Yai, 19, is a student of Biochemistry at Plymouth State University, who moved to the U.S. from South Sudan in 2000. She was having a good time at Howard University’s homecoming when a photographer began taking photos of her.
“A friend of mine and I decided to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend Howard University’s Homecoming,” she told Yahoo. She and the friend attended Yardfest – the homecoming concert – and on her way to the dorms, the photographer TheSUNK randomly starts taking photos of her. She said:
After Yardfest ended, I began walking toward the dorms, when a photographer that goes by the name Steve ‘theSUNK’ Hall randomly started taking photos of me.
While he was taking down my information, he said, “Today was a good day, and a couple of these photos have the potential to go viral.” I didn’t really think much of it, so I just smiled and went on about my day.
Little did she know, those images will send her going viral on social media. This picture on theSUNK gained over 10,000 likes on their Instagram page.
“It wasn’t until later that evening that I picked up my phone and found hundreds of Instagram notifications piling in,” Yai told Yahoo.
“Before all this happened, I had around 150 followers and was getting about 20 to 30 likes on each photo, and then suddenly, these numbers skyrocketed in a matter of hours.”
Now Yai has almost 25,000 followers and the post has garnered almost 16,000 likes.