Pham Quang Linh, a 25-year-old lad from Vietnam, is an Asian YouTuber with a large subscriber count thanks to tenaciously uploading videos from Angola about the life of the locals and the work that he and his friends have been doing in this country.
Born in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An, Linh has starred in a beautiful story in Africa. After graduating from high school, Linh left Vietnam for Angola to find a new life as a construction worker in 2016.
Linh has created a beautiful story in Africa. Photo: African team
“When given the choice between Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Angola, I opted for Angola. Bringing Vietnamese culture to Africa has always been my aspiration. I am very happy that the Angolan people know more about the Vietnamese culture and I want to spread it more widely in Africa,” Linh shared with The Hanoi Times.
Coming to a new country, it was hard to get in touch with a different culture and people of different skin colors. Fortunately, Linh was enthusiastically helped by a local guy named Manuel Arlindo (commonly known as Lindo). The two became close and have always been together during the volunteer trips.
“The Angolans that I have the opportunity to meet, interact and work with are very friendly and cheerful. In Angola, the Vietnamese are very popular. My path to volunteering was very natural,” Linh said.
A Vietnamese traditional Tết (Lunar New Year) atmosphere was set up by Linh and his friend in Angola. Photo: African team
"Linh has a warm heart and always sympathizes with us. When we were lacking a lot of things to organize a party, Linh gave us a cake and a box of candies which was more than enough for us for such a village event," Lindo told The Hanoi Times.
Despite his success, Linh admitted it hasn't all been plain sailing so far. "At present, I still can't communicate very well. The locals’ Portuguese is difficult to understand," he added.
Many Vietnamese subscribers to Linh’s YouTube channel said they were touched at seeing a Vietnamese being welcomed and loved by so many African friends.
Funding for Linh and his group’s charity activities comes from monetizing his YouTube channels, he said, adding that the charity journey in Angola has been made out of the heart of each group member. Linh was enthusiastically helped by the locals when he first arrived and now, he wants to return the favor.
Then Linh came up with the idea of creating a YouTube channel to save the moments of his routine in Angola. He named it “Quang Linh Vlogs - Life in Africa”. The channel and a stone workshop opened in 2019 are Linh’s sources of income.
"I shoot the activities at the stone workshop and upload the videos to YouTube so that my relatives get informed about my life here. I have never expected that those videos would get so much attention,” Linh said.
The income from monetizing his YouTube channel allows Linh to form a charity group consisting of Vietnamese and Angolans. Linh was even able to build houses for Lindo and three other Angolan men in his group. The YouTube channel is often referred to by the name “African team”.
Although the videos were shot in poor image quality, they went viral due to the rustic, simple, and authentic way of telling the story.
Linh, Lindo and an Angolan baby introduce dried chicken products on their YouTube channel. Photo: African team
“At first, I uploaded videos with no intention to make money, but save my memories in a far-away place with a completely different culture,” Linh said.
“Quang Linh Vlogs - Life in Africa” now has nearly three million subscribers.
While there are millions of YouTube channels on famous tourist sites, fancy hotels, and weird stories, his channel stands out for dealing with the humble life of people in Africa. It reached the gold button of the million subscribers after only one year.
“My YouTube channel mainly broadcasts videos about Angolan people's everyday lives. Videos of me buying gifts and essentials for poor kids in Bailundo receive applause from Vietnamese all over the world,” Linh told The Hanoi Times.
Videos like the one about him teaching Vietnamese nursery rhymes to children in Angola draw huge interest from netizens who passionately share them and make them go viral.
Besides the channel “Quang Linh Vlogs - Life in Africa”, Linh and his team developed a YouTube channel named “African Cuisine” with a subscriber count of more than 600,000 about Vietnamese and African food.
Besides disseminating about the humble life of Angolans, Linh’s group is helping local people grow crops with great success.
Linh's groups help Angolan people in farming. Photo: African team
Short-term crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, Vietnamese corn seeds, and cassava have so far been planted by local people with support from Linh and his friends.
“It was a weekend morning, although very tired; we still woke up early because we had to drive a special vehicle to transport machinery from Luanda to Bailundo. There we drilled wells to provide water for people. Seeing us from afar, dozens of people shouted with joy. They raised their hands and then gradually crossed their fingers, signifying that they were counting the days for us to come,” Linh recalls.
“There is a lot of lands left abandoned in this country, but people here mainly cultivate corn and hardly know how to grow green vegetables. Then I started growing Vietnamese vegetables and the results are very good because it rains a lot and the land is fertile,” Linh said.
Based on the initial success of his social projects, Linh and his group launched the latest project called “5,000 children go to school” with the aim of repairing schools and providing learning materials for around 5,000 needy kids.
“This project is our greatest enthusiasm. We want to give 5,000 children chances to go to school. This project is being enthusiastically supported by my community. In order to have finance for the project, my group planned to raise funds by selling shirts. Currently, 1,000 shirts have been sold,” Linh shared with The Hanoi Times.
A Vietnamese-style engagement ceremony. Photo: African team
Lindo recalled the time when he was planning to get married in 2020 in Sanzalo, a remote mountain village in Huambo Province - one of the poorest towns in Angola.
"When Linh found out that I was planning to have a wedding in my hometown but I was so poor, he decided to help me by holding a Vietnamese-style wedding ceremony for us. It was so memorable. I was extremely happy when Linh gave us many things, from wedding dresses to wedding rings. Linh did important things in my life on behalf of my parents," Lindo told The Hanoi Times.
"After the wedding, Linh bought us a piece of land and built us a spacious house. Looking at the house, I couldn't believe my eyes. I was very happy and moved by what Linh did for us. I hope Linh will always be very lucky," he added.
Besides teaching farming know-how to Angolans, Linh is introducing Vietnamese culture by throwing parties in the Vietnamese way.
To make that dream come true, he organized an engagement party in traditional Vietnamese style for a poor Angolan couple, Lindo and his wife. The ceremony was meticulously prepared with true Vietnamese cultural features and Linh covered the entire cost of the event.
“Introducing Vietnamese culture to the Africans is always our desire. I am happy that this small deed can help people here know about my homeland’s culture,” Linh said.