‘Be yourself and don’t get deterred by trolls,’ says famous TikToker Khaby Lame - GulfToday

‘Be yourself and don’t get deterred by trolls,’ says famous TikToker Khaby Lame


Khaby Lame speaks during the 1Billion Followers Summit in Dubai on Wednesday. WAM

In a world of talkers, it’s silence that catapulted a content creator to the pinnacle of success. Khaby Lame, a former factory worker in Italy, is the most followed content creator on TikTok and has amassed over 251.9 million followers on his social media accounts.

Speaking at a panel session organised on the first day of the 2nd edition of the 1 Billion Followers Summit, "Silence is Golden — Khaby’s Story," with Nimi Mehta, TV Host at Dubai One, Khaby delighted the audience with pregnant pauses, well complemented by his trademark hand gestures and witty replies.

In 2022, he was listed in Fortune's 40 Under 40 and Forbes' 30 Under 30.

"When I started making videos during COVID-19, the idea was to make people smile. There was no strategy. I would wake up, eat, and make a video. I did not have any special camera, just a very bad phone. I did not have special lighting, so I used to open YouTube on the computer. The white backlight of the website provided me with the lighting I needed for my videos,” said Khaby.


As a matter of fact, almost 93 per cent of communication in our everyday world is non-verbal. Khaby has unwittingly used this to perfection on social media to connect with his fanbase worldwide.

"Silence is a universal language. Anyone from Spain, Japan, or Dubai can understand. Grown-ups, kids, people of all ages,” he said.

At a time when content creators are using data to understand their fanbase and devise newer strategies to garner more likes, views, and subscribers, Khaby seems content with his work style. When asked whether his growing stature and popularity demand a change in technique, Khaby replied in the negative. "I do not have a strategy. I am just being myself on social media.”

When asked for advice to young and aspiring content creators, Khaby had just one word: originality. "Be you, be original, and just start. Don’t harbor doubts in your mind. Don’t think, 'What will people say?' People will have an opinion on everything, but that should not bother you as a content creator.”

With popularity comes trolling too, and negative comments. When asked if negative comments bothered the most famous Tik-Toker, Khaby replied in classic Arabic style. "I don’t care about negative comments. These are people hiding behind their phones. They do not mean anything to me. Khalaas.”

One of the biggest perks of success has been his ability to buy a house for his mother and himself, said Khaby, delighting the audience with his candor and grounded answers. "I have always been happy. I was happy when I was a factory worker in Italy. I was happy in my home country, Senegal. We were all poor but happy. I am happy now. Money and success don’t change anything,” said Khaby.

Organised by the first digital media institution of its kind in the Middle East, New Media Academy, the UAE’s premier hub for content creation is taking place on January 10-11, 2024, at the Emirates Towers and the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

The largest event of its kind globally, the Summit brings together over 3,000 content creators, influencers and creatives from all around the globe, including 100 expert speakers, to address and inspire over 1 billion people around the world and discuss new media’s role in supporting economies and contributing to sustainable development agendas.


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