We recently had the pleasure of Sam Jalloh coming to join us at the Shoestoshare storage where we met Sam for an exciting exchange. Sam made a 500 mile round trip from Liverpool to London and back with a close friend Bruce who help transport 250 pairs of shoes back with Sam for his ‘Motivate Africa 2021’ trip.
We thought this means it’s about time we share some information with you about Sam, a close friend of Shoestoshare and somebody we always love to get involved with. For those who don’t know, Sam is a successfully published author, so we here is a brief background on Sam, written by the protagonist himself.
“My Story – After surviving my birth in Sierra Leone, a country that continues to have one of the highest neo-natal and infant mortality rates in the world, I went on to be the first boy in my family to celebrate a second birthday, unlike my three brothers born before me.
At age six, I was adopted by my biological parents to a new home where I faced constant punishment from my adopted family.
Born to parents who had eleven children, my childhood was disrupted, when I was only 9 years old, by a civil war that engulfed the entire nation. It lasted eleven years, taking the lives of over one hundred and twenty thousand innocent people, including some of my own family members and friends.
By the age of thirteen, I found myself competing in a strange sport (Tennis) that I once thought was only played by rich, white people. My dream was to win the biggest prize of qualifying for the Sierra Leone Junior (under 18) National Team and use the two hundred and fifty dollars allowance money to feed my family and pay school fees. This dream was shattered time after time.
Approaching the age of seventeen, time was running out to qualify in the Sierra Leone Junior National Team. My country was taking the full hit of the bloody civil war but I found myself in a position to grasp one more chance to turn my dream into reality and I was more determined than ever to take that chance.
Whilst bearing the loss of loved ones and close friends in a civil war that I just did not understand, I also battled hunger and starvation in a country where many of the younger generation were forced to become child soldiers or suffer a painful death along with so many of my countrymen and women and yet – I survived.
In this fascinating, true story, ’How Tennis Saved My Life’, I give a mind-blowing account of my experiences during the war, of my family’s and friends’ harsh existence and how they survived what life and man threw at them. The book takes us on a gripping journey from birth to manhood, through experiences ranging from extreme despair to heart-warming triumph. Indeed, resiliently I have zig-zagged my way through a life of countless catastrophes and some opportune blessings, and have lived to tell the story.
This inspirational read has something to offer everyone and is a real eye-opener for those fortunate enough not to have encountered these sorts of adversities in their lives. It is often the case that we only truly value life upon having faced a close call – then boom – many of the things we took for granted become the most important, precious things in our lives.
In my own words, I share my dogged determination and will to endure pain, to plough through dangers and to fight to stay alive, in order to see one more sunrise, one more day and to smile one more time at my beloved Mum.
Today, I enjoy my career as an International Tennis Coach touring with players from all over the planet. As a physical, nutritional and mental coach, I plumb my own experiences of adversity and precarious survival to inspire students and readers, to succeed in their goals and meet their full potential.
Across three continents, (Europe, Africa and Australia) my presentations hearten and exhilarate people of all ages with reflections on my life’s journey, my family and how tennis saved my life.”
Sam’s trip to Africa this year is built on the purpose of inspiring future generations from his home continent. Inspiring young minds with the knowledge that both their country and homeland’s future rests in their hands. In addition, Sam plans to document the trip and share the beauty of Africa along the way, celebrating its successes and highlighting the needs for support.
If you would like to find out more about Sam trips or pledge a donation towards the trip, please click here.