From 0 to 180 million followers in just one year: Khaby Lame (21) had just lost his factory job when he started Tiktok. A decision that changed his life: Today he is THE internet star in Italy.
More than 121 (!!!) million fans on Tiktok...
From the beginning. March 2020. The Corona pandemic rages with full ferocity in Italy. Lame loses his job in an air filter factory. Money is tight. He moves back into his parents' social housing in the small town of Chiavosso (near Turin). The father has been unemployed for years, the mother a housewife, four brothers.
Khaby signs up for Tiktok, uploads his first video. An ironic instruction on how to use disinfectants. The topic of "lifehacks" is his thing and should become his breakthrough. Under the hashtag Lifehacks, people present supposed tricks that are supposed to make life sooo easier. Sometimes they do, but often they are rubbish...
KHABY @ TIKTOK
...like the video of a girl who awkwardly detaches a backpack from a lantern. Khaby Lame shows how it can be done easily. The result: 50 MILLION clicks on Tiktok. Lifehack in the real check.
Lame's second commentary video gets 100 million views. In March 2021, he has 2 million followers - and that's when the rocket really ignites. At times, Lame had growth rates of 10 million per month.
Millions and millions of views: Khaby at tiktok
Today (end of novembre) he has more than 121,4 (!!!) million followers on Tiktok, more than 58,6 (!!!) million on Instagram. He is the most successful Tiktok man (only Charli D'Amelio is better), the most successful influencer in Italy.
Khaby's videos look homemade and are still meant to be. Sometimes the light is wrong, sometimes it's wobbly - but that's exactly what's refreshing in the over-perfected social world. The hair always looks the same and people wear what's hanging in their wardrobe.
When freshly bleached fitness models tell you about a manicured horse, Khaby gives you real life, but really. In the beginning he still commented in Italian, today he just parodies. Always with the voilà hand gesture as the resolution at the end, always a broad, slightly silly grin.
Ladbible estimates his fortune today at between one and two million US dollars. Khaby Lame became a brand in record time. The watermelon cutter from his shop (35.80 euros) is sold out, as are the swimming trunks that change colour when they get wet (51.16 euros). According to Influencer Marketing Hub, a post by Lame is worth up to 20,000 US dollars on Tiktok.
He does not need an Italian passport to feel Italian, Lame said in an interview. He was born in Mbackè in Senegal. His family fled with him to Italy when he was one year old. For a better life...
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published in our online mag LA BELLA VITA CLUB la-bella-vita.club, written by Annie Kayser
Source: own research; Statista.com 2021; @khaby.lame/Tiktok; Khaby Lame; khaby00/Instagram; Selvaggia Lucarelli: "Salvini mi segue su TikTok. Ma io sogno un film con Zalone"/TPI; "A Senegalese is the best Influencer in Italy"/Kurier, Geraldine Oetken: "Khaby Lame - an Influencer without a filter"/RND