Senegalese-born superstar Khabe Lamy is now TikTok’s biggest name

By our News Team | 2022

Journey from unemployed factory worker to the most popular personality on TikTok with more than 146-million followers.

Khaby Lame, the Senegalese-born TikTok megastar and social media influencer, last month became the most popular personality on the rapidly growing channel by overtaking dance video star Charli D’Amelio. 

As of today (Tuesday) Lame has 146.4-million followers on TikTok. D’Amelio, on the other hand, has 143.8-million followers.

Lamy trailed D’Amelio, who was the first person to pass 100-million followers on TikTok, until late June when he surpassed her 142.3 million followers. He has since sprinted ahead.

According to Forbes business magazine, D’Amelio and her sister Dixie – who is also a TikTok dance celebrity – banked an estimated US$27.5-million in 2021. This means Lame must now be well and truly in the money as a global influencer.

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Photo of Khaby Lame courtesy of Hugo Boss

From unemployed factory worker to superstar

Lame, aged 22, moved to Italy from Senegal as a one-year-old and still lives there. He was reportedly a factory worker until the pandemic struck and he lost his job. He then turned to making short, self-depreciating, comic videos.

With his big eyes and funny facial expressions, he proved the perfect foil for his videos which silently mock overly complicated life-hack videos and make fun out of everyday situations. “It’s my face and my expressions which make people laugh,” he told The New York Times in 2021.

Lamy has fan pages around the world and has done high-profile brand ambassador work for the likes of Pepsi and Hugo Boss. The latter is in the midst of a major rebranding exercise and has also signed up reality TV star Kendall Jenner of Kardashians fame, and Hailey Beiber, American model and wife of musician Justin Beiber.

Popular among younger audiences – including the sought-after Gen Z grouping defined by Pew Research as those born after 1996 – the TikTok app allows users to express their creativity and showcase relatable everyday content through short videos that are between 15 seconds and three-minutes long.