Will Smith gifts Guinean man who cycled 4,000km to dream university

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Hollywood actor Will Smith has given a surprise gift package to a student from Guinea who cycled 4,000km (2,500 miles) over four months across West Africa for a spot at his dream university in Egypt.

Last September, BBC reported on Mamadou Safayou Barry’s arduous journey from his home country Guinea to Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University, where he was ultimately admitted on a scholarship.

After reading the BBC’s article, Smith decided to gift Mr Barry a laptop and new bicycle.

In a virtual conversation posted on the actor’s YouTube channel late on Wednesday, Smith told the student: “I know your wife and daughter are still in Guinea so I got some travel vouchers for you to be able to go back and forth or to be able to bring your wife and daughter.”

The actor said he was “deeply moved and inspired” by Mr Barry and had gifted him the items because: “I want to be a part of the next phase. I want to help you in your journey”.

“I don’t know how to thank you Wallahi [I swear]! I don’t know how to thank you,” a stunned Mr Barry said during the surprise video call.

Smith said that Mr Barry’s determination is proof that “when you commit to a journey, when you make a decision…the universe conspires to help you”.- BBC

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