When you send someone off on an exciting new adventure but lose a friend, teammate, and brother in the process, the goodbye is bound to be bittersweet. This August, we bid farewell to Grade 10 centre back Jordan Samuels who has received a scholarship to play football at The Hill School in Pennsylvania, USA. He will be the first Ubuntu Academy School member to attend a high school in America.
Jordan came to us just two years ago when he attended a trial for Fish Hoek, under whose name Ubuntu was playing at the time. Samuels relates, “only after making the trial, Coach Casey spoke to my father about this academy Ubuntu and that they have their own school, which I knew nothing about.” Previously Samuels attended an all-boys school in Wynberg where he and his family live, but when presented with the opportunity to switch to Ubuntu he was keen to make the change. Since then he has brought nothing but positivity, energy, and an admirable work ethic to the Ubuntu family.
The centre back is nothing if not hard-working. On and off the field, Jordan exhibits remarkable motivation to do his best in order to achieve his goals. His scholarship to attend school in America will present a stimulating new challenge which the Grade 10 is facing with courage. Samuels admits that he will miss his family, but he is very excited about the new opportunity he has been given to travel to the US. “I’m hoping to make it further there, and if everything goes well, I would want to pursue football. In saying that though I also want to have my education behind me so that I have something to fall back on,” he says. He is also entertaining the idea of starting several businesses in the future as he enjoys the fields of maths and science.
During his time at Ubuntu, Samuels has achieved a great deal. Three months into his first year, Jordan was conferred the captaincy of his team, a responsibility which he was awarded again in his second year. When asked why he was chosen for the position he muses, “I think that I got to know each player for who they are and what they believe in, and know how to get the best out of each player. I think that made it easier for them to trust me, for me to lead them.” Not only was he made captain, but at the end of his first year he received the award for player of the year, which Samuels names as his proudest achievement. He explains, “during my first year I was working hard, or for about three years straight I was working really hard, especially with football and getting into shape and stuff. I felt like it was a good reward for me and it showed me the right path to go and keep working hard.”
Though his time at Ubuntu has been short, Samuels has thrown himself into the mix with zeal and energy. Upon reflection, he says earnestly about the academy, “the biggest difference is that Ubuntu is like a family, and that really makes a major difference. So many people, they don’t think about it but it actually makes a major difference when you’re playing with someone you can trust. Also just being there for someone, it helps a lot. And just knowing that on the football field, in the classroom, your peers, your brothers, they have you, they’re there for you.” We will miss Jordan as an integral part of the Ubuntu family, but we hope he will find his place and achieve great success on his next great adventure!