Sam Okyere is arguably South Korea’s most famous black man. While his popularity has soared in recent times, it was a completely different story when he first moved to the country.
The Ghanaian born Okyere was raised in his homeland but moved to Korea 9 years ago.
He recalls the challenges he faced as racial discrimination was widespread.
Coming from Ghana, Okyere hadn’t really experienced racism previously but Koreans were fairly blatant with their stance.
He shared that people often approached him and called him a black monkey or told him to leave the country.
Okyere moved to Korea due to a scholarship to study computer engineering.
Koreans traditionally weren’t exposed to foreigners as 99% of their population are ethnically Korean and Okyere believes this is where the racism stems from.
The Mail and Guardian reported that the turning point came when he started learning the Korean language.
His newfound communication skills helped him to befriend more locals but also to enter the entertainment industry.
He starred in a variety show named ‘Abnormal Summit’ and eventually earned his own radio show.
Incredibly, Okyere’s popularity has soared in recent times. From being openly discriminated against to having mobs of fans begging for autographs, the transformation couldn’t have been more drastic.
It’s encouraging to note that he’s not only enjoying his rise to stardom but using it as a vehicle to educate Koreans on the impact of racism.
He shares that he often receives letters from locals who appreciate his eye-opening comments.
Sam Okyere may not only be South Korea’s most famous black man, but also one of its most important.
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