Written by Samuel Folie
GUBA Interviews: Samuel Afari, Student Achiever of the Year 2018
As a model student achieving an incredible number of 9 A* GSCEs, 4 As and a single B, Samuel Afari is a young academic with a passion for philanthropy. Currently studying medicine at the University of Liverpool, he continues to exhibit dedication to his education, ranking amongst the top 10 of his cohort within his first year. Samuel spent his teenage years working with young people in a setting called Culture Fusion, a state-of-the-art facility which facilitates young people to engage and mentor each other, thus making them responsible members of the society and simultaneously decreasing their likelihood of being on the wrong side of the law.
Due to his passion for taking care of the poor and needy, Samuel volunteered in an Autistic Centre for over 6 months. During that time, he learnt about Autism and what it meant for the people living with the diagnosis. He learnt about the realities of the condition and how it affects not just the sufferers but also their families and the wider community. He also begun volunteering at a Care Home in Langdale, Bradford. With this experience, he felt the need to broaden his capacity to care in a clinical setting and as a result, began volunteering in the nearest hospital within his vicinity.
Aside being a student and a volunteer, Samuel works with an organization called Street Doctor; teaching kids basic First Aid skills and the dangers of Knife crime. He is also the President of Glory Land student church which is based on the university campus.
Sharing a range of passions, Samuel has love for the arts specifically poetry, and is currently compiling an anthology with other creative writers in Liverpool to publish next year.
Considered a role-model for his work with the youth in his community, Samuel was awarded the coveted GUBA 2018 Outstanding Student Achiever award on Saturday the 14th of July 2018. GUBA caught up with Samuel to find out more about him, gaining an insight into what motivates him as a student and what the future holds for him after receiving such a prestigious award.
Congratulations on your Award win. How does it feel to be the recipient of the GUBA 2018 Outstanding Student Achiever Award?
Winning the GUBA 2018 Outstanding Student Achiever Award comes as a great privilege. It was an absolute honour and pleasure to be awarded in the presence of the Former President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, as well as other very important dignitaries and distinguished guests present on the day. I felt very proud of myself as a Ghanaian to be in such an amazing company and was very much intrigued with the rich culture of Ghanaian and UK excellence that was displayed and celebrated.
How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others and how would it impact your career?
Receiving this award serves as a marker. It will be a constant reminder of the incredible people who have sacrificed for me as well as mentored me to get to where I am currently. By virtue of that, it is incumbent that I take up the responsibility of sharing my knowledge and expertise to the younger generation as well as teach and inspire as many people as possible for them to reach their full potential.
With regards to my career, I remain emboldened to keep working hard to improve not just myself but my entire community. This has always been my ultimate goal from the very beginning.
What motivates or keeps you going?
Everything around me. Primarily, I am motivated by God. He is my source of purpose and strength. The hardships I have experienced in my life and most of the things I have gone through also motivates me. These experiences continue to inspire me and keeps me going. It makes me believe that I can and will accomplish all that I have set out to do. Finally, I am also motivated by my role models, mentors and peers who continue to lead by example and continue to offer encouragement when I am in desperate need of it.
Is there any advice you would like to share with people who admire you or look up to you as a role-model?
If you want to become successful and also make an impact in your community in a substantial way, you need to take note of what you are passionate about. Find out your hidden talent and identify what you are really good at. These will keep you fulfilled in life and your skills will also be valuable to prospective businesses. With this, you will be able to attain the best of both worlds.
What are your impressions of the GUBA Awards?
GUBA is an amazing organization and the Awards is an exemplary initiative to bring together Ghanaians in the UK and back home in Ghana who are doing amazing work in their community and that is very commendable. GUBA is a vital organization because it provides a great platform which encourages Ghanaian entrepreneurship, skills sharing and networking. This initiative pools our resources together and educate each other for the betterment of Ghana which is in desperate need of ingenuity and creativity.
What should we look forward to from you in the coming years?
I will endeavour to become an NHS doctor and also continue to preach the word of God as President of my student church over the next few years. I have plans of writing books, producing songs and building career workshops in the coming year. GUBA has challenged me beyond my current aspirations and I am looking to have a more direct impact on Ghanaian health than I previously thought. This is something that requires more planning and strategy and I cannot wait.