Sami Sabiti

Sami Sabiti, Idols SA Season 1 host

Sami Kalule Sabiti is a Ugandan-born South African television presenter, traveler and actor known for God Is African (2003), Sorted (2005), Globe Trekker (1994) and Go South – Season 1 (Timbuktu To Table Mountain).

He co-hosted Idols SA season 1 in 2002 with Candy Litchfield, he was brought in as a replacement for Matthew Stewardson who was fired half way through the season after relapsing into a longstanding drug and alcohol problem.

Sami is a lucky guy, at least according to his friends. Born in Kampala, Uganda, Sami has lived in Egypt, Kenya, the UK, South Africa and currently United States of America. He’s a self-confessed nomad with a passion for both the old and new.

Sami began his television career by accident he says: “One day I decided to cut class and ended up at my first audition”. Since then it’s been a non-stop rollercoaster and plenty of travelling that he admits has become an addiction.

Besides hosting Idols SA, Sami’s career has covered some very successful stints on radio as a DJ and numerous travel shows (his latest independent project being a 62-day road trip from Dakar to Cape Town with his wife Melony) to name a few.

Sami worked as a television presenter in multiple countries and for different networks for a total of 14 years from 1997 to 2011.

Sami Sabiti and Gaetano Kagwa at the 2009 Face Of Africa Finale
Sami Sabiti and fellow Ugandan Gaetano Kagwa at the 2009 Face Of Africa Finale (he hosted it since 2002).

Sami is also an IT Specialist as he worked at IBM in Johannesburg from January 1997 to February 1998.

He worked as a Senior Program Manager of Recovery and Resiliency in the City of New York Mayor’s Office from August 2014 to November 2016.

Sabiti was also the Assistant Vice President, Initiatives at the New York City Economic Development Corporation from December 2016 to June 2018.

Sami has an adventurous personality but says he’s beginning to calm down a little. “I guess I’ll end up pushing pencils somewhere someday”, he says after recalling some recent adventures. Sami has ridden camels across deserts, trekked ice fields, parachuted, driven dirt bikes across the African bush, and dived with manta rays and great white sharks.

Sami admits that his life is in a constant state of flux. “I’m either leaving some place or arriving. I blame my parents”, he says with a cheeky grin. When he’s not gallivanting Sami likes to play music, read books, watch football and daydream. “I like the one where I imagine hanging out with Bjork in Brazil. It always ends with a song.”

Sami’s favourite place is Cape Town, infact his wife Melony is a South African lady from Cape Town and they often visit to see the family.

These days Sami lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Melony and while there, he’s a Co-Founder and CEO of ‘Overlap’ and app that leverages technology to provide easy access to people with sustainability knowledge.