Who is Fortafy and why does he keep showing up on my Facebook timeline?

Natasha Christian

He is the man who has become an internet sensation with hundreds of thousands of people watching videos he shares everyday.

Fortafy is part of a new wave of internet entrepreneurs using social media to promote themselves and make a living.

"Who is Fortafy and why does he keep showing up on my Facebook timeline?"

This question was posted to Reddit not long ago.

“Some artist trying to get big according to Google” one user unhelpfully commented.

“Some guy fishing for likes” another described.

A quick visit to his Facebook page offered a different answer.

“Fortafy, my only reason to stay on Facebook,” one girl wrote.

He responded with a love heart in acknowledgement.

Photo: Fortafy/Facebook
Photo: Fortafy/Facebook

Better than nothing for someone who has close to four million Facebook followers.

In little more than a year 28-year-old Fortafy has become Facebook’s Most Talked About Fanpage. Yet no one seems to know why.

He’s literally laughing his way to the bank with every ‘OMG’, ‘LOL’ and like on his shares which range from hilarious memes, to food nostalgia and relationship advice.

If you’ve liked something on Facebook recently, it’s likely Fortafy shared it.

His ballsy sense of humour and ability to relate to his fans gets him about 200,000 new followers each week. It’s also allowed his one-man fan page for an up and coming rapper to be transformed into a viral content business.

To answer the above question, Fortafy is Sam Ratumaitavuki, a Kiwi expat living in inland Queensland with his young family.

Fortafy and his young daughter. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook
Fortafy and his young daughter. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook

He’s a rapper, a nightclub promoter, business marketer and has one of the biggest social media followings on Facebook.

But how does an up and coming rapper get 3.9m followers on Facebook?

As he explains it, he was quick to pick up that being the ‘funny guy’ is a pretty good moneymaker and he’s worked his arse off to turn it into one.

“I’m doing this for my family and to get ahead in life,” Fortafy told Yahoo7.

He said he realised he could do a lot more with his social network when a letter he wrote his mum complaining about her gym obsession went viral.

“When I was a kid my mum kept going to the gym. I wrote her a letter saying I was going to run away because she spent so much time there,” he said.

The post attracted ten thousand likes and sparked his desire to ‘go viral’ and went from there.

But it hasn’t all be smooth sailing. While a large social media following can be great if you’re smart with it, it can be a disaster if you’re not careful.

He said he’d learnt the hard way to tone down his humour if he wanted to keep growing his audience.

Before he became the household name of Facebook, Fortafy previously gained his following from self-produced music videos, a bit of a bad boy image and life-hack style YouTube videos, including one where he taught his fans how to steal McDonald's.

FORTAFY'S VIRAL VIDEOS



Perhaps it was fatherhood, or simply growing up, but he’s since realised it’s easier to get everyone to ‘Like’ you when you’re not offending the masses.

“We’ve learnt to consider that someone else may not think the same way as us. You have to think to yourself ‘what if I was reading this’,” he said.

The change of attitude must’ve worked as one in 50 people from New Zealand now like his page, joining followers from around the world.

With a bit of help from his team, he’s turned the Fortafy page into a 24-hour element of his life.

Not bad for someone who says his goal is to have ‘the biggest page on Facebook.’

“It just spiraled into something really crazy. I get to sleep at 3am and wake up at 7am. It’s pretty full on”, he said.

As for monetizing his following, Fortafy quite frankly said he didn’t care if he was considered a sell out.

He’s no stranger to tall poppy syndrome, with many criticising his ability to make money from Facebook and finding social media fame.

“It’s ludicrous that some people think you should be doing this for free”, he said.

Photo: Fortafy rapping at a concert in Perth. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook
Photo: Fortafy rapping at a concert in Perth. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook

“I’m providing a service… Of course you should find ways to make money from it and use that money to make it a better service.”

“I want to monetize it as much as possible.”

And while he stopped short of sharing just how much he was earning thanks to Facebook, he assured he was comfortable.

And why shouldn’t he be. The self confessed ‘workaholic’ says he works 18 hour days and then some to make his social media career a reality.

“This is what I like doing. I’ve found a way to make a living through it and I’m doing what I love… it’s well worth it.”

When asked what he’d do for some time off Facebook, he said he had no interest in it.

He hated the idea of ‘switching off’ and taking a holiday away from the internet.

Fortunately for Fortafy, his partner Shana Evers is OK with this lifestyle and his social media habit.

His girlfriend is often the subject of memes. A recent photo share of Shana’s long hair where she wasn’t even facing the camera attracted 90,000 likes in a day.

Photo:Fortafy/Facebook
Photo:Fortafy/Facebook

“We’re very like-minded and want to get ahead. It’s a good relationship. We’re a bit of a power couple… time will show that,” Fortafy said.

The downside of their ‘online-all-the-time’ life means the couple is prone to trolling.

When fans picked up on Shana’s striking resemblance to Kim Kardashian and deemed Fortafy the ‘Aussie Kanye West’ the pair were instantly accused of being copycats.

[region=au]

The couple are often told that they resemble rapper Kayne West and his wife Kim Kardashian. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook
The couple are often told that they resemble rapper Kayne West and his wife Kim Kardashian. Photo: Fortafy/Facebook


While he takes it as a compliment, Fortafy had no desire to be the guy who looked like someone else.

“It’s kinda funny and we do laugh at it when people say ‘has anyone told you, you look like Kim and Kanye…’ Yeah, 1000 times today.”

The pair have also learnt to switch off from crueller comments, especially now that they have a young daughter to consider.

“You can’t let it exist. I know people that get really down about it. But you can’t. You’ve got to be thick skinned if your life is out there on the Internet.

“There’s a lot of hate online but the good comments outweigh the bad.”

While he was also concerned about his daughter’s future with an ‘online family’, Fortafy had no issue sharing his proud moments of fatherhood with his fans.

“She’s got her own page, it got 79,000 likes in about four weeks. People do warn me to watch out though,” he said.

As for his other family, the audience, he took pride in responding to every message his page received.

“We always write back, even when it’s something bad. If someone with a big online presence responded to me, I would like that… I know how it feels”.

Not bad for someone who says he gets hundreds of messages a day.

But he felt rewarded knowing his efforts provided a source of entertainment for people.

“I didn’t think people would care so much about it… I get some that say ‘I just come on your page and go for hours as it makes me laugh’,” he said.

“If you can give someone entertainment or supply someone with a better day it doesn’t matter what format you deliver it in.”

“If sharing something that is trivial to me can do that much for someone, that’s awesome”.

Perhaps that’s why giving up the page is something he wouldn’t put a price on.

“If someone offered me $5m for this page I wouldn’t sell it,” he said.

Still unsure who Fortafy is? Check out his Facebook or his Instagram account.