The world’s oldest YouTuber has passed away. 107-year-old Mastannama from Andhra’s Guntur village, who cooked delicious local recipes from scratch, and shot to fame through her YouTube channel Country Foods, is no more. Country Foods had become one of the most widely viewed channels with around 12 lakh subscribers in just two years.
The channel was first started by K Laxman and his friend Srinath Reddy, both mediapersons from Hyderabad. In 2016, Laxman, who was a distant relative of Mastanamma, shared a video in which the elderly woman prepared a delectable brinjal curry for him and his friends. Laxman posted the video on YouTube and in no time, the single video had around 75,000 views. Soon, Mastannama’s watermelon chicken curry, kebabs, biryani and her village style KFC chicken crossed borders. She celebrated her 106th birthday last year with the money sent by her admirers worldwide.
Each of Mastanamma’s cooking videos began from scratch. What made her videos popular with her viewers was the proximity to nature, easily available ingredients and of course the 107-year-old’s relentless spirit and her toothless smile.
Married off at the age of 11, Mastanamma had five children, of whom only one son is alive today. Her husband died when she was just 22 years old, leaving her to raise all the children on her own.
Mastanamma could cook anything, but seafood was her specialty. Living on the banks of a river in Guntur all her life, she figured out all the recipes by herself. She also had a unique preparation method before beginning to cook. Mastanamma peeled potatoes, gingers and even tomatoes with her fingers and used only the fleshy inside parts for cooking. She even had her own distinct style to crack open an egg.
In an interview to TNM last year, Srinath recalls their first meeting with Mastanamma. "She was so active, and led such a busy lifestyle. She loved to be independent, and lived alone, while her son stayed in a house adjacent to hers. We loved her attitude, and decided to shoot videos with her," Srinath said.
Mastanamma had probably fallen sick in the past 6 months as Country Foods had stopped posting her videos for a while. Fans had become restless and inquired about the 107-year-old’s health. The YouTube channel on Monday finally posted a video on the last journey of Mastanamma and broke the news of her death to her fans.