Meet The Dwyane Wade Lookalike You’ve Seen All Over Social Media – Papis Camara
Meet The Dwyane Wade Lookalike You’ve Seen All Over Social Media – Papis Camara
Imagine posting a photo of yourself on your LinkedIn account, and hours later, it goes viral across social media. Meet Papis Camara, a 34-year-old key account manager for an international beauty company in London, who looks like a hybrid of NBA stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The social media world became extremely fixated with his picture to a point where over 1,000,000 people (and counting)–as well as Dwyane Wade’s wife–have seen it. Camara’s story is much more than a generic photo of himself sporting a suit; he’s an inspiration.
Papis Camara–or should I call him Dwyane–inspired many people through his story of making it in the world. At 12 years old, he left his home country of Senegal, leaving behind his family to attend a military high school in Ivory Coast. At 21–a determined, independent man–he moved to France as a student who had hopes of becoming successful.
Because of his skin color and roots, Camara had to work ten times harder than his peers to find a job. He was even told he wouldn’t go to the top because his school wasn’t one of the most notable in France. Camara recalls, “I had to put my ears on mute when coming face-to-face with dream killers and used passion, hard work, and self belief to accomplish my goals.” When he posted his story on his LinkedIn account, not only were people amazed at his resemblance of the NBA star, but also his journey. The messages flew in from all around the globe, those from all walks of life and in similar situations, were inspired by Camara. Many appreciate his now famous quote, “always believe in yourself because the first person to believe in you, should be yourself.”
In 2007, his desire to become successful paid off. Since, he has successfully worked within an international beauty company in Sales, Marketing, International Marketing and Management. Today, he is the Key Account Manager in London for their biggest clients. Because he received a great number of encouraging comments and feedback after his recent post, Camara will soon launch his own Facebook page, furthermore explaining his story to the world, with daily inspirations. Also, be sure to check out his Instagram account for more lookalike photos: @papis_cams.
Hours after his photo and story became viral, Papis Camara messaged NBA Buzz (Facebook page) clarifying it was truly him, and the hoopla around his photo made him laugh. We caught up with the Dwyane Wade look-alike for his thoughts on the recent uproar over his resemblance.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: What was your initial reaction when your LinkedIn profile went viral?
Papis Camara: “I was extremely touched and overwhelmed by all the messages and comments received from all around the world. In all honesty I didn’t expect that at all. All I did was share a little part of my story and explain to people that they can be whoever they want to be in life if they don’t listen to naysayers and put the hard work with a tunnel vision and a strong belief. Of course, the people loved the fact I look like Dwyane Wade. It also made me realize that many people don’t believe in themselves which is a shame. How come we were all big dreamers when we were kids. Then when we grow up, because people tell us “no,” “you can’t,” “you won’t…” we stop dreaming. What touched me as well, is to read messages from people with all walks of life (students, teachers, lawyers, business people, sports people, etc.) and from all ages. That gave me the envy to keep inspiring even more people. I have spent recent evenings answering as many people as possible and with all due modesty I hope to help people to keep believing in themselves.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: How often do you get mistaken for Dwyane Wade?
Papis Camara: “It has happened many times, to be honest. But, hey, he’s a good looking guy, so I take it as a compliment.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: Who else have you been mistaken for?
Papis Camara: “I’ve had Akon many times… probably because we have similar skin tone and are from the same country of Senegal. Personally, I don’t think I look anything like him. Sometimes I’ve gotten I look like Will Smith. The funny part, it always makes me laugh because I don’t think I look like any of them.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: What is your best story of being mistaken for a celebrity?
Papis Camara: “I remember being in a very trendy club in Paris about four years ago. There was a Chinese man who came up to me for an autograph thinking I was Dwyane Wade. Even if I told him I wasn’t D-Wade, he wouldn’t have believed me… he was that excited. I felt really bad and had to speak to him in French to prove I wasn’t D-Wade. I think I left him speechless, bless him.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: How have you inspired yourself in the past?
Papis Camara: “It’s simple. I am the architect and designer of my life. I am a huge believer in God. I am a very strong believer in myself; everything I do, I do with confidence. The positive belief is key. Therefore, even if I am in doubt, I don’t let that doubt last more than a minute in my mind. I instantly flick a switch to put a thought in my mind, and continue fighting through whatever challenge it is. I’ve had challenges in my life and always will have, but this is life. No matter how strong you are, life will knock you down. I am also very thankful to God and all the people who have challenged, mentored and coached me throughout my journey. To everyone out there, keep asking for God’s help and keep working hard regardless the weight of the challenge. You may not be there yet, but one day you will get there.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: Who are your inspirations?
Papis Camara: “I am a strong advocate for personal growth. I read a lot, but mainly I listen to, and watch many motivational videos on a daily basis. I call it food for thought and most of my close friends and family know this about me. I have many mentors that I watch and listen to including: Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Darren Hardy, Brian Tracy, Tony Robins, and Grant Cardone, to name only few. Directly or indirectly, all of these people have motivated me to keep believing in myself and follow the right inspirational path.
On a more personal note, my mother is my real inspiration. She has given everything for her kids. Because my father is no longer here, I feel like my mission is to give her everything she has ever dreamed of. Even though I don’t see her often (I live in England and she lives in Senegal), I speak to her daily. Also, the people out there struggling to get more out of life despite their hardships, are my inspiration. Therefore when it’s hard, I remind myself that there are billions of people who would love to be at my place, and I just keep going.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: Are you an avid NBA fan? Who was your favorite team/player growing up?
Papis Camara: “To be honest, I haven’t followed the NBA for years. I was a huge fan of the NBA from 1992-2002. For me, those were the best years in league history. I remember waking up early mornings in Africa to watch some of the playoffs. I was a huge supporter of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Also at that time, not only were there many legendary players, but great players with strong character such as Shaquille O’Neal, Dennis Rodman, Kevin Garnett, and more. Maybe NBA Buzz (on Facebook) and OpenCourt-Basketball.com will give me envy to watch the NBA more often now, who knows!”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: Since you resemble both of them, who are you more a fan of, Dwyane Wade or LeBron James?
Papis Camara: “Hmm. That’s a tough one. I don’t want to offend either of them, so will stay neutral on that question. But definitely besides Kobe Bryant, I would say these two have been two of the best basketball players in the world over the last ten-or-so years.”
Mikey – OpenCourt-Basketball.com: What are your thoughts on Dwyane Wade’s wife tweeting the photo? She must have shown D-Wade!
Papis Camara: “Actually, my sister Aminata who lives in Paris told me about it. She was very excited because she is a huge fan of Gabrielle Union Wade. The tweet also made me laugh… I guess she also thinks I look like him. I would love to see her reaction if I one day meet her husband Dwyane Wade. Most importantly, I was touched by the amount of people I touched through my story, rather than a tweet from a celebrity.”