When you first meet Rachel Kay you’d be mistaken for presuming she is shy and reserved, but within minutes her quirky personality and zest for life bubbles over, encompassing you in a joyful fog that will hang around your head for the rest of the day. This South African streamer who speaks with an American twang and has slowly crawled into the hearts of her some 30 000 followers on Twitch. She’s built a welcoming community, made partner on the streaming channel and is sharing how her streaming journey started, as well as a few stand out moments, for those interested in how her story has developed.
Rachel’s first gaming memory is when her brother and her shared a Nintendo 64. A few years later the family PC became the source of casual gaming for her before she moved to South Africa. It was five years later before Rachel jumped back into gaming and she decided to do it in a rather unique fashion choosing to get a VR headset first, then a Playstation and finally a PC. She likes to joke that she “went kinda backwards”.
There was a move to South Africa and anyone who has jumped into Rachel’s streams will immediately notice the American accent. However, what most don’t know is that her parents are South African. While Rachel was born in Miami, the family returned to South Africa when she completed grade nine. She’s been in the country for almost half her life but her accent has remained. As has her favourite game of all time which, when asked what it is, she can answer almost immediately:
“Witcher 3. I don’t even think it needs an explanation, that game is just *chef’s kiss”.”
Rachel’s entry into streaming was pretty straight forward. While watching Twitch with some friends one evening, they mentioned that she should try it. The next day she set up a Twitch account and went live for the first time. The move to becoming a full time streamer took a little longer:
“I played around with streams for about a year, just casually going live and figuring it all out just for fun. I really love streaming, it makes me so happy. I figured I should give it 100% for a few months and see how it goes and off it went, here we are now.”
As Rachel’s twitch following grew, her personality was easily captured by her daily uploads. However, her viral moment came when she decided to jump on the then hot tub meta stream popularity, but with a twist.
She explains why inspired this moment, that was shared all over the internet and had many viewers chuckling for months to come:
“That was so random, but hilarious. Basically, hot tub meta became so big that I’m going to assume everyone’s chats had people asking for a hot tube stream. I knew April Fools was coming up, so I thought it would be a good idea if I told everyone I would have a hot tub stream, but when they arrived expecting me in a hot tub it would just be my Star Wars LEGO characters in a mini hot tub. Actually, shout out to Red Bull for my little Watermelon floatie they sent me - I used it as the mini hot tub! It became the most watched hot tub clip on Twitch at one point.”
Rachel’s streams are much like hanging out in the lounge with your friends, having fun, watching some gameplay and chatting away. She says that is how she’d explain her streams to someone who has never watched them:
“It’s literally that, just a group of amazing people hanging out, having fun and watching me play games… just virtually.”
While streaming seems like the dream job it is easy to be hard on yourself when constantly putting yourself in the spotlight. For Rachel, she had to learn to not feel guilty when taking a day off and also learn self discipline because of the strange working hours. However the good far outweighs some of the difficult aspects:
“I say it all the time because I really can’t believe it: I play games for a living and spend time with the most amazing community of people. I’m very lucky that this is my career. I’ve got such a positive group of people to spend my time with, all we want is to have fun and play games. It’s simple but that’s really what it is for me.”
As her channel and community continues to grow, Rachel is grounded in her goals, wanting to continue to focus on the community she is building and ensuring everyone leaves her streams with a smile on their face:
“I’m always trying to grow my streams. Getting as many people to hang out and enjoy my streams as I possibly can is the goal. There is no limit, so that makes it exciting!”
You can watch Rachel on twitch, here: