Demi Flokis on how making TikToks with her yiayia Maria keeps them close

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If you haven’t heard of yiayia Maria yet, this is your sign to do your research.

What initially started as a one-off funny video posted between yiayia Maria and her granddaughter, Demi Flokis, has turned into a TikTok channel with over 100,000 likes and many fans.

Yiayia Maria
The beloved Yiayia Maria. Photo: Demi Folkis.

Demi, a 28-year-old from San Souci, said after regularly visiting her yiayia on the weekends, she decided to begin filming funny videos with her and posting them on social media. She then decided to create a TikTok account to post the videos.

“The account, Yiayia Maria’s Channel is a way to share videos of my yiayia who is always very fun and cheeky and loves the camera,” Demi told The Greek Herald.

“I tend to visit yiayia once a week, and every time I am there I would occasionally put her on my Instagram or Snapchat stories and I would always get replies from all my friends saying how funny she is and how they want more videos of her. 

“I then realised I needed to start being more proactive with it.”

Demi Flokis and Yiayia Maria
Demi Flokis and Yiayia Maria. Photo: Demi Flokis.

Demi said the first video posted on TikTok was a ‘Smash or Pass’ video – this is where she’d show her yiayia different celebrities and she’d rate them.

“I posted it and overnight she had 40k views, and hundreds of new followers,” she said.

“After this, yiayia gained a lot of interest and love from all over the world. We became so overwhelmed with all the beautiful comments from strangers towards yiayia Maria, which is what made me want to keep this up and keep sharing videos, which I know bring so much joy to everyone’s day. 

“Our content can range from fun games like that, storytelling, yiayia’s messages for the day and yiayia singing and dancing.”

Demi Flokis
Demi said her Yiayia has now gained a lot of interest and love from all over the world. Photo: Demi Flokis.

The Earlwood yiayia was born in Pyli village on the Greek island of Kos, and moved to Australia when she was 17. Demi said she grew up in Australia with her four sisters and three brothers.

“When she left Greece, she came to Australia to meet her brother who was already here, leaving behind some of her siblings and her parents,” she said.

“In 1957 she came to Australia, and by 1958 she had married pappou George and later had four sons.”

Yiayia Maria now is adored by fans all over the world. People in America, Canada, Germany, and of course Greece, are constantly sending wonderful messages to Demi about how much they love the videos with her yiayia.

“To me, that is so special especially in a world where there is so much other stuff going on, it’s nice to be able to make people laugh and smile,” Demi said.

“We have even had our relatives reach out to us saying that they are all watching her back home in her island of Kos. It makes us both so happy.”

Demi Flokis
Demi loves using TikTok to connect with her Yiayia. Photo: Demi Flokis.

Demi said using TikTok is also a great way engage people, especially now that it’s attracting older generations. 

“Whether they completely understand how it works or not, they still do get the idea and know in a roundabout way what it involves and how it is a platform to post videos which have the opportunity to be shown and shared around the world,” she said.

“I can speak for myself when I see other grandparents of all nationalities on TikTok, and I find myself watching their videos for hours laughing along with them. 

“I think it is also a nice way to create memories with this generation. They have never seen or heard of anything like it, so being able to film and make memories with them is special to me, as we are very lucky to still have a grandparent or grandparents around.”

Demi and Yiayia Maria
Yiayia Maria is thankful for everyone who listens to her, loves her and supports her and her videos on TikTok with her granddaughter. Photo: Demi Flokis.

Yiayia Maria shared that she was so thankful for all the ongoing support she has received since making the TikTok channel with Demi.

“I feel happy and I didn’t believe that so many people would watch me,” yiayia Maria said.

“Thank you so much everyone for listening to me, loving me, supporting me and for all your kind words and comments.

“I love making these videos with my granddaughter, it’s very nice to be able to connect with her this way. I love her so much, as well as my other grandkids of course.

“I am thankful that my Demi always supports me and calls me and brings me food and takes care of me.”

Demi said she hopes to create many more videos with her yiayia. 

Some that may be posted in the future include things about her personal life growing up in Greece, singing videos, cooking videos and more ‘Smash or Pass’ content.

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