To me, success is defined as how we impact other people’s lives. At the end of the day, we should always want to be remembered for what we did for others. Don’t get me wrong, it does feel good to be recognized, praised, and rewarded for what we have done. Although in my opinion, none of that matters unless you aspire to inspire.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kai Strachan. Growing up in a third world country, it was only a dream for Kai Strachan to work in the entertainment industry. Hailing from Nassau, Bahamas, Kai faced many adversities with the limited resources he had, but his attitude of resilience has helped him reach great feats. From birth, Kai has always been fascinated with being in front of the camera and entertaining those around him. Drawing inspiration from Will Smith’s captivating role in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Kai wanted to charm and mesmerize his audience with his amusing personality. After graduating Penn State University, Kai finally decided to move to Los Angeles in pursuit of a professional career in modeling and acting. Since his big leap, Kai’s been featured in numerous projects. As a model, he has been included in a wide array of advertising campaigns for Nike, Adidas, and Tequila Avion while also being a part of high-profile music videos for Trippie Redd, J. Cole, and Summer Walker. Filmography wise, he has acted in several short films and TV series while also directing works of his own in the Hardest Goodbye. Kai’s hunger for knowledge, desire for creativity, and willingness to go the extra mile is exemplified through his compelling resume. He continues to educate himself in various creative outlets such as modeling workshops and acting classes to better prepare himself for any type of project that comes his way. With his growing success and hopes for the future, Kai aspires to give back to his home country in providing acting and modeling workshops for those in need.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in Nassau, Bahamas in a house with my female relatives. Essentially, I was raised by all women, with a single mom leading the way. Being able to grow up in paradise, taught me how to appreciate life and what was created. The “carribean” lifestyle can be viewed as laid back or relaxed and that’s exactly how I feel we should live our lives. We should be easy going and worry less, especially about things we can control. Although there were a lot of ups and downs when I was growing up, I was able to learn so much from everyone around me. Sometimes it was hard being the only boy in the family, but I learned how to have so much strength from the women around me. I wasn’t able to have everything, but my mom always made sure that I worked hard for things that I wanted. By doing so, I was able to always have a “hard working” mindset. Whatever it is you want in life you have the ability to achieve it, if you go out and get it.
Was there a particular trigger point that made you emigrate to the US? Can you tell a story?
As much as I love my country the Bahamas, I always knew that the US would be the best place to want to grow and achieve bigger dreams and goals. My trigger point was when I was around the age of fourteen, that’s when I realized I knew what type of life I wanted. I wanted great success, opportunities, and accessible outlets to make my dreams and goals come true. The US was the best place for that and at such a young age, I knew it was the right time to leave.
Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was the experience like?
I came to the USA through my mother’s trust and belief in me. I begged and discussed (in that exact order) with my mother to send me to the US for a better opportunity. After multiple prayers, talks, and plans, we finally came to an agreement and I was able to leave my country and migrate to the US. The process and experience that I went through wasn’t easy. The fact that I didn’t have any other family members in the US made it even harder. Prior to immigrating, we thought of all of the options on how I could be in the US without spending a lot of money. I would talk to my mother and other family members about the situation at least twice a day before finding the best way to make it happen.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?
I am grateful for the women in my family. My aunts, mother, and grandmother. These women supported me in what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, and how I would get there. They were able to find me sponsorship to attend school in the US. This was the best and most logical option. A family friend of ours loved to see Bahamians with goals and dreams achieve them. With his sponsorship, I attended highschool and was able to get a scholarship to attend college after. My family helped out as much as they could and when they could. I won’t sit here and say it was always easy but without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
So how are things going for you now?
Since living in the US for a couple of years, everything has honestly been a blessing, from the people that I have met to the opportunities I was able to create and obtain, I’ve been nothing but grateful for this whole experience. Some days are harder than others, but everyday is a blessing. My journey has really taught me a lot about faith and the importance in believing. Everyday I become a better version of myself because I was given the biggest opportunity of a lifetime.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have used my success to inspire others. To me, success is defined as how we impact other people’s lives. At the end of the day, we should always want to be remembered for what we did for others. Don’t get me wrong, it does feel good to be recognized, praised, and rewarded for what we have done. Although in my opinion, none of that matters unless you aspire to inspire.
You have first hand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you change to improve the system?
- Creating a better path for immigrants and other individuals to obtain citizenship.
- Establishing a better refugee system.
- Building a better legal immigration system so that it can be receptive to the nations changing needs.
Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.
- Faith — This is probably one of the hardest things to do especially when life comes at us from different angles but with faith no dream and goal will ever be obtained.
- Consistency — This forms habits that become second nature. Consistency is a requirement to achieve a better future.
- Determination — In order to achieve anything in life it’s all about the process but staying focused no matter what will always give you the best outcome.
- Communication — Don’t be afraid to talk, ask questions, and seek help. For some this may be uncomfortable, but there is a lot of information that sometimes we can’t obtain it on our own.
- Trust — This one is similar to faith but trust gives us a positive view on life. Believing and knowing that things will be better in a later time can ground you and keep you hopeful.
We know the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?
- Educated youth — Despite technology and social media being a big distraction, I think that the younger generation is changing the direction of the country day by day.
- Gender equality- Gender equality is something that has been an everlasting fight for many years. I think that America is allowing more gender equality opportunities by allowing a lot of decisions that aren’t on the basis of being a woman or man.
- Being open minded — Slowly but surely, America is becoming very open minded and accepting of a lot of different things that go on. With this mindset, I feel like it will bring everyone together despite past differences.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.
I would love to sit down and speak with Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter. Jay- Z is the true definition of the American Dream. I say this because he literally came from nothing and rose to the top. During his venture to being one of the greatest influencers in the world, he always did things that no one saw him doing and he always was willing to help people. There are so many things I would like to learn and ask Jay-Z about in order to help better my life. To me, he puts the world before himself (to a certain extent) and goes above and beyond for humanity. This mindset is the type of mindset that I try to strive for when living my life. It would be an amazing opportunity to gain more wisdom and knowledge from him.
Thank you for all of these great insights!