Desmond Daniel Amofah (known online as Etika) was an American content creator who gained fame for playing Nintendo games on YouTube. Etika was a rapper and a model before he started posting gaming videos. Before the closure of his main channel in 2018, it had accrued more than 800K subscribers.
Etika’s second channel, dubbed EtikaFRFX, gained more than 130K subscribers. Fans loved Etika for his skill as a gamer and his hilarious reactions, but he also received criticism for his controversial actions. In 2019, Twitch banned him after he used a homophobic slur during a stream. YouTube terminated his channels twice after he uploaded pornography, which is contrary to the platform’s guidelines.
This piece will explain what really happened to Etika.
Before his disappearance, Etika posted a distressing YouTube video in which he repeatedly apologized to fans
On 20th June 2019, Etika uploaded a YouTube video titled I’m sorry. In the video, Etika talked about the idea of killing himself, and he apologized for past mistakes. “I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy,” he said in the video, which YouTube took down for violation of community guidelines. Etika then addressed the disastrous effects of social media on his life:
“Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of the social media shit, man. It will fuck you up and give you an image of what you want your life to be and it can get blown completely out of proportion, dog. Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
Etika’s video could have been construed as an apology, but the description pointed to something far darker. Like in his video, the description was mostly an apology, but it was the allusion to suicide that stood out. “I don’t know what awaits me on the other side, but I’m ready to face it,” Etika wrote. “My time ends now, but if there is a way for me to, I’ll send you all as my blessing as I can from the other side.”
The post drew mixed reactions from fans. Most showed genuine concern for the content creator, but a select few saw it as a publicity stunt. Etika had displayed erratic behavior in the months before posting the video, causing some to assume that it was part of an act rather than a genuine cry for help. On 16th April 2019, Etika tweeted: “Savonarola! I’m going to kill myself! You lot certainly have already. Shame on you all, silly humans.”
A couple of weeks later, the police received an anonymous call from an emotionally disturbed person in Etika’s residence. Authorities proceeded to the home and took Etika to hospital for evaluation.
Concern for Etika increased exponentially after the police officially reported him missing.
Authorities confirmed Etika’s cause of death to be suicide by drowning after recovering his body in the East River
Shortly after the search for Etika started, people discovered his belongings on the pedestrian walkway of the Manhattan bridge. They included a cell phone, a wallet, a laptop bag, and a Nintendo Switch.
On 24th June 2019, Etika’s body was discovered half a mile down the East River from the Manhattan Bridge. Emergency services swiftly recovered the body and confirmed it to be Etika. The coroner then confirmed his cause of death to be suicide by drowning.
Etika’s death highlighted the need for people to pay close attention to mental health issues. YouTube received pleas from some Etika fans to re-upload Etika’s final video, but the social media giant declined because the video violated community guidelines. Instead, YouTube sent Etika’s account information to national suicide hotlines to provide help.