Most-followed TikTok Star Khaby Lame Granted Italian Citizenship After 21 Years
Khaby Lame boasts a staggering 148million followers on TikTok, making him the most followed person on the platform, and he now has another reason to celebrate.
The creator, who was born in Senegal, has lived in Italy since he was just one year old, and he’s finally been granted Italian citizenship.
Khaby (real name Khabane), 22, was raised in the town of Chivasso, near Turin, with news of his citizenship coming as debates continue in the country around whether to change the Italian law and grant citizenship to all children of migrants born in the country.
As it stands, children can only apply to become Italian citizens once they turn 18 and so long as they were born and raised in Italy.
Reflecting on his upbringing, Khaby said his life is now ‘very different’ after being rocketed to online fame, sharing: ‘I have always lived in the slums but there, despite having nothing, we were happy, we were glad, we played in the courtyard, even though we had nothing’.
However, he doesn’t think much has changed since officially becoming an Italian citizen, telling news outlet Al Jazeera English: ‘I already felt Italian before, I mean, before today.
‘It is not that before signing, I did not feel Italian, so very little has changed’.
But, he does also feel ‘very proud’ of his new citizenship and ‘a great responsibility’ after taking his oath in the municipality northeast of Turin.
The TikTok icon lost his factory job amid the pandemic, so decided to give the social media platform a shot, not expecting to be catapulted to stardom in the way he has been.
Now, his face is extremely recognisable and you’d struggle to find someone with a TikTok account who doesn’t follow him.
Khaby has bagged sponsorships and endorsements from numerous brands, as well as a legion of celebrity fans.
On how his life has changed, he added: ‘It’s another reality. It’s completely another world that I am still not used to. But I am gradually adapting’.
Khaby’s success is truly mind-blowing, especially when you consider that his fame is a result of totally wordless videos.
The social media star is known for his comical reactions to ‘life hack’ videos, which have earned him millions of dollars.
Source: Emily Bashforth – Metro UK