by Ian White

Magician turns into millionaire benefactor

Sam Leeds and Amanda
Sam Leeds and his wife Amanda.

Self-made millionaire Samuel Leeds put his money where his mouth is.

Inspired by people he's met, including Alan Sugar, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, Sam gives away thousands of pounds to help impoverished villagers in Africa.

And, living up to his biblical name as a man of endurance, he's not giving up seeing where his aid goes for himself – even after a horrific rafting accident.

Despite warnings of not being able to walk properly again after shattering his kneecap during the freak rafting incident on the River Nile last year, the 28-year-old entrepreneur seems as determined to carry on as Rocky Balboa.

Sam started out as a magician before making his money in property investment, and he's under no illusions about the grit and determination needed to get back on his feet.

As Sam told the media once back home in Lichfield: "It's like Rocky said, it isn't about how hard you hit, but how hard you get hit and keep moving forward."

While in Uganda visiting villages benefiting from rain water collection tanks he'd paid for, Sam went white-water rafting.

But the raft capsized and Samuel was thrown 20ft down a waterfall, his kneecap hitting rocks. He spent a week in hospital in the capital, Kampala.

The
message
of Jesus
... blew
me away.

While rehabilitating at home with his wife Amanda and daughter Ruby, Sam said: "My knee might be broken in various places, but my spirit remains."

He puts that unbroken spirit down to his firm faith in Jesus Christ.

"I have tremendous faith in God, a loving family and a huge passion for my work. I'm determined to prove the doctors wrong."

Samuel's strong faith began when he became a Christian aged 17.

He told Challenge: "I had lots of anger following being attacked and badly beaten up aged 14. I was determined to seek revenge.

"But aged 17, I was about to go to sleep one night when the presence of God entered the bedroom and I felt God speaking directly to my heart, saying: 'Follow me'.

"I made a decision that night to come to Jesus and my heart was immediately overwhelmed with love and forgiveness, even for all the people I had hated."

Sam started reading the Bible and it "became alive" to him. The message of Jesus "became as clear as crystal and so powerful it blew me away."

He adds: "Since then my life has been completely different and I have grown in my faith and love for God and people. God's presence is everywhere and I don't see it possible to have a wonderful creation without a supreme Creator."

Meanwhile, about the same time, Samuel bought a house under market value and rented it out. This proved the initial step toward the multi-million pound business he runs with his brother Russell, with a monthly turnover of £250,000.

But Sam, who now lectures and writes books on investment, certainly invests in others far less fortunate than himself – helping Africans with hardly anything to their name through his Good News All Round organisation.

Giving ten per cent of business profits and personal wages away, for over five years the organisation has undertaken projects in Zambia and Uganda such as water tanks, borehole wells, free business start up loans, and given out food and clothes.

No broken leg is going to stop Sam from helping others.

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