He doesn’t tell jokes, cook or give tips on diets. In fact, the biggest TikTok user, 21-year-old Senegalese Khabane Lame, who lives in Italy and has 114.5 million followers on the Chinese platform, doesn’t say a word in his videos.
As Canadian broadcaster CTV News shows, Khabane lost his job at a factory near the northern Italian city of Turin when the covid-19 pandemic began.
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He had to spend his days inside his parents’ house in Chivasso, along with his three brothers. One day, he downloaded TikTok and started posting videos of himself using the Khaby Lame profile. With that, his successful career as a tiktoker began.
In the beginning, he created clips of himself dancing, playing games or making physical jokes. Then, earlier this year, he started making fun of the famous “hack of life” videos that flood social media and TikTok itself.
Using only expressions and looks, Khabane Lame has become the most popular man on the Chinese platform, second only to American dancer Charli D’Amelio, a California teenager who posts fun videos, often with her older sister, Dixie, reveals CTV News.
“I got the idea because I was seeing these videos out and about and I liked the idea of bringing a little simplicity to them. The kind of reaction 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 talk,” says the Senegalese, quoted by the broadcaster
Thin, long-limbed and expressive face in most of his videos, Khaby Lame satirizes people who hint at “overly complicated hacks”, responding with a simplified and more logical way of doing the same task.
Despite the impossibility of traveling during the pandemic, his fame was not restricted to TikTok. He has 47 million Instagram followers and has partnered with multinational companies including Netflix, Barilla (food) and Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11, reveals CTV News.
Khabane does not say how much he earns from sponsorships, although the biggest stars of social networks can pocket millions of dollars a year, the Canadian broadcaster says.
He says his most valuable purchase since becoming famous was an iPhone 12 so he could shoot better videos.
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