2020 was the year that TikTok took over the social media scene and redefined the way we utilise social media. There is no denying the app’s popularity as it appeals to all ages and it has become one of the most downloaded apps on both iOS and Android. TikTok is a community led application that thrives off trending hashtags and challenges.
One of the most engaging natures of TikTok that appeals to its users especially the young people is the app’s algorithm that allows those with even the smallest followings to go viral and instantly become online celebrities overnight. Many TikTok content creators and stars were born from this addictive social media application including the current TikTok sensation, Khaby Lame.
The owner of the name Khaby Lame is famous among social media users for his impassive facial expression and humorous content in his videos. The young Senegalese TikToker has become the second creator to achieve 100 million followers on the social media platform. It is certainly a remarkable achievement as the 21-year-old creator has instantly caught the hearts of internet users despite barely saying a word. However, amidst his current achievement and popularity, a moving story was hidden and kept behind his success.
Khaby whose real name is Khabane Lame began his TikTok journey with account @khaby.lame in March 2020 after losing his job as a factory worker in Italy, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He started creating content on TikTok to get rid of his boredom after being laid off last year. Khaby personally said that he did not expect his videos to garner attention globally. He admits that the thing that kept his audience entertained was because of his seemingly emotionless facial expression.
“It all started during the first lockdown: I had lost my job, so I decided to start recording in my bedroom,” Khaby mentioned in an interview relayed by TikTok. Within the span of two months, the video of his deadpan reactions to hack videos with hashtag #learnfromkhaby had earned him a global following online, instantly amassing more than 50,000 followers. Counting Will Smith as one of his idols, Khaby said that he was inspired to create the contents for his videos from watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as a child.
— TikTok US (@tiktok_us) August 10, 2021
Last week, TikTok announced that Khaby had become the second person to cross 100 million followers on the platform in the world, following the American social media dancer Charli D’Amelio who currently has 122 million followers. Not only that, he also became the first person from Europe to accomplish a 100 million milestone.
TikTok emphasises that Khaby’s achievement is an impressive feat as he managed to secure such a number of followings in only 17 months! With barely any words spoken in his video contents, TikTok remarked that his unique creativity and passion has quickly made him one of the most recognised and loved TikTok creators globally.
“I am honoured to have achieved this milestone, made possible by the global TikTok community. I am passionate about entertaining and making people laugh since childhood, and I am thankful to TikTok for offering me a global stage to share my passion with the rest of the world. I will continue to work towards my dreams, knowing I can count on a beautiful community ready to cheer me on. Thank you and I love you all!” said Khaby Lame.
Although he is known as TikToker from Italy, technically Khaby was not recognised as an Italian citizen due to citizenship issues despite him being raised in the country since he was a year old. Due to that reason, it made it difficult for the young man to travel abroad to fulfil the various invitations that he received since he became famous.
So far, the young TikTok creator has accumulated 101.8 million subscribers on his TikTok with 1.5 billion “Likes”.