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HomepeopleStar in a silent film! Khaby Lame, a factory worker turned TikTok...

Star in a silent film! Khaby Lame, a factory worker turned TikTok star, has gone from poverty to riches after clips of him being unimpressed with other people’s life hacks garnered him 100 million followers – and he never says anything.

  • After being laid off from his factory job in March 2020, TikTok star Khabane ‘Khaby’ Lame began posting comedy clips.
  • Born in Senegal, the 21-year-old has lived in Chivasso, Italy, since he was a child.
  • Calling out a fellow TikToker who cuts himself free from a car door by shearing through his t-shirt is one of the most popular clips – Lame simply opens the door.
  • He attributes his success to his ‘global’ expressions rather than his ability to speak.
  • His page now has 100 million followers, making him the most popular TikToker in Italy. He claims to be earning ‘consistently,’ and hopes to be able to buy his mother a home.

A TikTok star has gone from being jobless and on the verge of starvation at the start of the lockdown to earning astronomical sums from his burgeoning social media career – and he doesn’t even speak in the videos that made him famous.

Khabane ‘Khaby’ Lame, who moved from Senegal to Chivasso, near Turin, Italy, when he was one, now has 100 million Instagram followers who can’t get enough of his caustic expressions and exasperated call-outs of other people’s bad TikToks.

The 21-year-old, who is thought to be dating fellow Italian Zaira Nucci, was laid off from his factory job at the start of the pandemic last year.

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Not quite a millionaire - but not far off! Khabane 'Khaby' Lame, who was born in Senegal but moved to Chivasso in Italy at the age of one, began posting TikTok videos after being made redundant in March 2020 - and now has 100 million followers on the social media site

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I’m not quite a millionaire, but I’m close! Khabane ‘Khaby’ Lame, who was born in Senegal but moved to Chivasso, Italy, when he was one, started posting TikTok videos after being laid off in March 2020, and now has over 100 million followers on the social media platform.

Say nothing!Lame is earning dream sums from his blossoming social media career but often he doesn't speak in the videos that have made him famous

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Don’t say anything! Lame is raking in the dough thanks to his burgeoning social media career, but he rarely speaks in the videos that have made him famous.

Simple comedy: The star told the New York Times in June that his videos speak a 'global language' and that he has a huge following in Brazil and South America

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Simple humour: In June, the star told the New York Times that his videos speak a “global language” and that he has a sizable fan base in Brazil and South America.

Burn! A look can say it all, says Lame, who thinks his success on the social media platform is largely down to his characterful way of saying what everyone else is thinking

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Burn! Lame believes that a single glance can convey everything, and that his social media success is largely due to his unique way of expressing what everyone else is thinking.

According to the New York Times, he began spending hours of his free time each day uploading TikTok videos…and his comedy clips quickly went viral.

One of his most popular videos, in which he mocks a fellow TikToker who cuts himself free from a car door by shearing through his t-shirt, has received 158 million views.

Lame films himself in the same situation, but instead of reaching for the scissors to hack his way out, he simply opens the car door to get out – and then gives his signature exasperated shrug.

Another TikTok video shows the joker mocking someone who cuts their takeaway Italian staple dish into slices with a plastic pizza saver. Lame simply divides his own into neat sections with his hands, then lifts his shoulders in frustration. 

Work opportunities have poured in but there have been struggles along the way; his Senegalese passport means he's found it harder to work in the US than if he carried an Italian one - he still doesn't have citizenship in the country in spite of spending most of his life there

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Work opportunities have flooded in, but there have been setbacks along the way; his Senegalese passport has made it more difficult for him to work in the US than if he had an Italian passport – he still lacks citizenship in the country despite having lived there for the majority of his life.

The TikTok star is dating fellow Italian 18-year-old Zaira Nucci, who has 167,000 followers on Instagram

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The TikTok star is dating Zaira Nucci, an 18-year-old Italian model with 167,000 Instagram followers.

