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With 220,000 subscribers, Winston Sterzel, a Briton who was born and raised in South Africa, is an Internet celebrity on YouTube. His videos about daily life in China, which average 100,000 views, are favored by those who are interested in China.
When Sterzel first came to China, he had nobody helping him. “I didn’t know the language or how China works. It was very overwhelming and difficult to do even a simple thing such as putting money on my phone.”
Fueled by his experiences as a newcomer in a foreign country, he started making videos that explained how foreigners could do simple tasks such as taking a Metro or a bus, or how to order food and ask for a beer in a restaurant.
He found motivation in the positive feedback he received from his subscribers. He said: “They are asking questions, such as how much does it cost in China to rent an apartment? Or I’m dating a Chinese girl, but I don’t understand why she does this or that? I kept going because my subscribers kept asking questions and I didn’t want to let them down.”
“I found that I’m the first person ever to make YouTube videos in China. I made videos so that foreigners could better understand China,” he said.
Now, every Saturday morning, Sterzel meets with his subscribers who live in or are visiting China. “We have discussions and I often give them advice.”
All of Sterzel’s videos are real footage of his personal experiences. When he has an idea, he simply hits the street with his camera.
The most important thing for his videos is to have engaging themes, and he always gets new ideas from his viewers’ comments. His videos include trendy and practical content, such as warning people to avoid scams such as black taxis in China.
Sterzel is now living with his wife in Shenzhen. He said, “Shenzhen is my favorite city for its vibrancy.”