TikTok Star Khaby Lame Obtains Italian Citizenship

Senegalese-born TikTok super star Khaby Lame (real name Khabane Lame) became an Italian citizen at a ceremony in his hometown of Chivasso on Wednesday. Chivasso is located in the Metropolitan City of Turin, in the Italian region of Piedmont.

The world’s most-followed TikToker took the oath in the Piedmont Regional Council. The celebrity started shooting his popular videos when he was 20. He has over 148 million followers on the platform.

The Internet megastar, born in Dakar in 2000, arrived in Italy when he was one year old. Now, he is officially an Italian citizen.

The Chivasso town council also gave Lame a copy of the Italian Constitution.

During the naturalization ceremony, Lame talked about growing up in the tough poor neighborhood in Via Togliatti. “I felt Italian before today, too, like everyone else. Signing the oath is a great responsibility”.

“It’s very different because I have always lived in the slums, but there, in our having nothing, we were happy, we were glad, we played in the courtyard, even though we had nothing. Anyways, yes, it’s another reality, it’s a whole new world to which I still need to get used to, but I am gradually adapting.”

The influencer said the world had changed since he arrived in Chivasso’s hard-scrabble quarter.

“We had nothing but we were happy, we played in the street, we were always smiling,” he said.

Khaby Lame’s videos began to go viral during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to his iconic and hilarious homemade wordless videos, mocking overly complicated life hacks.

He became the most followed TikTokker in the world in June, overtaking the American dancer Charli D’Amelio, who boasts 145 million followers.

Citizenship process of Khaby Lame

According to Italian law, children born to non-Italians and raised in Italy can apply for citizenship in their 18th year, a regulation that critics say discriminates against thousands of children who are culturally Italian but are denied citizenship.

Leftwing parties have been pushing for citizenship to be granted at birth or at least after a school five-year cycle has been completed, but this has been met with stiff resistance from rightwing parties.

As AP reported, Lame’s application had worked its way through the pipeline under normal procedures and didn’t receive any special treatment because of his newfound TikTok fame.