It does not matter where you are or what skin color you have, follow excellence and success will pursue you. So did Sam Okyere, the Ghanaian TV personality who is currently changing the face of the South Korean entertainment industry and conjectures held about black people with not just his color but his talent, wits and ability to express his points of view. Here’s all you need to know about him.
Who Is Sam Okyere?
Sam Okyere is the African man who is currently making waves in Asia. The Ghanaian television personality and model made his transit to Seoul, South Korea after he was accepted into the Korean Government Scholarship program in 2009 to study Computer Engineering at Sogang University. Over the next few years, he built the reputation of being the most famous black man in South Korea. He graduated in 2014 but has continued to command traffic in the entertainment industry.
Sam seeks to bridge the gap between Korea and Africa and change local misconceptions about Africans, in general, having had a foretaste of them after he first arrived on Korean soil.
Okyere was born in his native country, Ghana on April 21, 1991, and named Samuel. His quest for higher knowledge brought him to Korea but he also reasoned that as a young man, he could utilize the opportunity he has of being in the country to grab as many experiences as he could. Sam is fluent in the Ashanti Twi dialect of the Ghanaian Akan language as well as in four other languages including Korean, English, French, and Swahili.
Although Okyere did not envision a career on television, necessity called for his participation therein. He had to face the unpleasant realities of racism in his new country sparring with the frustrations he faced while missing his family. While he contemplated whether to abandon his studies and return home, a Korean friend managed to convince him to stay which also worked to offer him new perceptions of the apparent issue he faced. Thus, he decided to do something to effect the change he wants to see by dedicating his time to study the people of Korea and learn their culture.
Then came another massive idea to help him on his journey of bridging the gap between Africa and Korea: the media. Interestingly, he discovered that Korean TV has opened doors to foreigners as a way to get them involved in Korean culture. So once the opportunity presented itself, he grabbed it voraciously and in time earned acting gigs and has become an established presence on screen.
With a good command of the Korean language, he soon debuted on TV in 2013 on the tvN series Island Village Teacher in which foreign celebrities teach local pupils on an island. The fact that he was able to communicate with Koreans in their native tongue made him realize how powerful language is and for the first time, he came face to face with the fact that language can indeed break barriers.
Following several other small works on the screen, Okyere’s big break eventually came when he made an appearance on the KBS talk show Hello Counselor to talk about the difficulties he faced with racism in Korea. Following that, he snagged a regular role in the JTBC talk show Non-Summit and also made guest appearances on game show Running Man and talk show Happy Together as well as a cameo appearance on the 2015 MBC series Warm and Cozy. For his appearance in Warm and Cozy, he won the Global Star Award at the 8th Korea Drama Awards.
Since then, he has become more fascinated with Korean culture and has received the warmness, acceptance, and recognition he desired. Eventually, the people are beginning to realize that people from Africa live their lives just like they do and are not any different irrespective of skin color. He is also beginning to rank among some of K Pop’s most famous stars with a pretty extensive resume of works under his belt, including Law of the Jungle in Palau, Master Chef Korea Season 3, Moorim School: Saga of the Brave, Intimate Enemies, Dunia: Into a New World.
However, beyond a Tv career, Sam Okyere hopes to continue using his platform as a black representative to create awareness about his home country Ghana and adopted home South Korea. He also dedicates his time to a lot of humanitarian and cultural diplomacy work and has helped open a school in Ghana as well as co-founded a campaign to connect cultures through food and fashion with t-shirts designed with illustrations combining dishes from Korea and Africa.
Okyere has indeed made his mark on the Korean entertainment scene. Although he did not initially view acting as an avenue to make money, the money nonetheless came. He earns a modest amount from his TV gigs, though his net worth has not been revealed.
Does he have a Wife or Girlfriend?
Sam is a handsome bloke and certainly has marriage in his line of thoughts. He has even talked about the prospect with his mother. However, he is yet to walk down the aisle with his loved one whose identity he is yet to unveil.
He has no problem cutting across continents. While his mother, in a typical mother’s way, may have a little issue accepting a Korean lady as a daughter-in-law but would nonetheless go with her son’s choice for the sake of his happiness, his father, on the other hand, would rather he marry one.
Besides that, he thinks it will be ideal to bring his parents to Korea for his future wedding. So, watch out for a Korean wedding with Sam Okyere.
Height and Other Facts
The Ghanian born Korean TV personality is a height favored man. To be compared to a Hollywood A-lister, it certainly is not about looks alone but height as well. He stands 1.84 m tall above the ground.
Some people mistake him for the American actor Will Smith because of their striking resemblance.
Sam was one of the featured honorees on Forbes 30 under 30 Asia in Entertainment and Sports 2016 list.
He was also 1 of only 2 applicants to be accepted from his home country into the Korean Scholarship Program in 2009.
Sam Okyere was made an ambassador to promote seaweed which he loves and ate a lot of on the show, Island Village Teachers from the small fishing town of Wando in South Korea.