Social media sensations have been granted Italian citizenship after 21 years — Khaby Lame was originally born in Senegal and migrated to Italy at age one.
He was raised in the town of Chivasso, near Turin. Initially, his citizenship application became a huge debate in Italy — some people suggested that the Italian law should be amended to grant citizenship to all children of migrants born in the country.
In the Italian constitution, children can only apply to become citizens once they turn 18 and so long as they were born and raised in Italy — Khaby Lame was born in Senegal, however, he’s lived in Italy since he was just one year old.
Khaby has 148million followers on TikTok, and huge numbers on other social media platforms which make him the most followed person on the platform [TikTok], and he now has another reason to celebrate.
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