Sam Okyere faces racist attack in Korea: Artist unhappy with Black Hyung nickname

Sam Okyere is called Black Hyung in Korea.

Sam Okyere
Sam Okyere stands out on Korean TV shows because of his race and skin colour Facebook/Sam-Okyere

Ghanaian television personality Sam Okyere is a well known name in Korean entertainment industry. The 24-year-old artist stands out on Korean TV shows because of his race and skin colour.

During a talk show As You Say, Okyere opened up about the racism in the country. He said: "The Korean word that I loved the most since I started learning Korean after coming to South Korea in 2009 was 'Woori' (meaning 'We'). But I wonder if 'woori' applies to someone like me of color."

He added: "When I tell people that I'm from Africa, I get a lot of startling questions like, 'Do you grow a lion at your house?' I get it so often that now I just respond by saying that my father has two lions. That's how much Koreans are unknowledgeable about Black people and Africa."

Okyere recalled another racist incident that happened inside a subway. He explained: "I tried to sit in an empty seat and an ahjumma (middle-aged woman) took the seat, outrightly discriminating against me by saying, 'What is a black thing doing here in Korea? Go back to your country'. What hurt more was that the other Korean people just sat there and watched. It made me wonder if Koreans just watch foreigners without helping them in difficult situations."

Okyere also spoke candidly about racial discrimination. He said: "Often, people in Korea call me 'Black Hyung'. I want people to call me Okyere hyung comfortably, or Okyere dongsaeng, or just Okyere without referring to my skin color."