The Indonesian mechanic influencer who turned his neighbors into youtubers

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From mechanic to ‘influencer’: Siswanto, a humble worker, achieved such success with his videos on the internet that his neighbors began to imitate him and his town became the “YouTubers town” of Indonesia.

Siswanto is very productive. He is constantly recording himself, at home, eating in a cafe or on his motorcycle, all to include more and more content on his page.

His story began four years ago when he was struggling to make a living in his mechanic shop in Kasegeran, a small town on the island of Java that most Indonesians would hardly place on the map.

He was desperate for additional income to feed his family and his odd jobs as a soybean trader or farmer weren’t enough.

Siswanto dabbled in filming humorous short videos despite having a basic internet connection, after seeing an Indonesian ‘influencer’ on television who became rich from his online videos.

“But no one was looking at them, so I stopped.”the 38-year-old man told AFP, who like many Indonesians has only one name.

He decided it wasn’t for him, until one day he was looking for mechanic tutorial videos to help him repair a customer’s motorcycle.

“I couldn’t understand them, even though I’m a mechanic”, dice. “They were too complicated”. Thus, the anecdote became a revelation and he decided to create his own videos to explain in a simple way how to carry out the basic repairs.

He pawned the mobile phone he shared with his pregnant wife and equipped himself with what he needed to start filming non-stop.

Siswanto recalls that “he was shaking and talking disorderly” in his first videos. But over the years, it has reached an audience of more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube.

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Today he has a very busy schedule and with the help of a simple mobile phone, a tripod, a microphone and a small assembly equipment, he constantly publishes many videos in which he is seen repairing motorcycles, gardening or fishing in a river in his village with an idyllic landscape in the background.

His business is booming, he says he earns up to 150 million rupees (8,800 euros, about $ 9,350) a month, which did not go unnoticed in his city. Rumors quickly spread that the mechanic had turned to black magic to enrich himself.

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