WHEN the movement control order hit the country in March, Mohd Shahril Hamzah suffered a sudden loss of income as a cosplay enthusiast for birthday parties, events and celebrations in Kota Baru, Kelantan.
It was really tough for him as he has been entertaining customers while donning superhero costumes for two years prior to the pandemic.
However, instead of feeling down and depressed, Mohd Shahril, 27, decided to utilise his skills and experience by donning the Marvel superhero’s iconic red and blue costume to sell balloons of various shapes and sizes without price tags.
His customers only need to pay ‘seikhlas hati’ (any sincere amount they can afford).
The second child of four siblings said that he decided to sell balloons this way because he did not want to burden others who are also adversely affected by the pandemic.
“When I first started in June, I charged my customers RM1 to RM2 for each balloon, depending on the shapes and sizes, but there was an incident where a father did not have the money to pay for a balloon for his young son.
“The incident touched me deeply and since then, I decided to sell balloons without any fixed price as I realised that many out there are having a really tough time due to the pandemic, ” he said when met in front of McDonald’s Pengkalan Chepa.
Mohd Shahril, who hails from Kampung Pilah, Negri Sembilan, said that he took three months to learn how to produce balloons of various shapes on YouTube as well as from a friend.
“‘Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), with the knowledge and skills I learned from him and YouTube, I can now sell balloons as my source of income.
“Thus far, I have been able to sell around 40 to 100 balloons daily of different shapes and sizes including heart, rabbit, giraffe, sword, pistol, flower and horse and earn around RM40 to RM50.
“Even though customers only need to pay what they can afford, I am still very grateful as I can still earn a living to cover my daily expenses, ” said Mohd Shahril, who sells balloons from 5pm to 10pm daily.
His customer Noor Ellashi Mohd Suhaimi, 32, said she decided to buy the balloons for her three young sons after she spotted Mohd Shahril in his Spider-Man costume with a note stating that balloons can be bought at any price.
“Mohd Shahril’s action should be commended as he is helping others who are less fortunate and we as customers, can always contribute more to him when we are paying for the balloons, ” she said.
Recently, Mohd Shahril’s story was uploaded by Facebook account owner Syarifah Ezzah and the post received more than 1,000 likes and over 500 shares. — Bernama