From the factory floor to the top of TikTok.
A former factory worker has become the most followed star on TikTok – two years after he created an account on the social media app after losing his job during the pandemic.
Khabane Lame, 22, became the world’s top TikToker on Wednesday, officially overtaking American sensation Charli D’Amelio, 18. As of Thursday afternoon, Lame has a staggering 142.8 million followers. D’Amelio is just behind with 142.3 million.
“THE KING IS NUMBER 1 ON TIKTOK,” one fan exclaimed beneath Lame’s latest clip after he stormed to the top.
Lame – who describes himself as a comedian and shares humorous clips mimicking influencers and their over-the-top videos chasing clout – has yet to comment on the milestone moment himself.
Lame was born in Senegal in 2000 before emigrating to Italy with his parents the following year.
After graduating from high school, he started working as a machine operator in the northern city of Turin before being made redundant in March 2020.
“The pandemic had just started and I was bored with my time so I started making videos on TikTok,” Lame said in an interview with Forbes last March.
The young man began parodying TikTok clips of creators showing off their “easy” tricks for things like washing dishes and cutting bangs.
Lame – who is learning English – rarely speaks in his videos; His clips use visual humor and are accessible to viewers around the world.
“I would describe myself as a simple person but full of ideas and inspiration,” said Lame. “Making people laugh has always been my greatest passion in life.”
The New York Times attributed Lame’s success to his “everyman quality” in a profile published last year.
“His work lacks the polished production value associated with today’s most famous TikTok stars…His rise has been entirely organic,” the paper explained.
“He almost puts that authenticity above the production,” added one social media sleuth. “I think that’s very appealing to people, that sense of someone not trying too hard. It’s something that feels authentic.”
However, he told Forbes that while his videos may seem simple, he puts a lot of thought into creating them.
“Every day I spend at least three hours looking for the right video for the parody,” he explained. “I always try to be careful not to offend anyone with my videos, and I always prefer to joke with light-hearted parodies.”
Lame’s videos have garnered a staggering 2.3 billion total likes and each of his videos is typically viewed by tens of millions of people, giving him incredible reach and making him one of the most influential young people in the world.
However, the star said he’s still shocked by his unexpected rise to fame – and hopes to move to Hollywood soon.
“I started it for fun and I never expected anything from it,” he said. “My background and journey give me the strength to believe in my dreams and move forward because with dedication and perseverance they can come true.”
https://nypost.com/2022/06/23/laid-off-worker-unseats-charli-damelio-as-top-tiktok-star-with-142-8m-fans/ Fired Worker Dethrones Charli D’Amelio as Top TikTok Star With 142.8M Fans