Why this outrageous influencer hands out cash
A social media influencer who refers to his followers as "dogs" and films outrageous pranks on fishermen has used his popularity to help strangers.
Armed with $5000 cash, Willem Ungermann visited Murwillumbah IGA and paid for the groceries of total strangers.
The Tweed local, known as Willem Powerfish, has more than 250,000 followers on Instagram, 165,000 on Facebook and 130,000 YouTube subscribers built in just over 12 months after one of his videos went viral in June last year.
His videos normally involve casting a fishing rod with a whole chook on the end while dressed in skin-tight Lycra.
He also claims to be the world record-holder for landing a "mythical" 3m flathead and has pranked famed radio hosts John Laws and Kyle & Jackie O with the tale.
Mr Ungermann signs off most social media posts and videos with expletives, but behind the burly frame and tattoos is a heart of gold.
"I've been doing the Powerfish gift for a few months now," Mr Ungermann said.
"I realised I was in the position where I had enough money and it was the right thing to do.
"I walked into the store and asked the young manager if I could pay for people's groceries and they were keen.
"They just told me no sexual innuendos and no swearing.
"The customers were happy but I think they were more like, 'What the hell is this guy wearing and why is he standing near where I need to go'?"
The former disability support worker now earns a full-time living from selling merchandise branded with Willem Powerfish.
Mr Ungermann said he had given away thousands of dollars to people doing it tough, including a mother and her son who were both battling cancer.
"I was contacted by families with financial problems so I gave them money and had a chat.
"I did another Powerfish gift where the gentleman's wife was terminally ill and they were struggling to live. It's so sad.
"There's a lot of people on social media who make a lot of money and they don't give anything back. It's their money and they can do what they want, but I enjoy giving it back to the community."
Mr Ungermann started the social media account because he said people were taking life too seriously.
He is also passionate about mental health and regularly shares his own battles with his thousands of followers to encourage others to do the same.
"I love fishing, it helped me a lot with my mental health and I talk about it a lot," he said.
"It's such a big thing that needs to be more in the limelight and if I can talk about it in front of thousands (of people) and make myself vulnerable, hopefully it inspires others to talk about mental health."
Originally published as Why this outrageous influencer hands out cash