How did Kamal Aboki die? Tributes pour in for beloved TikToker who was only 26 years old
LAGOS, NIGERIA: People across northern Nigeria mourned 26-year-old Kamal Iliyasu, a TikToker popularly known as Kamal Aboki, after he died on Monday, January 16, in a car accident.
The well-known content creator was returning from Kano to Borno state when the tragedy befell. Aboki, who had quite the following on social media, shot to prominence with his short comedy films and songs. Hundreds of his well-wishers took to social media to share their condolences as they mourned the beloved skit-maker.
Activist Abiyos Roni tweeted, "I’m sad to announce the death of our Brother, Kamal Aboki a hausa comedian who died in a car accident from Borno to Kano. May almighty Allah grant him Jannah RIP."
I’m sad to announce the death of our Brother💔😭, Kamal Aboki a hausa comedian who died in a car accident from Borno to Kano. May almighty Allah grant him jannah 🤲🙏 RIP pic.twitter.com/CYI2Wfj3RI— Comr. Abiyos Roni©️ (@AbbaM_Abiyos) January 17, 2023
Murjanatu Kunyam, another popular TikToker from the region, posted a video of herself crying over the incident and said, "This world is nothing." Aboki's followers noted how he had posted a clip to his Instagram just a day before his death. Little did they know it would be his final post.
Singer and guitarist David Suazo, who also hails from the Kano area, said Aboki was a friend and described his death as shocking. "I just received a message on my phone saying they planned to bury [Aboki] this morning," he said in pidgin English, as quoted by BBC Pidgin. "I later learned he had traveled to Maiduguri and was returning to Kano when the accident happened, in the same area we stay."
Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raj'un— Aisha Izzar So (@Aisha_Izzar_So1) January 16, 2023
Allah ya gafarta maka Kamal Aboki yasa Aljanna Makomarka
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi , Allah yayi wa @kamal__aboki rasuwa. Allah ya jikan ka da rahama, he came to our space, he was so jovial and cracking jokes with everyone 😭. Please pray for him 🙏. Halin ka na gari ya biki Kamaal 😭 pic.twitter.com/oU2qp7AKvZ— princess bugaje 👸🏻 (@nana_bugaje) January 16, 2023
BBC spoke to Aboki's elder brother Usman Iliyasu, who told the outlet through tears how their mother had an intuition something bad was going to happen on Monday. "Kamal traveled to Maiduguri three days ago for one album launch and they were returning to Kano when tragedy struck," he said. "My mother asked me to call her, and after I called her around 5 pm, she told me she felt something wasn't right. Later, somebody called me and told me how my brother was traveling from Maiduguri to Kano when he met with an accident."
Aboki's family is heartbroken, and his elder brother told the outlet how he is going to "really miss" his younger brother. "I always remember one day when he told me, 'If I die before you, please take care of our mother and sister,'" Usman said. "Kamal was one of the nicest people in this world, always joking and playing with people. In fact, even my father called him 'My best friend'. Everybody is going to miss Kamal." A funeral service was scheduled for Aboki at 8 am on Tuesday, January 17, in the Kawo area inside Kano city. His body will be buried in the Tishama cemetery, per the outlet.