When Director Sam Mongor advised the young run way model to venture into acting, he really did not think he would have gotten this far. Nevertheless he took the director’s advice and found out acting was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. And now, Joseph C. Weah is the hottest name in the world of the Liberian film industry, Lollywood.
The CEO of Facetonic, producer and actor has acted in over 30 movies including “Justice Denied” (which will premiere on Feb 14), “The Kamara’s Tree”, “Desperate Hour 2”(in which he played alongside his Liberian brother Frank Arthus) and, the famous one that mad him an international star, “The Volunteers”. He has shared movie screens with Nigerian actors and actresses, Desmond Elliot, Eni Edo, Chioma Chukwuka, Bishop, O. T. of Big Brother Africa and many others. He is also a rapper and has collaborated with the Liberian recording artist David Mell (Melody Maker) on his song Kalema Juju, whose video he also directed. Besides his acting, he is best known as the popular face presently at the Cellcom GSM Company, and has received a Recognition Awards in 2013 in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
It all began in 2003 at the Buduburam Refugee camp in Accra Ghana, when Joseph decided acting was going to be his new thing. As much as there were a lot of sarcastic remarks coming from many of his peers and a lot of others having little faith in the new actor due to the fact that he had no job and no acting experience and asking to themselves, “how far does he think he’s going with this his so-called acting career”, Joseph paid no attention to the negativity and continued to push forward and believe in his God for his breakthrough. “You see, I always used to say to many of my friends, I’m not doing this for today but for tomorrow. You see in everything I do, I’ve always looked up to God and through my hard work, I know he was going to answer my prayers.”
But that breakthrough didn’t come along for the new, Face of Cellcom, Actor and Producer until early last year 2013, thanks to his godfather, the Nollywood super star, Desmond Elliot. According to Joseph, “I call Desmond my godfather because he is not a selfish person. He was the only one that stuck to his promise when he got here to work with me through my company Cellcom. Desmond teaches you how to fish, he does not throw fish at you,” the actor explained. At first, it all sounded too good to be true during the early parts of last year, when the Liberian actor received a phone called from the Nigerian actor and film producer, Desmond Elliot.
“It was one evening when Desmod called me and said to me that I should be ready by tomorrow, because he was bringing the entire crew down to Liberia and that he was ready to work with me. You see I really didn’t take him seriously because I’ve hung out with a lot of these Nigerian guys that come to the country and they all gave me false promises and then when they leave and I try calling, they never pick up their phones, you know. And so that night I paid no mind and decided I was going to go along with my plans for the evening to an all white party (laughs), after I did not receive any call from him the day he said he was going to be in Monrovia.
“So while on my way out, round about 11pm, I received a call and the person on the other line said to me, ‘Joe, this is Desmond Elliot, I’m in Liberia at Palm Spring Hotel and I want you to come over.’ When I got there, a script was slapped in my chest and he said to me, ‘You are the main character in this movie. It’s called The Volunteers and it’s all about Liberia. If you cannot play the role, I’m going to get someone from Nigeria to play this role and it’s going to be a shame to you and your Country Liberia.’
“And that was a great challenge to me,” he says, “helping to put my country out there and on the map. I believe whatever the others are doing, we can do as well with just the right equipments and determination and hard work. I have always said that I’m not going to leave my country to go anywhere, I’m going to strive to better myself and my country and the industry and once that is achieved, whoever I want to work with, will have to come to Liberia.”
Presently, his dream now is to open a studio in Liberia where he can be able to help transform the entertainment industry and, thanks to his two lovely managers, Lena T. Marshall and Carol Jiani, an event is scheduled in London where actors like Van Vicker, Desmond Elliot and others will be making an appearance all geared to raise funds for the Liberian Superstar.
And who does he have to thank for all of his successes? God, Desmond Elliot, his managers and Clifford Todd (the friend and brother that saw what no one saw in him. “Clifford always used to tell me, even when I was nowhere that I am a star and that became my strength!”
Lib Life wishes you, Joe Weah, all the best and say to you, the sky is your limit!