Popular Ghanaian-American Youtuber Etika Dies At 29

Police have confirmed the death of Desmond “Etika” Amofah, a former model and well-known gaming YouTuber, after discovering him in Manhattan’s East River yesterday evening. Amofah’s body was found two days after police recovered his belongings on the Manhattan Bridge. On June 19, he had published a video that appeared like a suicide note.

Amofah, 29, was born in Brooklyn, New York and he’s of Ghanaian descent. He began creating videos on YouTube in 2012. His vlogs focused on Let’s Plays of video games, Nintendo news updates, trailer reactions, and other reaction videos.  Over the course of seven years, he amassed a following of over 800,000 dedicated fans across YouTube and Twitch. He referred to them as the JoyCon Boyz, after the Nintendo Switch controllers.

His exuberant playing and electric commentary on Nintendo games launched him into the realms of internet stardom. He began to publicly struggle with mental health last October, when he self-destructed his YouTube channel and, on Reddit, made references to suicidal ideation. In April, he was banned from the popular live-streaming platform Twitch, on which he was also an active creator, after posting anti-Semitic and homophobic content.

 Amofah reacted to this by live streaming on Instagram and threatening to commit suicide.The police, dressed in riot gear, eventually entered his home and detained him. Amofah was reportedly treated at mental health facilities after both the October and April incidents.

In his final video on June 19, which YouTube took down, Amofah said goodbye to fans and spoke about pushing away support and of being “consumed” by internet communities. “Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of the social media shit,” he said. “It will fuck you up and give you an image of what you want your life to be. … Unfortunately, it consumed me.”

After the NYPD confirmed Amofah’s death, “Etika” became Twitter’s top trending topic worldwide as his followers mourned. Many of his followers also changed their profile names to “joycon boyz” in tribute.

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