Indian Grandmother Becomes YouTube Star

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rise to fame / raɪz tə feɪm / (idiom) – to gain popularity

    He rose to fame after starring in the popular TV show.

  2. sketch / skɛtʃ / (n.) – a short, humorous act or performance

    The writer is working on a script for a new comedy sketch.

  3. rural / ˈrʊər əl / (adj.) – relating to the characteristics of the countryside

    A lot of rural areas have poor internet connectivity.

  4. illiterate / ɪˈlɪt ər ɪt / (adj.) – not able to read or write

    Through the new education program, illiterate villagers will learn how to read and write.

  5. formal / ˈfɔr məl / (adj.) – describing an education that is received in a school

    The famous chef didn’t have any formal culinary training; he just learned to cook by experimenting with different recipes at home.


Read the text below.

An Indian grandmother reached celebrity status after starring in YouTube videos.

Gangavva Milkuri [GUHNG-guh-vuh MIL-ku-ree] rose to fame through her son-in-law’s YouTube channel called “My Village Show.” With more than 1.6 million subscribers, the channel features funny sketches about rural life and culture.

Gangavva appeared in a few videos on the channel as a guest before becoming more involved in 2017. When she became a regular part of the show, the channel started to attract more viewers. According to her son-in-law, Gangavva appeals to fans because they find her expressive acting and humor entertaining.

Before becoming a YouTube star, Gangavva led a difficult life. She is illiterate and had no formal education beyond first grade. She dealt with an alcoholic husband and looked after her children all by herself. To support her family, she worked on her in-laws’ farm and rolled cigarettes.

Gangavva said that she did not know about YouTube before being featured in her son-in-law’s show. She thought that he was wasting his time by filming plants and trees in the village.

Gangavva’s life has changed drastically since she became a famous YouTube star. Her popularity even landed her roles in some mainstream films in India. Through the advertisements shown in her videos, Gangavva was able to secure a steady income, which she used to settle her debts. She and her son-in-law also shared the earnings with their village.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Gangavva will be able to maintain her popularity in the next few years? Why or why not?
• What else should Gangavva do with the money she gets from YouTube (e.g. invest it in a business)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s a good idea to share one’s lifestyle with the public through social media? Why or why not?
• What kind of content would you like people to share more on social media? Why?