His real name was Desmond Amofa, son of a Ghanaian politician who settled his family in New York. Online, his name was Etika which may well have been a cartoon character or captain of a far-flung spaceship circulating Jupiter. It suited him well and complimented his hairstyle, I thought.
The first Etika video I saw blew me away, instantly! He was “hyper” hysterical alright, previewing a TV news story about a schoolmate who had just shot a cop, but his personality made all the difference – I was bowled over by his brilliant spontaneity rarely seen in TV news reporting these days. Etika was also a master of online technology and presentation. That made a big difference. I watched him do all kinds of crazy stuff normally orchestrated off camera.
It did not take me long to realise I was watching a whiz kid genius.
A multitasking genius.
Completely over the top? Yes!
Sanitised show? No. Swears a lot – Uha
Etika must have been born with headphones and a mouse dancing on his head.
On Youtube, his shows are located in a timeless twilight zone for virtual junkies like me?
The meltdown 😥
Will not forget this in a million years. That evening, he looked so unwell, off colour, pale and troubled.
Instead of his infectious humour, Etika sounded like scrambled eggs burning on a cooker
Terribly incoherent. He struggled to sound sane. Badly disorientated. Etika’s best sounded like scats of a fucked up Jazzman on cold turkey.
I prayed it was a prank. He was famous for pranks but sadly, not this time.
The demons had finally taken over and they were frying his brains.
That was when Twitter yanked him off
Others followed. Then it started to sink in as I watched on, helplessly
145 million of us on YouTube. Plus 1.3 million or so subscribers. Nobody noticed Etika was in trouble?
Did nobody knock on his door?
Not even when he wandered the New York streets broadcasting his suicide video, live?
Etika jumped off the bridge over Rest River, New York.
30 years old
Death by suicide
19 June 2019.