Samuel Okyere (born 21 April 1991) is a Ghanaian television personality active in South Korea and Ghana.

Sam Okyere
Sam Okyere - 2015.jpg
Okyere in 2015
Born (1990-04-21) 21 April 1990 (age 32)
OccupationTelevision personality
WebsiteSam Okyere on Instagram

Early lifeEdit

He was accepted into the Korean Government Scholarship Program in 2009 and moved to Korea to study computer science and engineering at Sogang University, in Seoul. Okyere is fluent in the Ashanti Twi dialect of the Ghanaian Akan language; Korean, English, French and Swahili.[1]

CareerEdit

He was a cast member in the JTBC talk show Non-Summit.[2] He was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2017.[3]

ControversyEdit

Sam Okyere took to his Instagram in early August 2020 to condemn the use of Blackface in a graduation photo by a student from a high school in South Korea.[4] His post was quickly met with criticism and caused controversy[5][6] for his reproaching the use of the derogatory theatrical make-up formally used to caricature and play on the racial stereotypes of Black people.[7]

Controversy was raised for his highlighting the issue where he was accused of openly criticising the incident in an ill-natured way, as well as failing to ask for permission to re-post the image on his Instagram.[8][5] He has since deleted the post and apologised for the post.

Okyere has since spoken after this issue in a BBC News podcast,[9][10] wishing to highlight and create conversation to better gather understanding in regards to racial social issues. He has previously spoken on the issue of blackface used in the entertainment industry.[11]

New backlash has arisen following a comment made on a photo of himself and actress Park Eun-hye in March 2019 by replying to a comment that was deemed suggestive.[12]

Okyere has deleted his Instagram account due to additional backlash for the comment.[13]

FilmographyEdit

Variety showsEdit

Year Title Network Role Notes
2013 Island Village Teacher tvN Cast
2014 Running Man SBS Guest Ep. 202-203 (with Fabien)
Golden Tower tvN Cast
True Justice MBC Cast
2014–2016,
2017
Non-Summit JTBC Cast
2015 Real Men Season 2 MBC Member
Law of the Jungle in Palau SBS Cast Ep. 146–150
Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education KBS2 Guest Ep. 91, 102
Infinite Challenge MBC Guest Ep. 453
2016 Ep. 465 (with Jack Black & Sam Hammington)
Ep. 484–486
Battle Trip KBS2 Contestant Ep. 22 (with Sam Hammington)
2017 I Can See Your Voice 4 Mnet Cast Ep. 8
My Little Television MBC Guest Ep. 84-85 (with Tyler Rasch)
2018 Please Take Care of My Refrigerator JTBC Guest Ep. 168–169 (with Alberto Mondi)
Knowing Bros Guest Ep. 129 (with So Yoo-jin)
Dunia: Into a New World MBC Cast [14]
2019 Friendly Variety Show [ko] MBN Cast
2020 Love 7.7 billion JTBC Guest Ep. 7

TV seriesEdit

Year Network Title Role Notes
2015 MBC Warm and Cozy Sam cameo, Ep. 5–7
2016 KBS2 Moorim School: Saga of the Brave Sam

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Intimate Enemies Yakubu

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2015 8th Korea Drama Awards Global Star Award Warm and Cozy Won
2019 14th Asia Model Awards Fashionista Award[15] Won

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ghana's Sam Okyere Is A Korean TV Star". July 3, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Kim, Slater (August 27, 2014). "이런 비정상 G11 때문에 월요일이 기다려지다니, 이런 나 비정상인가요?" (in Korean). Naeil Shot Magazine. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  3. ^ "30 Under 30 Asia 2017: The Expats". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  4. ^ "Sam Okyere Expresses Major Disappointment In Black Face Parody By Korean High School Students". Koreaboo. 2020-08-06. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  5. ^ a b "Ghanaian TV personality speaks up against racism in Korea, sparks controversy". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  6. ^ "Does Sam Okyere face risk of deportation for calling out South Korean students' 'racist' Blackface parody?". meaww.com. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  7. ^ "Blackface", Wikipedia, 2020-08-15, retrieved 2020-08-27
  8. ^ Herald, The Korea (2020-08-10). "As Korean content goes global, cultural sensitivity becomes key issue". www.koreaherald.com. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  9. ^ "BBC World Service - Focus on Africa, Sam Okyere: The black man fighting racism in South Korea". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  10. ^ "Sam Okyere opens up about Korean high school students' recent 'blackface' costumes in interview with 'BBC News'". allkpop. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  11. ^ "TV Personality Sam Okyere Responds To Blackface Controversy". Soompi. 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  12. ^ "Sam Okyere Under Fire Yet Again For Making A "Sexual Joke" About Black People". Koreaboo. 2020-08-25. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  13. ^ "Okyere deletes Instagram account after two controversies". koreajoongangdaily.joins.com. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  14. ^ "List of cast members of Dunia: Into a New World on MBC official website". MBC (in Korean). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  15. ^ "2019 Asia Model Awards Fashionista Award - Sam Okyere, Oh Na-ra". 2019 Asia Model Awards Official NAVER TV Account. 22 June 2019.