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TikTok king Lame becomes Italian citizen

Social media icon came to Italy from Dakar at one year of age

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 18 - Senegalese-born global TikTok king Khaby Lame became an Italian citizen at a ceremony in his home town of Chivasso near Turin on Wednesday.
    The world's most followed TikTokker, with over 148 million followers, took the oath in the city council of the Piedmont city where he started shooting his famed mute comic clips two years ago when he was 20.
    The social media superstar, born Khabane Serigne Lame in Dakar in 2000, and who has been in Italy since he was one year old, was officially notified he had obtained Italian citizenship on June 8.
    In Italy the children of immigrants can only apply for citizenship after they turn 18, and the process usually takes three-to-four years.
    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 and neither move has so far passed.
    The Chivasso town council also gave Lame a copy of the Italian Constitution and a lapel pin with the arms of the city.
    Visibly moved, Lame spoke about growing up in the tough working class neighborhood in Via Togliatti, accompanies by an Italian childhood friend.
    "I felt Italian before today, too, like everyone else," he said, "having always lived here.
    "Signing the oath is a great responsibility".
    The super-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.
    The Khaby Lame phenomenon exploded in the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a string of ironic home-made reels in which the budding star expressed himself with gestures alone.
    He became the most followed TikTokker in the world in June, overtaking the American dancer Charli D'Amelio, who boasts 145 million followers. (ANSA).


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