ARWIND KUMAR started his journey as a YouTube star seven years ago, in 2012. Initially, his attempts at making viral content were not successful, so Arwind changed his strategy.
He decided to adopt a persona. Donning a wig and some make up, he transformed himself into Aunty Chai Ling. Later, he created another personality known as MakCik Roast-mah by throwing on a shawl, and adding some over-the-top makeup, a pair of spectacles and dispensing sarcastic remarks.
He hit the jackpot. His MakCik Roast-mah character, in particular, became a sensational hit.
Through his videos, the 24-year-old lad has been able to tackle some serious, previously-taboo issues ranging from sex education to bullying, all with a touch of humour and wit.
He has also been able to meet and interview some Hollywood actors such as Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds.
Did you always want to be a YouTube star?
“I just wanted a platform to make people smile and laugh. I have always considered myself an entertainer and a content creator, and never a YouTube star. I want to create content that is unique and stands out.”
Tell us more about MakCik Roast-mah.
“Everyone assumes that I have based my character on someone famous. But that is not true. I have not based her on anybody alive or dead.
“She is a figment of my imagination and perhaps, she could be a part of my personality. She is motherly, and has struck a chord with people of different ages and races.
“My videos are truly Malaysian. They have three races ... the Indian [character] is me, the Chinese is Aunty Chai Ling, and the Malay is MakCik Roast-mah.
“I am sad that [fewer] people talk about Aunty Chai Ling. I am planning to make Aunty Chai Ling and MakCik Roast-mah appear in the same video in a near future. It is going to be an inspirational video. It is going to make people cry.”
I heard you will be acting in a horror-comedy film soon.
Yes. The film is called Takut Ke Tak! [It will be directed by] Muzzamer Rahman. The film will hit cinemas at the end of the year. It is about a group of film students making a horror film.
“This is my second attempt at acting. The first time I acted was way back in 2017. It was a romance film called By My Side. I played a supporting role.”
Where will we see you five years from now?
“I would like to have a talk show like Oprah [Winfrey] and Ellen [Degeneres]. I want to highlight issues that are important and inspire people.
“I have gone through some dark moments in my life. I understand what depression is all about. It took me two years to get out from my own ocean of darkness.”
What caused these dark moments?
“I lost a great friendship that lasted more than seven years. I thought we would be friends forever. I have learned the hardest lesson in life; [that] nothing is permanent in life.”
I heard you were bullied in secondary school. Is that true?
“Yes. I never told anyone, including my parents, about the bullying. I even thought of killing myself. I thought it was my fault that I was picked on. I kept my emotions bottled up inside and it consumed me. I felt less alive.
“But things got better when I was in Form Five. The seniors had left. No one picked on me anymore.
“I did not want to be negative about what had happened to me. I wanted to make myself laugh. So I started making the YouTube videos to make myself laugh first.”
I hear you run a school for underprivileged kids. Tell us more.
“My mother started the school ten years ago and I help her to run the school. We provide free tuition and dance classes. We bear college fees for certain students. We try to find jobs for students.
“From time to time we hold several workshops, from baking to art therapy. We just started giving yoga classes. We called our school Gurukul. In Sanskrit, Gurukul means an extended family of a teacher.”
What is your strength, and your weakness?
“My strength is my mother. She inspires me to be a better person. Whatever I do in my life, I always get her blessing.
“My weakness is my mother, too. I can’t imagine my life without her. I think I will have a tough time when she is no longer in my life.”