Samwel is the founding director of Oltolio Le Maa, a Maasai-led participatory video group that documents human rights issues, social development and Maasai culture. Samwel began using participatory video to defend Maasai territories from land grabs and forced evictions of Maasai pastoralists, and in 2017 he was acclaimed as Tanzania’s Rural Human Rights Defender of the Year.
Samwel also uses participatory video as a tool for preserving Maasai culture and redressing colonial narratives of Indigenous Peoples in western or globalist institutions. He spearheaded the Living Cultures movement (a partnership between InsightShare and the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford) which dismantles colonial narratives within museums by empowering Indigenous Peoples to curate their own narratives. He is also the co-founder of the Pan-African Living Cultures Alliance.