One of your personal favorite Indonesian YouTubers truly.
Edho Zell was born Edho Pratama on July 10, 1991, and he said he didn’t understand why “Pratama”, because he’s the third child instead of first. Different from other children, Edho never met his dad since he was born. Because of that, he grew up as an introvert child, a quiet child. But yes, he is introvert.
Edho’s early life wasn’t as fun as you imagined (NOTE: I make this from his “Draw My Life” video). To make a long story short, his mother successfully raised her children alone and married again when he was in high school. But then she had to follow her new husband’s footsteps to work in Papua. So Edho was left alone in Jakarta. He didn’t have friends, he didn’t have money, and he had no one to depend on beside himself. He wanted to have many friends that he read a book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. He also tried to change by joining his school’s breakdance activities.
From a geeky bookworm with side-parted hair, shirt buttoned to the top, bringing a super heavy bag and entering the pilot class, Edho changed into a kid who pretended to use the name “Zell” after a character from the video game Final Fantasy VIII that he admired. In fact, inside of him, he was still a geek who didn’t know how to interact with other people.
But, changing into a fun kid didn’t change his economic condition. He still had no money and needed to eat. His only capital is his body. So, he sold himself. It means he worked with his body as a service. From being a cashier in internet cafes, to selling perfumes from door to door. He would work so hard to get money to eat. Edho remembers selling perfumes to a boarding house full of gay people. And it wasn’t frightening, they were rather nice and kind. Maybe because they pitied him, they became his loyal customer. That’s why Edho is good in acting as a gay or a girl.
With limited money, Edho tried to survive in Jakarta. In the day, he ate as cheap as he could, and in the night, he came to eat at his high school friend’s house. Every night, really.
And thanks to Pepen’s mom (Pepen is one of Edho’s high school friends) who took carefree of him during his high school years, Edho’s life became better, by teaching breakdance and modern dance, and in a month he could get Rp3-7 million. From living in a small plywood house on a riverside, he could live in a brick house.
Edho went to college in the University of Indonesia, and started to live in Depok. But then he felt sad and lonely again. He didn’t feel accepted, because he wasn’t anymore an achieved student. He was just a blonde-haired breakdancer who coincidentally went to college in UI. That’s why he forced himself to stay in Mangga Besar, close with his friends and the place where he taught dancing. In fact, it took 4 hours from Mangga Besar to UI, and the lesson only took 2 hours. Because he didn’t want to be old in the road, he decided to quit college and concentrate being a dancing teacher.
Often performing dances in birthday parties made Edho interested in being a master of ceremony or MC. Luckily, there was a very nice MC who willed to share his knowledge with him. His name was MC Freddy. Every Saturday and Sunday he came to an event where Freddy hosted. He took note on everything he said, from the way he talked to his jokes. Edho took note and memorized it all. He knew he had to work hard to survive. And then he dared to become and MC and got a lot of jobs. His income got bigger and he went again to college in the London School of Public Relation, Jakarta.
But his success made him arrogant. He felt successful that he could conquer Jakarta with his own hands. So, with his arrogance, he left college again, and went to Japan. A place where he didn’t understand the language and culture. All he knew was “Kimochi”, and “Miyabi”. As a result, he suffered a lot in Japan. Edho, who, with his arrogance, felt that he could survive in Japan, turned out to be a beggar that he slept in the woods from being homeless. He couldn’t speak Japanese, didn’t understand Japanese, nor he could read Japanese.
Edho went back to Jakarta, starting his MC career back from zero. He started to cast from here to there, from an MTV VJ to a soap opera actor, but no one wanted to accept him, and he didn’t even have money to rent a boarding house. He was homeless in Jakarta. He slept in the internet cafe for 2 days. And after getting 1 MC job, he could use the money to rent a house again.
In those hard times, he saw Sinta and Jojo famous from a video they uploaded in YouTube, “Keong Racun”. He got interested in making YouTube videos. He remembers, his first views are 30. From using his laptop’s webcam, he learned to edit videos. And this is where Edho’s YouTube career started.
Edho made a prank team called Happy Holiday Indonesia in 2011 with Reza Arap, Zachary Lee, Insu, and Victor Samuel. But it turned out to make one video, there were a lot of things that he had to do by himself. From concepts, making scripts, making schedules for 9 people, borrowing an SLR camera, editing videos, uploading them to YouTube, promoting to Facebook and Twitter, and because a lot of problems afflicting HHI, they disbanded in 2013.
At this point, Edho felt his life is a failure. He joined the boyband Mr. Bee, and they were short-lived. He wanted a serious relationship, but broke up 2 weeks before pre-wedding. He was too sad to cry. His life was empty. He gave up. Everyday he only wanted to sleep, hoping when he woke up, his sad life was just a dream. Even he often thought of dying instead. Hollow. Like there was a black hole in his heart.
One day, Edho was wandering carelessly around Central Park, West Jakarta, and got lost in a church there. For some reason, he went in and sat there. And suddenly he could cry. Crying abysmally.
Edho said he didn’t know anything about faith and religion, but since he was active in the church service, he felt his life was no longer empty. He started to look for the good things in his life, and he realized he should be grateful he still has everything.
MORAL: Hidup kita tidak selalu di atas, tidak selalu di bawah, tetapi kita selalu belajar untuk bersyukur setiap saat. (Our life is not always up nor down, but we always learn to be grateful every time.)
Birth name: Edho Pratama
Nicknames: Edho Zell, Edho, E.Z.
Date of birth: July 10, 1991 (age 24)
Place of birth: Jakarta, Indonesia
Occupation: YouTube persona, comedian, rapper, and music producer (in TCoH 4)
Associated acts: Chandraliow, Benakribo, Aulion, Dina Dino Day, Moinblog, Kevin Anggara, Duo Harbatah, Reza Arap
Stay tuned for the next weeks as I will continue with an adaptation of the Draw My Lives of Ardina Putri, Aulion, and Devina Aurel.