Mary Joseph Mampilly is an influencer at 87

Mary and her grandson Jinson Mampilly make short meaningful videos for their social media platforms

Octogenarian Mary Joseph Mampilly has more followers on her Facebook page than an average celebrity. Her page, handled by her grandson Jinson Mampilly, has over 8,35,000 followers. The duo started making short videos in 2018, which resonated with people and in less than three years, they are social media influencers.

87-year-old Mary may not exactly know what an influencer means, but she understands the potential of the internet. “I do what Jinson tells me, but I am mostly myself,” says Mary, over the phone from her home in North Paravur near Kochi. “And that is why people love our videos. Most of it is spontaneous, and people love Ammama’s wise-cracks,” says Jinson.

Their Facebook handle — ‘Ammammayude Kochumon’ — showcases the relationship between the grandmother and grandson. Jinson creates the content for the videos and Mary features in all of them with Jinson. The light, conversational narrative keeps viewers engaged, says Jinson. “Though we create fun situations based on our generation gap for the videos, most of them contain some message for the viewers,” he adds.

For instance, one of their videos shows Mary and Jinson taking a ride on his motorcycle. “Ammamma told me it was her desire to get on the bike and I promptly made a video out of it. It went viral the moment it was posted and comments poured in from viewers. This should motivate grandchildren to spend time with their grandparents, take them out and enjoy the relationship,” Jinson says. Facebook, as a platform, has helped them connect with a wider audience not just in Kerala, but across the country, says Jinson.

Film break

Mary’s unaffected, casual style landed her movies and ad-films. She acted in the Malayalam film Maniyarayile Ashokan (2020) produced by Dulquer Salman and later in the Telugu film Uthkanda. She recently acted in a Kerala Government ad-film.

Jinson accompanies his grandmother on her shoots and says she is quite comfortable with the attention.

They are also on YouTube, under the same title ‘Ammammayude Kochumon’, and have 1,88,000 subscribers.

During the lockdown months, Jinson started involving his entire family in the videos, which were also well received by their viewers.

Ammamma’s Special Pickles

Buoyed by their social media success, Mary and Jinson launched ‘Ammamma Special Pickles’ in 2019. The first batch, about five kilos of beef pickle, was a winner and sold out in no time. Today Ammamma Special Pickle selling fish, prawn, beef, chicken, mango, lemon, gooseberry and garlic pickle has outlets near Nedumbassery airport and Thrissur. “These are Ammamma’s tried-and-tested traditional recipes, handed down to my mother and the others in the family,” says Jinson.

The duo will keep doing videos on “little things”, says Jinson, while he hopes to expand the pickle business abroad as well.

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