Olajide Olatunji (KSI) is a British-Nigerian content producer who went from commenting and reacting to FIFA video games on YouTube to being one of the world’s most famous influencers.
His adventure began in 2008, when he first appeared on YouTube. A year later, his channel, KSIOlajideBT, was founded, and he began filming himself playing video games – usually FIFA – and running comedic commentary, which won him millions of followers.
Olatunji, then 15, would be drawn away from his parents’ vision for him by his sudden celebrity and success on YouTube.
“I was aged between 15 and 16 when I started on YouTube, but I didn’t want to tell anyone,” he told the Sun in 2016. “Back then, people would be like: ‘What are you doing? You’re such a weirdo. Why are you making videos online?’
“But I felt I could be more outgoing on YouTube. I could do anything, be anyone.”
His obsession with YouTube caused him to neglect his schooling at the fee-paying Berkhamsted School. As the demands of YouTube increased, he failed his A-Levels. His parents were enraged by this.
He recalled in an interview with the Grounded podcast in 2020, “My parents lost their s***. My mum just screamed. “I’ve never seen her scream so loud, and she was just throwing glasses everywhere. My dad was like, ‘Everything we’ve worked for has come to nothing.’ It just crushed him.”
His parents tried great attempts to keep him away from YouTube, but it was futile. They removed the house internet and concealed his Xbox, but he eventually dropped out of school on the recommendation of his instructor in order to devote his full attention to his YouTube channel.
“I told my teacher that I wasn’t enjoying school and that I was enjoying YouTube more, and that I was getting paid good amounts,” he said in a 2014 interview with the Telegraph.
“I asked the teacher, ‘should I leave?’ He asked, ‘how much are you making from YouTube?’ and I said around £1,500 a month. He told me he was getting less than that.”
A decade later, KSI has amassed a fortune because to the success of his YouTube channel. He has over 40 million subscribers and has over 10 billion views in total.
Today, he manages YouTube with other businesses such as music, boxing, and his boxing company, MisFits Boxing. He also owns Prime Hydration energy drink, which he co-owns with former boxing adversary Logan Paul. The energy drink has swept the business, becoming immensely famous among its young followers. The beverage has even partnered with the Arsenal Football Club.
KSI also co-founded the online organization The Sidemen and is a co-owner of a restaurant chain, a vodka brand, and a property portfolio. The son of Nigerian immigrants in the United Kingdom has stated that he wishes to be remembered as the greatest of all time (GOAT).
“I want people to look back in years to come and be like, “You know what? KSI did a madness. He started with no talent. Absolutely f*** all. And he was able to start with zero subscribers to then be this guy who’s got plenty of number ones in music,” he told Men’s Health.
“Was able to fight, like, massive YouTubers and all these other things that people thought he was never able to do. Get all these accolades. From literally nothing.”
With earnings of $24 million, KSI was been named one of Forbes’ “Top Creators 2023.” His ranking on the list places him among the world’s top content creators, with not only a vast following but also a massive fortune.