YouTube personality Etika, whose real name is Desmond Amofah, was found dead June 25 after being reported missing for nearly a week. His death sent shockwaves around the YouTube-sphere, with fellow content creators and close friends offering their condolences to his family. His fanbase coped by sharing their memories and grief with the hashtag #JOYCONBOYZFOREVER, a reference to his fanbase’s nickname and an inside joke within the community.
The amount of support that this man’s death has brought to the community brings up two big points: how Amofah’s condition was largely ignored, and how, despite it all, he still managed to make hundreds of thousands of people happy for all those years.
Amofah’s unfortunate death was the culmination of years of mental illness and several public incidents. After his main YouTube channel was deleted, Amofah’s condition seemingly worsened, and his social feeds became filled with cryptic tweets. Eventually, he streamed a confrontation with police on Instagram Live. Amofah had also been checked in and out of mental hospitals during this time but was always cleared to leave soon after.
It all came to a head June 19, the day he disappeared, when he uploaded an eight-minute video of his apologies to everyone he could think of. Amofah also blamed social media for giving him an unattainable idea of what he wanted his life to be and hoped that his life could be a cautionary tale on the dangers of not getting help when needed most.
Through all the turmoil and conflicts that came up in his personal life and mixed into his career, Amofah maintained a bravado that fans respected. He was brash, full of energy and never shied away from telling his fans to chase their dreams. Several of his most down-to-earth moments were when he reached out to his base to help individuals do something positive for themselves.
One of the most telling signs of a good person is how they treat people below them. Amofah was an example of a man with fame who didn’t flaunt his influence to others and kept himself as humble as he was since he started streaming. The charisma and boisterous attitude he toted was never laced with subtle hints of arrogance, and his fans never grew tired of him. Even though Amofah’s content was filled with outlandish and offensive humor, he took excruciating lengths of time to thank all of his fans who donated to him.
Amofah’s legacy will be cemented as a pillar to the overlooked victims of mental illness and how they need help before they spiral out of control. But Amofah’s happy-go-lucky attitude and positive along with his driven mindset is one to take to heart. His fans won’t forget him, and his memory will leave a lasting impact on anyone who watched his channel.