TikTok millionaire! How Khaby Lame swapped poverty for six figures

Silent movie star! How factory worker turned TikTok star Khaby Lame, 21, has gone from poverty to riches after clips of him looking unimpressed with people’s life hacks won him 100 million fans – and he never utters a word

  • TikTok star Khabane ‘Khaby’ Lame began posting comedy clips after being made redundant from his factory job in March 2020 
  • 21-year-old was born in Senegal but has lived in Chivasso, Italy since he was one 
  • Top clips include calling out a fellow TikToker who cuts himself free from a car door by shearing through his t-shirt – Lame simply opens the door 
  • He says that his success is down to his ‘global’ expressions rather than speaking  
  • His page now has 100 million fans making him Italy’s most followed TikToker – and he says he’s earning ‘steadily’ and hopes to be able to buy his mum a house

A TikTok star has gone from being unemployed and fearing poverty at the start of lockdown to earning dream sums from his blossoming social media career – and he doesn’t even speak in the videos that have made him famous. 

Khabane ‘Khaby’ Lame, who moved from Senegal to Chivasso, close to Turin in Italy aged one, currently has 100 million followers on the social media site – all of whom can’t seem to get enough of his caustic expressions and exasperated call-outs of other people’s dismal TikToks.

The 21-year-old was working as a factory worker when he was made redundant last year at the start of the pandemic. 

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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

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

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

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

He told the New York Times that he began spending hours of his free time every day posting TikTok videos…and his comedy clips soon started going viral.  

His most watched videos include him deriding a fellow TikToker who cuts himself free from a car door by shearing through his t-shirt – which has so far had 158 million views.  

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

Another TikTok clip sees the joker mocking someone who uses a plastic pizza saver to cut their takeaway Italian staple dish into slices. Lame simply neatly divides his own using his hands – and then lifts in 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

Overall, his TikTok page now has 100 million followers – and much of his success appears to come from the fact he doesn’t usually speak in his clips, he thinks. 

The star told the US newspaper that the success behind his videos are down to the fact that he speaks a ‘global language’, saying he has a huge following in Brazil and South America. 

While the work opportunities have flooded in since his rise to the top of the TikTok rankings, he says he’s not yet set for life…rather earning ‘steadily’ – but plans to snap up a house for his mother as soon as he can afford it. 

Bro why you ruined a T-shirt ?It was so easy…. – Fratello perché hai rovinato una T-Shirt?#learnfromkhaby #LearnWithTikTok #ImparaConTikTok

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

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.  

Lame, a huge Juventus fan, has been open about his tough start in life, telling Olhar Digital last year: ‘Public housing is a place to which I owe everything. They taught me education and allowed me to cultivate many bonds.’

The social media comedian, who posts in English and Italian, also has no time for dramatic over-reactions – or people who offer up delayed reactions when something goes wrong.  

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…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

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 


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, like putting up his hood or opening a door

Another clip shows a woman gasping audibly after she spray-painted her white car with a black tick is ridiculed by Lame. 

He responded by posting clips of himself making the same noise when something inevitable happens – like opening a door or putting his hood up.

Pointless life hacks are his biggest targets, with the person who decided to de-construct a toothbrush – only to re-build it using a medicine syringe that deposits toothpaste through it getting particularly short shrift – and Lame getting a cool million hits to show for it. 

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