Senegal-born TikTok superstar 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 metropolis of Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont.
The world’s most followed TikToker took the oath Piedmont Regional Council. The celebrity started filming his popular videos when he was 20. He has over 148 million followers on the platform.
The internet megastar, born in dakar came to Italy in 2000 at the age of one. Now he is officially an Italian citizen.
Chivasso City Council also gave Lame a copy of the Italian Constitution.
During the naturalization ceremony, Lame spoke about growing up in the harsh slum of Via Togliatti. “Even before today, I felt like an Italian, like everyone else. Signing the oath is a great responsibility.”
“It’s very different because I’ve always lived in the slums, but there, because we didn’t have anything, we were happy, we were happy, we played in the yard even though we didn’t have anything. Anyway, yes it’s a different reality, it’s a whole new world that I’m still getting used to, but I’m adjusting.”
The influencer said the world has changed since arriving in Chivasso’s hard-nosed neighborhood.
“We didn’t have anything, but we were happy, we played in the streets, we always smiled,” he said.
Khaby Lame’s videos started going viral during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to his iconic and hilarious homemade wordless videos that poked fun at over-complicated life hacks.
He became the world’s most followed TikTokker in June, overtaking American dancer Charli D’Amelio, who has 145 million followers.
Khaby Lame citizenship process
Under Italian law, children of non-Italians who were born and raised in Italy can apply for citizenship at age 18, a rule critics say discriminates against thousands of children who are culturally Italian but are denied citizenship.
Left-wing parties are pushing for citizenship to be conferred at birth, or at least upon completion of a five-year school cycle, but this has met with fierce opposition from right-wing parties.
As AP reported, Lame’s application had worked its way through the pipeline under normal procedures and was not given special treatment for his newfound TikTok fame.