Gone are the days when only men could openly laugh and joke while women had to remain coy. Today there is a new breed of women doing comedy who are rivaling men in their niche. One such name that comes to the fore is India’s Prajakta Koli. Prajakta, is a YouTuber who is popularly known for her YouTube videos “MostlySane”. She is a comedienne with the largest YouTube fan-base in India. Her funny videos are based on her everyday life situations and experiences. Prajakta Koli, the woman behind the success of ‘Mostly Sane” is an Indian YouTube celebrity, comedienne, blogger, social activist, and rapper from Mumbai. She has 5.2 million YouTube subscribers, 646 million total views, 500+ videos, and sponsorship from various brands. She also has over 1.8 million followers on Instagram.
Growing Up In Mumbai
Prajakta Koli was born in Mumbai on June 27, 1993. She lives with her father Manoj, mother Archana and elder brother Nishant Koli. She studied at Vasant Vihar High School where she participated in every debate and elocution competition. Being a good orator, her teachers at Vasant Vihar High School in Thane picked her to read news and lead the pledge at morning assemblies.
At the age of 11 years, Prajakta decided to become a radio jockey. Her strong oratory skills and her love for FM channels influenced this career choice. Much later in 2014-15, she would realize, the dream she had harbored all her life as a radio jockey, was to fail miserably.
She went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media from V.G. Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce. A week after her third-year final exams, she joined Fever 104 as an intern.
As an intern, Fever 104 FM radio station in Mumbai, was the ‘perfect dream opportunity’. However, it was at this very place that her rose-tinted vision shattered. Prajakta saw radio jockeys were not always ‘live’ but most of their programs were pre-recorded. Also the 14-hour work shifts, mostly helping around the production team were grueling. Finally, after 9 months of internship, when she got a break as a radio jockey to host her own first late night-show, Call Centre, (12 midnight to 2 am) it flopped miserably. That was the end to Prajakta Koli’s radio jockey dreams. It was the wrong career choice and she quit. Life had just thrown her a curveball.
From there on one may think the transition to YouTube in 2015 was a cakewalk. But not exactly. She started her YouTube channel with the video ‘Types of Singles’ that was uploaded on Valentine’s Day, 2015. She did not experience immediate success but struggled quite a bit to gain followers. Her June 2015 video on ‘10 hilarious words Delhi-ites use’, got noticed, and in 2 months she went from 3000 subscribers to 30,000. Then again came the lull. Subscribers were not growing, the content was becoming irrelevant and Prajakta almost thought of quitting this too. In 2017, came the turning point with her video, ‘Types of people on Whatsapp groups’ that helped her reach 3 million subscribers.
Today, Prajakta Koli’s illustrious career is managed by the Mumbai-based media company ‘One Digital Entertainment’.
A comedienne with a Social Cause
Prajakta’s journey is filled with superlatives. She has contributed beyond humorous videos, taking up numerous social causes. She has been actively supporting campaigns about girls’ education, anti-bullying, mental health awareness, and responsible social media usage.
– In October 2016, on the occasion of ‘World Mental Health Day’, she started a campaign called ‘#iPledgeToBeMe’ where she also wrote and released a rap song ‘Shameless’ sharing her experiences with body shaming.
– She represented India as a delegate at the Obama Foundation to attend the town hall meeting (Dec 2017) addressed by President Barack Obama.
– She became the Indian ambassador for ‘Creators For Change’ in May 2018, which addresses issues like hate speech, xenophobia and extremism. To ‘ that the issues she made her own video titled ‘No Offence’ that was shown in the United Nations as part of their International Day of Tolerance.
– In December 2018, to highlight the bane of fake news on WhatsApp, Prajakta did a national TV awareness commercial to address the issue.
– She recorded an interview in April 2019 with YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, about YouTube’s social responsibility and future plans.
– She attended Goalkeepers, New York, (Sept 2019), an initiative by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
– In 2020, Prajakta collaborates with Liza Koshy and Thembe Mahlaba for ‘Creators For Change’, a YouTube original to interview celebrities and their causes like Michelle Obama on education for girls.
– Recently, the Indian YouTube sensation Prajakta Koli represented India at the “Dear Class of 2020” live-streamed on June 6, 2020, via YouTube. A part of the virtual graduation ceremony, ‘Dear Class of 2020’ an initiative by the Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama was a global platform to reduce in-person gatherings on account of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and yet be able to celebrate a milestone in the life of a student.
She’s also got her hands full in 2020 with the launch of her show ‘PrettyFit’.
And thus the power list goes on….
Awards and Recognition
- Appears on the cover of Business World (April 2020) as one of the Most Influential Women.
- Is listed on Grazia India magazine (Jan 2020) annual “Cool list”.
- Wins ‘Women of Worth’ at the ‘Outlook Business’ magazine’s award, March 2019.
- She features in the ‘30 Under 30’ issue of ‘Forbes India’ magazine and the ’35 Under 35’ article of ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine, 2019.
- Receives ‘YouTuber of the Year’ award at the ‘Cosmopolitan India Blogger Awards’, 2019.
- Prajakta is the young face of fashion in 2018 for H&M’s online store.
- Wins ‘Viral Queen of the Year’, 2018 at the IWM Digital Awards.
When life throws you a curveball just hit it hard… and that’s what we all have to learn from Prajakta Koli.