Black Lenses Matter: Sama Kai

Explore the works from photographer Sama Kai selected as part of an instalment for Black Lenses Matter by Misan Harriman

Paigey CakeyWhat We Seee

Sama Kai (Kai for short) is a London based photographer, born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He migrated to the UK in 2003. Moving over to the UK from Sierra Leone after the civil war was seen as an important step to have good education and better opportunities.

Jordan (Athlete)What We Seee

"I let my lens speak on my behalf as I capture things from my angle".

Sierra LeoneWhat We Seee

"The civil war affected me in more ways than you can imagine. Settling in the UK wasn't an easy ride, I was dealing with PTSD from a war, but had to toughen up quickly because I sounded different compared to other kids. I also acted different because of cultural differences, which meant I was an easy prey. I had experiences with racism and colourist..."

The RhythmWhat We Seee

"...Time passed and my accent changed, and I made friends but memories remain."

Eyes of TruthWhat We Seee

John Boyega, From the collection of: What We Seee
Emile, From the collection of: What We Seee
ThrFro, From the collection of: What We Seee
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Mabel & Aj TraceyWhat We Seee

"My photography journey began in 2018, when I started exploring the different locations in London I hadn't visited or given much attention to previously. To my surprise, there was so much beauty all around me so I started to take pictures, as I found it quite therapeutic."

Spray PaintWhat We Seee

"Photography for me is all about perspectives. I capture things from my angle, as I see them. I wanted to have that freedom and power to narrate a story through my lens. Towards the end of September 2018 I purchased my first camera, travelling around with it became a norm and I’d capture anything that caught my attention"

Dad&DaughterWhat We Seee

"The various events that took place in my life controls my vision on how I want to capture things. I want to present stories from a different angle, which could potentially change the narrative."

MarleyWhat We Seee

"Speaking about my background unveils why I photograph what I do and how I do it. That became really apparent during the BLM protests in 2020."

PassionWhat We Seee

HopeWhat We Seee

"As a black man, I feel obligated to present my people, our various causes, our history, culture, personality and more through my lens, and display it in the best and most beautiful way possible."

AthenaWhat We Seee

Michael JrWhat We Seee

"Building a legacy is the aim. My lens is the tool."
- Sama Kai

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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