Meet Shomari Sekou Samuels, a Jamaican known for his endeavors in Art, Design, Photography and Ideas. His passion for the arts sprouts from his very creative rich upbringing by his parents, family and community. He went on to become one of three students who were the first in the school to participate in the University of Cambridge Advanced level exams in 13th Grade, obtaining the highest award, “A” and the highest grade in the island for that year.
Currently, he is pursuing his passion in the field of architecture at a local architecture practice. In 2017 he was promoted to head of design with the completion of two major commercial projects. He and his company was featured in the local wealth magazine’s business access featurette. Noted for the outstanding work done on the high rise residential complex in the country’s major city. Shomari has also been the lead designer on two major projects completed by the firm for the Texaco service station brand. Both critically acclaimed in modernizing the cities landscape. He now looks to the future of completing his masters abroad, pushing to develop new ways of exploring Jamaican architecture in today’s zeitgeist.
Outside the field of design the sport of body building has taken route. This year’s endeavor he has pushed his physique to the edge of preparedness and looks to be a strong presence in running up to the August competition. In his core he believes anyone can achieve the body they want, they just have to put in the work to achieve it.
Check out my exclusive interview with him below:
Hey Sekou! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey guys, the name is actually Shomari Sekou Samuels officially but I go by Sekou. I am from Jamaica and identify as a fitness addict on social media but in reality I am a home body, video game addict who just so happens to lift. For my day job I am a Junior architect and head of design of a local architecture practice.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
It depends on the season, If I have a bodybuilding competition coming up so In the mornings I do 1hr and 10 mins of cardio then some abs. Go to work by 9am, work until 6pm then back at the gym for my evening gym session. After the gym I head home by 9pm eat and play video games. Rinse and Repeat. Off season it would be the removal of morning cardio and abb routines.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I went to the local architecture school, Caribbean School of Architecture graduated with a bachelors.
How were you discovered and what inspired you to go into modelling?
I haven’t actually modelled or consider myself one. I just bought a camera and decided to brand myself. Not interested in the model life actually prefer to keep to myself. Inspiration wise, I use to be that fat kid in high school so when I focused on training I said let me enjoy my body.
Tell me more about your love for everything design and artistic aesthetics. When and how did you develop the love for it?
I actually been into art from when I was younger and reached really far into it. The art field here is very tough so I decided to branch into architecture. When I went to university I was like damn this is very intriguing, cerebral really. So I said you know what . Why not.
In 2017 you were promoted to the head of design, with the completion of two major commercial projects this. How did that make you feel?
I was firstly surprised, I was and am so focused on the work I didn’t really come to grasp the amount of love it was getting until that point when I got the promotion. I was just grateful my boss believed in me, giving me designing projects straight out of school. I have only grown from there and working on bigger and better things. Sometimes I look and say to myself, what are the possibilities.
Will you say the modelling industry in the Jamaica is doing well?
I don’t follow modeling at all, not really that interested in the field. The most I do is admire the fitness models on social media and aspire to be like them.
You are known online for your photography skills and love for showcasing your nude side. What will you say motivated/inspires you to stay dedicated to what you do?
Being a fat kid I would say is the biggest motivation, other than that I like design and the human body being a part of that to me. I am inspired by the lines that we can create with it.
How do you feel each time people on social media report your photos and what message do you have for such people?
I would say to them, I understand that these sort of creations isn’t for you, but maybe try to understand the base idea behind the post. If it still offends you probable distance yourself from the source of the frustration.
You trained seriously for the last 4 years and finally entered the 2015’s local amateur bodybuilding show placing 4th in the physique class. 2016’s show, he upgraded the class, moving into the bodybuilding category and placing 3rd. What drives your passion when it comes to being fit and competing?
I want to see how far I can take my body, Its limits and what I can achieve with it and more importantly what I can endure training it.
This August you will be taking part in this year’s edition. How prepared are you for the competition?
Exhausted, but that’s a part of the game. I am liking the results I am getting so it’s worth it to me. The competition is to be stiff this year and it’s worrying. All I can do is rely on the work I put in and move from there.
What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to fitness?
1. Eat right
2. Eat right
3. Eat Right
5. Train hard
1. Over train
2. Make excuses
3. Watch others
4. Neglect rest
5. Neglect nutrition
What do you do to stay in shape, do you go to the gym?
I would say its not really gym that makes a body , it’s the nutrition…… so I focus on that first then train to meet my nutrition plan.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
VIDEO GAMES :} and I happen to like going to the beach or river to chill and sleep.
What do you consider the most common stereotype about the fitness modelling industry?
We are obsessed with ourselves, which is understandable since our main bread winner is our body.
What aspect surprised you the most once you started as an architect?
The amount of work and time you have to put into it.
Which brands, clients, photographers, designers, etc, have you worked with?
Not a single one lol
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
Lol This interview.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Right now…. Hmmm ….. probably Mark Henderson.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Trying to focus on myself and work.
Tell us 3 things people don’t know about you?
1. I am obsessed with hamsters lol
2. I love to cuddle and sleep
3. I am not big on crowds or parties.
You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
I am very active on Instagram, in terms of importance, It depends on what you want to get out of your brand, It can be to some and others like to be low key.
You are currently based in Jamaica. How is that working out for you?
I am, Its fine so far no complaints. But very soon in the future I have to go abroad to do my masters in architecture so I am looking forward to that.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
Right now its home lol. But I have vacationed in Florida a couple of times.
Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
I don’t I just wear what I can find. If not I am usually in my underwear as I am mostly home if I am not at work or gym. I like to be comfortable.
How would you describe your style?
None existent / nude
What style genre appeals to you the most?
Casual to minimalistic.
Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
I don’t wear those.
What are your favorite fashion trends?
Crop tops … I have a fascination for these though haven’t the balls to wear one as yet.
What is your favorite dish?
Burger, mmmmm…. More specifically Jack Daniel’s burger from TGI Fridays.
What songs are currently on your playlist?
I am addicted to flume “Weekend” , Tourist “Walking Elephants”, What so not, and Atlas.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I draw on occasion.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
Set yourself up technically wise now and when the opportunities come and they will, you will be ready.
Any specific plans for the future?
Going to architecture school abroad.
Any final words?
Thanks for the interview mayn and me taking so long. … for the readers.. be you .. do you !!!!