It is 1:30 p.m. The plane is about to land, and suddenly the crew is taken aback by a stern order straight from the cockpit: Please – make sure that Ms. Kéfera Buchmann is the very last passenger to get off the plane. Stunned flight attendants and passengers alike, then, start looking around trying to identify to whom the captain is referring. A few seconds later, a rather shaken 22-year-old raises her arm in the back of the plane, “I’m Kéfera.”
In a scene reminiscent of the Beatlemania era, hundreds of adoring, electrified teenagers holding signs and screaming her name had taken over the airport, leaving authorities wondering why they had not been notified in advance that a pop star would be on that flight – or at least that was what all the mayhem on the ground led them to surmise.
Despite boasting almost 6 million followers on YouTube, Ms. Buchmann – oblivious of how much her frenzied fans worshiped her, the direct result of her impromptu short videos on the internet, in which she speaks her mind on issues ranging from the mundane (makeup tips) to the controversial (When is the right time to lose your virginity?) to the downright personal (“I haven’t talked to my dad in a long time.”) – was about to fathom the scope of her natural magnetism, along with airport officials, who, up to that point, had no idea who she was.
At 17, Ms. Buchmann – then an aspiring actress – took to the internet in the hopes of drawing the attention of TV stations so that she could launch her career. Instead, she ended up bypassing them and becoming an internet phenomenon in her own right, whose YouTube videos are now seen by millions.
Taking full advantage of her outsize visibility, she is currently touring the country performing her play to packed audiences, made up mostly of teenagers who look up to her in ways rarely seen in Brazil.
Born and raised in the southern part of the country – Curitiba – she now lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s powerhouse and one of the most populated cities on the planet, where she concedes “all the best opportunities are.”
When asked how long her YouTube success would last, the ever-optimistic Brazilian answers with a smile, “I hope it goes on for a long time, but if it ends tomorrow, I’ll be forever thankful for the opportunities life’s given me.”