. My dad passed away in 2007. May his soul rest in peace.

You have more than one million subscribers, on both Facebook and YouTube. How rich are you now?

(Laughs) In my eyes I am not rich at all. I have friends that are rich and work with people that are rich and their net worth makes mine look like chicken change.

Who manages you?

A guy called Albert with his management company called ASM in London.

Do you think you will ever stop making videos?

Yes. Not any time soon.

How do you deal with trolls?

I either make a video about them or ignore them completely

When will you start making videos about The Gambia?

(Laughs) Never! I don't want any trouble!

Are there any Gambian comedians that you follow?

I can't think of any recent ones right now, but I remember all the funny Gambian comedians I used to watch and love when I was in The Gambia. But I don't see any of them online.

What do you do in your spare time outside video making?

Chatting with family and friends, watching TV shows on my laptop, reading, playing video games, eating at restaurants etc.

Favorite Gambian food?

Durango, of course!

Favorite Gambian musicians?

Singhateh, S.T, Gee and many more and I still listen to Demba Conta.

I must say, these guys, I like their music but I like who they are and what they do even more than I like their music.

Favorite Gambian website?

The only Gambian website I visit is What’s On- Gambia, so that has to be it.

Any final words?

Try to be pragmatic as much as possible and you will see your life change for the better.

Thank you for having me.