Khaby Lame is currently the most famous figure on TikTok with more than 114 million followers. He is just second to dancer Charli D’Amelia (the most followed TikToker), a teen from California who posts videos with her older sister, Dixie.
Khaby Lame (pronounced Lah-MAY) has gathered fans all around the world with his silent reaction to pointless life hacks and DIY videos.
“I came up with the idea because I was seeing these videos circulating, and I liked the idea of bringing some simplicity to it,” Khaby said in a recent video interview with CNN.
“The type of gesture came by chance, but the silence didn’t. I thought of a way to reach as many people as possible. And the best way was not to speak.”
Where did Things Start for Khaby Lame?
When the COVID-19 pandemic drove Italy to its first lockdown last year, Khabane Lame had just gotten off his job at a factory near the northern city of Turin.
He spent most of his days at his parents’ home in Chivasso alongside his three siblings, while searching for other jobs.
One day, Khaby downloaded TikTok and explored the app as he started posting videos of himself under the name “Khaby Lame.”
Initially, like other TikTokers, Khaby posted clips of himself dancing, watching video games, or performing comedy skits.
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It was months later when he blatantly started making fun of the life-hack videos that are spread throughout social media platforms. He started reacting to those videos, without a word, his expression saying everything. That was how his TikTok career took off.
“Maybe because my facial expressions are funny and they make people laugh, this simplicity makes people laugh and I love it,” Khaby remarked.
“I don’t care if I’m first or second or fourth most popular on TikTok. I started making videos because I wanted to make people laugh in that period of lockdown.”
He continued, “And I keep making videos with the same ideals. I’m happy about my accomplishments, but those are not my main things.”
What is Khaby Lame’s Net Worth?
According to the reports of Business Insider, Khaby is worth $2 million.
His videos have brought him several offers and partnerships with international companies, including Italian food company Barilla, Netflix, and Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11.
Khaby has not disclosed the amount of money he makes from the deals. But, it is safe to say he makes enough as the biggest social media stars earn millions from their content and advertising.
His Parents are Proud of his Unplanned Success
It was only a year ago when Khaby was jobless and living with his parents. He says that his mother and father are quite proud of his standing now.
“It was unexpected (for them) just like for the rest of the world,” Khaby explains. “So they got into the perspective (of me being famous) quite late. And me too. You don’t realize what’s happening to you.”
“They didn’t have any set idea of what they wanted me to become when I was a child – the important thing is that I was happy, and had a good job.”
He Grew Up in Public Housing
Khaby Lame was born in Senegal and moved to Italy with his family when he was only a year old. The TikTok star grew up in public housing, which was a huge part of why he wasn’t greatly exposed to racism.
“There we were people from every ethnicity, so we would protect each other a lot. There was never an issue about racism.”
Khaby may not be an Italian citizen yet, but he speaks fluent Italian and claims the country as his home.