Faces of Sama
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Faces of Sama: Erick Vukaya’s Journey from an Untrained Teacher to a Portfolio Lead

Erick Vukaya, one of Sama’s newest portfolio leads, stands as a testament to perseverance, determination, and the transformative power of hard work. His narrative is woven together with threads of hope and resilience and serves as a beacon of inspiration for those charting their career paths.

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Faces of Sama: Erick Vukaya’s Journey from an Untrained Teacher to a Portfolio LeadAbstract background shapes
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Erick embarked on his journey at Sama in 2016 as an Associate. Over 7.5 years, he has navigated roles ranging from Associate to Quality Analyst, Project Instructor to Delivery Manager, and is now a Portfolio Lead. Each step of this journey reflects his hard work in broadening his professional skill set, and a profound commitment to excellence. 

He attributes his journey to a blend of hard work, passion, and dedication. Erick epitomizes a results-oriented approach. “I don't like thinking about things falling off,” he remarks, showcasing his resolve to deliver beyond expectations. 

If you were to dig a little deeper into Eric’s story, you would unveil the source of his resolve. Erick comes from a very humble background in Western Kenya. Despite challenges, his parents were able to provide him with the basics: a roof over his head and food on the table. This environment fostered the perfect setting for Eric's dreams to take flight. 

Education became Erick’s conduit to possibility. Despite financial constraints, he excelled in his studies, propelled by a dream of becoming an Aerospace Engineer. His tenacity and ambition saw him become the first in his extended family to attend a boarding school. 

While his Aerospace Engineering aspirations did not pan out as intended, his thirst for knowledge remained. 

In the two years between taking his national exam and going off to college, Erick took up teaching as an untrained teacher at some secondary schools within his village, specializing in biology and mathematics. Transitioning to college in 2010, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management, graduating with First-Class Honors from Maasai Mara University. 

Despite his experience and education, Eric’s journey was anything but straightforward. Understanding the harsh realities of the professional world, he recognized that success required starting from the ground up. He worked in a number of unpaid roles ranging from self-internship at Sarova hotels and voluntary administrator responsibilities at a children’s home. He faced many hurdles across his career, including starting up a computer and research center together with one of his friends and often faced circumstances beyond his control. 

Finally, he found stability at Sama, where he has thrived for the past 7.5 years. His time at Sama has been marked by growth, success, loss, and pain, like many other stories. Amidst professional growth and accomplishments, personal tragedies struck, thrusting Eric into the role of breadwinner. Yet through these challenging circumstances his spirit remained unbroken, fortified by patience, resilience, and faith. His academic and professional journey reflects a commitment to continuous growth in project management, strategic management & leadership, and customer service.

Today, Erick is a respected leader at Sama. As he explains,

“My journey has taught me to be who I am. It is because of this journey that I am the leader I am today. My name, Erick, means an eternal leader.”

Beyond his remarkable career progression, Erick is driven by a passion for leadership and team building. Engaging in mentorship programs and activities under the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) at the Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF), he actively contributes to empowering young talents in governance, economy, and public affairs.

True to this fact, his colleagues paint a portrait of Erick as more than a leader but a beacon of hope for many. “He is firm yet kind, understanding, and patient,” remarks a colleague of many years, encapsulating the essence of Erick’s leadership. 

We celebrate Erick’s 7.5 years of service and leadership and honor not just his professional journey but his resilient spirit. 

In Erick’s story lies the reminder that amidst life’s adversities, perseverance paves the path to greatness. 

The Sama Team
The Sama Team


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