Interview: Stephen Seki Interview with Stephen Seki, by Emily and Madison. Some information about Stephen Seki: Stephen is an incredibly passionate and engaging speaker with a powerful message. Doing whatever he could to become a pharmacist, Stephen is now committed to teaching and sharing both his story of transitioning from life in a Ugandan village to the many challenges he faced when he came to the UK aged 10 unable to speak, write or read English. Stephen is now trying to help as many people as possible by sharing, with students, the various strategies that helped him get where he is today, motivating young people to believe in themselves. Following on from an inspirational assembly delivered to year 8 this morning, we interviewed Stephen to find out a bit more about his amazing story and how he got to where he is today. Stephen Seki interview: Emily: Please can you tell us a bit about your back story. Stephen: During my life in Uganda I was a farmer, living in poverty. But when you are living in poverty you don’t think you are, even when you are only having one meal a day. Everyone was, it was normal so I didn’t really know any different. Then when I came to England it was a different culture, different climate, different food, different language. All of it was very new. So I struggled a lot because I had a new school, new friends, new environment so it was all very hard and difficult. School was hard and then university was an even bigger struggle Madison: What inspired you to become an inspirational speaker? Stephen: I was working as a pharmacist and still didn’t have much confidence in my communication so I joined a speaking club. So after work some days I went to speaking club to learn how to communicate better and I met a lady from Cornwall called Maria Hawking and she said, “oh you’re a good speaker do you want to come to an event with me in Bodmin.” I went with her to this speaking event and it went really well and then someone else said, “oh you’re a really good speaker do you want to come and speak at my school?” and then it just carried on from there. Madison: Do you prefer inspirational speaking to being a pharmacist? Stephen: I love being a pharmacist but I think I can help more people by being a speaker because I think the thing that I want to do in life is not a job but an interest. I want to help as many people as possible and I think speaking gives me that opportunity to actually do something unforgettable in my life. Madison: Why is it important to motivate young people in particular? Stephen: I think I prefer speaking to younger people right now because when I was going through school I really struggled; I was bullied and wasn’t a high performing student and because of that I wasn’t very confident that I could do with my life. I think there are a lot of young people like that who don’t believe in themselves or believe that their dreams can become a reality… no one tells them that when they fall they need to pick themselves back up and I would like to help them build their confidence up and tell them that to achieve their dreams they actually have to work hard and even if other people mock them it doesn’t matter because if they work harder than them they will achieve their aspirations. I am a strong believer that whatever dream someone has it can be achieved with hard work and persistence.