“You are the biggest barrier to conquer your dreams. You are the only thing stopping yourself!”Shannon Harris  (Shaaanxo)

New Zealand is recognized for state-of-the-art technical innovation with a number of local companies leading research into IT technologies.

I was at my local mall recently and came across two pre-teens with a camera. I asked them what they were doing and was told they were gathering footage for their respective You Tube channels. They impressed me with their focus and desire to succeed as vlogers. As a result, I came home and checked out mangoman1113.

Have a look:


You Tube hosts a number of very successful Kiwi vloggers. Viva La Dirt League proves my point.

Three Kiwi lads Rowan Bettjeman, Alan Morrison and Adam King got together a while back and decided to act up in short videos. They uploaded them to You Tube and within a short time, they had a following. Calling themselves Viva La Dirt League, the nerdy trio found a hit on their hands with their series Epic NPC Man. Their comedy skits are inspired by games and are structured to appeal to gamers.

Rowan. Adam. Alan.

Their first series was called Bored and that’s probably what happened as they struggled for two years to find an audience. Then they released episode 46 with a video called Girl Gamer when they hit on the idea to shorten it and make it a meme. That was the spark that lit the fuse to their success.

Here is that clip:

The boys use Howick Historical Village as the setting for their videos and have become an attraction themselves as their fame has spread. In fact, they are currently the second most successful of all New Zealand YouTubers.

After the success of Epic NPC Man, they have come up Wild Card and PUBG Logic which poke fun at plot points and cliches from their favourite video games.

The lads release 3 videos every week and none of the clips are structured. They arrive at the filming location with ideas but no script so make it up as they go along while taking turns acting, directing and filming. Their hard work and persistence against the initial lack of success has paid off because Rowan and Alan have recently given up their day jobs with the money they get from their  productions.  Making money from the internet is not an easy thing to do so they are lucky they are among those who do make a living from online activity. They have a choice of 6 streams to choose from on their You Tube channel. Apart from the ones I’ve already mentioned, there are also Hearthstone Skits, music videos and Let’s Play. Although the clips are only a couple of minutes long, there is a lot of content to provide every week so you have to admire their output.

Here is the link to their You Tube channel:


Viva La Dirt League has now launched another show. A NZ Government arts funding body and YouTube have co-funded  REKT which follows a group of Kiwi gamers attempting to compete on the international e-sport circuit. This show is more structured than their previous works and the episodes are longer so this will help the boys better develop their film making skills and I feel it will appeal to a different audience too.

Here is episode 1 of REKT

The trio received YouTube’s Silver Play Button award after gaining 100,000 subscribers. They have now passed 200,000 subscribers and are focused on the second trophy YouTube sends out when subscribers pass a million. They want to be New Zealand’s No1 YouTubers and topple Kiwi beauty vlogger Shaaanxo off the No1 spot. “We’re bigger than the All Blacks on YouTube.” Rowan boasted in a recent interview.


Jamie Curry

Jamie Curry was nominated Favourite Australian/New Zealand Internet Sensation in Nickelodeon’s 2015 Kid’s Choice Awards. This popular Kiwi vlogger created Jamie’s World in 2012. These series of videos on her You Tube channel feature various antics that she seems to make up as she goes along, (like Rowan, Adam and Alan). Her first video White and Nerdy quickly gained a following and within a year, Jamie was reaching an audience of 7 million viewers a week.  Encouraged by this amazing success, she co-authored a book called They Let Me Write A Book! and in 2016 during a trip to Antarctica, she shot footage for Jamie’s World on Ice. This series was made with the help of a professional journalist and quickly became another hit series for the 22 year old kiwi vlogger.

Check out episode 1 of Jamie’s World on Ice here:

The Sociabl app connects fans to their idols for dollars. The app makes it possible to chat to celebrities at up to $100.000 for an A-lister. Jamie is on the roster and a chat with her will cost $3000! I guess this indicates her impressive status as a popular internet celebrity.


Shaaanxo is currently the #1 Kiwi blogger with 2.5 million subscribers watching her beauty tip videos on her channel. These clips are really informercials for beauty products and don’t require the imaginative input that Rowan, Adam and Alan invest in their productions. However, they require a lot of energy to source a never ending range of products to test and promote each week.

Shannon Harris (Shaaanxo)

As a young girl, Shannon spent hours gazing at You Tube clips of people teaching viewers how to apply makeup. When she reached her mid teens, she decided she could do it too. After all, she had a passion for makeup so it seemed a fun way to make some money. “I feel like my skills have grown hugely, and I have hundreds of thousands of people following me from around the world! YouTube became my hugest hobby and eventually my job. My makeup collection kept growing and growing. I have never been happier!”

Shannon is a firm believer in her own abilities and I think her popularity online is due to this positive attitude that comes through during her sales pitches. She encourages her audience to follow their dreams. “Last year I launched my very own brand. It was something I had always wanted, but also something that I had always told myself was unrealistic. I flicked that switch in my brain, and started to say ‘I can do this!’, and now look, I did it! This is one reason positivity is so important in my life. You are the biggest barrier to conquer your dreams. You are the only thing stopping yourself!”

It took a year to gain an audience but now Shannon attracts more than 6 million views each month. Female viewers value her opinions and her “beauty channel” is currently the 4th most successful in the world. It is estimated she earns up to $375,000 a year.

Here she is:

Apart from her millions of subscribers, the 23 year old entrepreneur, who started her makeup tutorials in 2009, boasts over 3 million Facebook likes,1 million Instagram followers and 207,000 Twitter followers.

There are other Kiwi Youtubers out there slowly building up an audience for their videos and it will be no surprise to me that there will soon be others who have audience numbers to rival the above internet entertainers. If you watch the material being produced by these people, it becomes clear that the quirky kiwi humour they present is one of the factors that has made each so successful internationally.

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I came across two young boys at the mall with a camera. The second boy was Liam Hansen. As he admits on his new You Tube site, he is an internet novice but I’m sure in no time, he will be another Kiwi success.

Check out his first video called ‘Finga sk8’

Ceidrik Heward

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