His TikTok page now has 100 million followers, and he believes that part of his success stems from the fact that he doesn’t usually speak in his videos.

The star told a US newspaper that his videos’ success is due to the fact that he speaks a “global language,” adding that he has a large following in Brazil and South America.

While job opportunities have flooded in since his rise to the top of the TikTok rankings, he claims he isn’t yet set for life, preferring to earn’steadily’ – but plans to buy a house for his mother as soon as he can afford it. 


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The face says it all: Khaby Lame, thought to be from Senegal but now living in Chivasso, Italy, has taken TikTok by storm with his clips calling out fellow social media users for rubbish videos

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The expression on his face says it all: Khaby Lame, who is believed to be from Senegal but now resides in Chivasso, Italy, has taken TikTok by storm with his videos criticizing fellow social media users.

There have been setbacks along the way; his Senegalese passport has made it more difficult for him to work in the United States than if he had an Italian passport; despite having lived in the country for the majority of his life, he still lacks citizenship.

‘Public housing is a place to which I owe everything,’ Lame, a huge Juventus fan, told Olhar Digital last year. They provided me with an education and allowed me to form many bonds.’

The social media comedian, who tweets in both English and Italian, has no patience for dramatic overreactions or people who react slowly when something goes wrong.  

Asking for trouble? Lame's comedy comes from finding other clips...and trolling them with his distinctive deadpan style

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Asking for trouble? Lame’s comedy comes from finding other clips…and trolling them with his distinctive deadpan style 

After this TikToker showed off his method for escaping trapped clothing in a car door - using a pair of scissors

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Cutting himself out of trouble was given short shrift by Lame

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After that, TikToker demonstrated how to use a pair of scissors to free trapped clothing in a car door…he was given short shrift by Lame.

Now Italy's biggest TikTok star, Lame's trademark put-down comes with him recreating the video...and then giving it a withering put-down

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Now Italy’s biggest TikTok star, Lame’s trademark put-down comes with him recreating the video…and then giving it a withering put-down

Got your clothes stuck in your car door? Simply open the car door to release them...and win yourself a handsome 158 million views on TikTok

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Got your clothes stuck in your car door? Simply open the car door to release them…and win yourself a handsome 158 million views on TikTok

Mamma Mia! When another TikiTok user tried to show off how a plastic pizza saver could be helpful when slicing up the popular Italian takeaway, Lame quickly derided the idea

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Mamma Mia! is a musical about a mother and her daughter. Lame quickly mocked another TikiTok user’s attempt to demonstrate how a plastic pizza saver could be useful when slicing up the popular Italian takeaway. 

The TikTok comic tore up his pizza neatly using his hands

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...and then offered what has now become a signature shrug

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The TikTok comic tore up his pizza neatly using his hands, and then offered what has now become his trademark shrug

What did she think was going to happen? Lame responded to this clip of a woman looking shocked at a black mark appearing after she used a spray can on her car...by looking shocked at pedestrian things

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He puts up his hood, and then lets out a gasp in fake shock to illustrate the theatricality of some TikTok users

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What did she believe would happen? Lame reacted to a video of a woman looking shocked after a black mark appeared on her car after she used a spray can…by looking shocked at mundane things like putting up his hood or opening a door.

Another clip shows a woman gasping aloud after Lame mocks her for spray-painting her white car with a black tick.

He retaliated by posting videos of himself making the same noise whenever something unavoidable occurs, such as opening a door or raising his hood.

Lame’s favorite targets are pointless life hacks, with the person who decided to disassemble a toothbrush only to reassemble it using a medicine syringe that deposits toothpaste through it getting particularly short shrift – and Lame receiving a cool million hits to show for it. 

Mother of TikTok star ‘Timbo the Redneck’ discusses his death

 

TikTok millionaire! How Khaby Lame has gone from being penniless to earning six figures

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