He attended Paarl Gimnasium and went on to study transport management at the University of Johannesburg.
He was the bronze medallist in the event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He was driven to compete in athletics and would regularly walk nearly ten kilometres to the local running track to train. He made his first impact on the national scene as a 19-year-old at the 2011 South African Championships.
He placed third, behind Godfrey Khotso Mokoena and Luvo Manyonga, and set a personal best of 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in).
He improved in 2012 winning the national under-23 championships in a best of 7.94 m (26 ft 01⁄2 in) before repeating his third place at the senior championships. He was runner-up at the University Championships and also came fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 15.79 m (51 ft 91⁄2 in).
He repeated as universities runner-up in 2013 and added two further centimetres to his best. Samaai began 2014 with an early world-leading performance of 8.10 m (26 ft 63⁄4 in) – a new personal best and his first leap over eight metres.
He cleared 8.13 m (26 ft 8 in) in March, placing second to Irving Saladino in the world rankings.
At the South African Championships he came in second place behind Zarck Visser with a near-eight-metre jump. Samaai began competing on the international track and field circuit that year. He had his first podium finish on the Diamond League circuit shortly after, placing third at the Adidas Grand Prix.
Long jump – 8.38 m (27 ft 53⁄4 in) (2015)
Triple jump – 16.10 m (52 ft 93⁄4 in) (2014).