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Senegalese-born Tiktoker Gets Italian Citizenship

Khaby Lame, who this year was crowned the most-followed person on TikTok, has been granted Italian citizenship after moving to the country from his native Senegal as an infant. Lame, 22, best known for his droll and completely wordless reactions to internet “life hacks”, took his oath of citizenship on Wednesday (17 August) in Chiavasso, a municipality northeast of Turin, the local government has said. Lame’s skyrocketing to stardom shone an unfavourable spotlight on Italy’s very strict citizenship rules and the government’s treatment of the thousands of other young immigrants who were born in Italy or raised there by non-Italians. 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 the many children who are culturally Italian but are denied citizenship. Lame, who has also kept a hold of his Senegalese passport, told reporters he felt “very proud” of the citizenship and felt “a great responsibility for the oath” he took. “It is not that before, before signing, I didn’t feel Italian, so very little has changed,” he said. “But now I am officially Italian, on paper.”