Ipoh cobbler mends shoes in a humble shack

Malaysians are always willing to lend a helping hand to small businesses – especially in tough times such as the one we’re facing now due to the COVID-19 pandemic – by highlighting their stories on social media, so others can reach out and support them too.

Case in point, a Malaysian man who recently went on Twitter to share the moving story of a resilient cobbler in Medan Gopeng, Ipoh. The cobbler, Pakcik Osman, has been repairing shoes for over 10 years and is a familiar face to many locals. But not many knew that he moved into the humble shack after his wife passed away – until now.

Pakcik Osman has been repairing shoes in Ipoh for over 10 years

The story was shared on Twitter by netizen @AusMeshi on 10th September 2020. He recently dropped off his Reebok sneakers for repairs at this unnamed shoe repair spot, which bears just a simple banner that reads “Menjahit Kasut, Sahaja Di Sini” or “Shoe repairs available here” in English, next to Megoplex, a shopping mall.

This was when he learned the little-known story of this familiar figure in Medan Gopeng.

Ipoh cobbler in Medan Gopeng with a moving story - shack
Image credit: @AusMeshi

According to the tweet, the cobbler shared with him that he had sold all of his possessions and moved into the small shack on wheels that looks almost like a temporary guard house, after his wife passed away. Because he had no kids, making the move was a feasible choice for him.

But his humble shack lacks plumbing, so Pakcik Osman said that a kind shopkeeper from across the street lets him use their bathroom facilities.

Ipoh cobbler in Medan Gopeng with a moving story - Pakcik Osman
Image credit:

Another tweet from @AusMeshi said that cobbler has been around for over 10 years. Several Twitter users have been backing him up on this, including netizen @masssssss_ who praised his work and shared that she had sent her shoes to him when she was still in school too.

Netizens share praise of Uncle Osman’s neat work too

The Twitter post has since gone viral at the time of writing, with over 9,000 retweets and 7,000 likes. Many netizens came out to share that they were surprised to learn Pakcik Osman’s humble story, including user @whohanii, who tweeted, “He looks so happy. But what he [has gone] through no one [knows].”

Ipoh cobbler in Medan Gopeng with a moving story - response
Image adapted from: @whohanii

Netizen @meipan13, who frequents Pakcik Osman’s establishment, also tweeted: “I didn’t know about [his] backstory. But I’ve sent my sport shoes to him before because his work is neat and quick.”

He also gave another location where one can find Pakcik Osman’s humble shack in his tweet. “He is located near the old Pasaraya Billion in Medan Gopeng at the intersection.” This seemed to indicate that the cobbler moves around with his humble shack on wheels, as this supermarket is about a 5-minute drive from Megoplex. 

Ipoh cobbler in Medan Gopeng with a moving story - response
Image adapted from: @meipan13

Many others also came out to applaud his service. Netizen @yrsunflwrr tweeted, “A very good service! Neat stitching. My sport shoes are fine to this day. It’s been years since I sent them to him. If I buy new shoes [and they get damaged], I’ll look for him again.” 

Ipoh cobbler in Medan Gopeng with a moving story - response
Image adapted from: @yrsunflwrr

Ipoh cobbler earns praise from netizens with neat work & story

While many of us are no strangers to roadside cobblers who usually set up shop outside banks, we rarely take the time to find out more about them and their stories. But when we do, it’s heartening to know that moving stories such as Pakcik Osman’s are waiting to be discovered.

We applaud Pakcik Osman’s service and resilience, and @AusMeshi for sharing his story. We also hope that new customers will drop by his shack for shoe repairs, and that those who have gone to get their shoes repaired by Pakcik Osman will continue to support him.

Read more Malaysian news:

Cover image adapted from: @AusMeshi & @cloudyniq

Follow The Smart Local Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressmy@thesmartlocal.com.