Known mostly for her serious roles, Ghana’s on-screen sweetheart Joselyn Dumas is about to bring out her funny side in the new Showmax Original Ghana Jollof where she shares the screen with other fan faves like James Gardiner, Mawuli Gavor, Basketmouth, and Funnybone.
We caught up with the Northern Affair star, where she dished on her Ghana Jollof co-stars, her ideal script and who makes the best jollof!
What was your reaction when you first heard the name Ghana Jollof?
I thought ‘Oh my God, these jollof wars! Can we just declare the winner already?’ Then I got a call from Basketmouth and he said, ‘This is something really special to me, I’m looking for a way to do a proper collaboration between Ghanaians and Nigerians. We’re one people and this is a way for me to let people know that we’re the same.’ So it became a really nice discussion on the phone. I’ve always enjoyed Basketmouth’s jokes and I’ve seen Flatmates a couple of times so I was excited when he said he had a role for me in Ghana Jollof.
Tell us about your character on Ghana Jollof and would you say there are any similarities between Joselyn and the role you play?
I play Abena, who is an HR manager in Mensah’s bakery. She’s a bit of a senior and has a thing for the boss, Kweku. There’s some rivalry between herself and the secretary, who is her much younger subordinate. So everyone is driving to get Kweku’s attention and Abena feels like she has a bit of an edge because she’s the HR manager.
Now I’ve had a crush on a few people but I don’t think I would penalise anyone who is my subordinate because they have a crush on the same person as I do. Healthy competition is nice but I wouldn’t use my position to intimidate anyone out of spite.
Tell us a bit about your star-studded co-cast.
I’m very happy with the cast. On the show I’ve worked closely with Basketmouth, James Gardiner, Funnybone and Buchi. I just met Buchi for the first time and he’s hilarious.
Everyone brought their A-game to the show. We had so many funny moments on set where everyone was just rolling on the floor with laughter.
Obviously Basketmouth was in charge of the production so he’s still the boss, but when it’s time for play, he plays, and when it’s time for work he’s quite serious.
He’s also made sure we’re taken care of. We had a conversation where he said to me that he realised, while sitting down in meetings, that there’s a lot of disservice that has been done to a lot of creatives and talents in our industry and he’s hoping to make a difference.
He’s already doing that, giving all these young people a chance. For instance, the director is quite young and so is the writer and he’s given them a chance to showcase their talent and I think that’s commendable. I also work closely with James Gardiner (Kweku in Ghana Jollof) on Akwaba Magic’s Dede and he’s very talented. He’s eye candy but he also takes the job seriously. Funnybone is my friend whom I’ve known for years. This is his first time acting (in a drama), and he’s doing amazingly.
Would you describe this as your first comedic role?
Not at all. Everybody thinks that I’m quite a serious person but I have a very funny side once I get comfortable around people. So I’m always looking for that script that will bring out that side of Joselyn. I’m doing that now in Accra on Dede and my character is hilarious without even trying and I absolutely love playing that role. Playing Abena on Ghana Jollof, I’ve had some humorous moments with Basketmouth and Buchi. So I have played quite a few funny roles. People always see me in a serious sense but it’s just a protective guard.
What would you take away from working on Ghana Jollof?
Teamwork and camaraderie. Everybody was looking out for each other on the set. From the crew to the cast, everyone was hungry to see this show succeed and even go beyond Season 1. That’s what I’m taking away because it’s about time we work together and we go far together. I see that with everybody here. We would come on set by 6am and by 7pm, we’re done. That tells you the guys are passionate and they really want to get this done. Nobody feels superior to anyone; we’re all just equally coming together to create magic.
Did you feel any pressure to get it right given that it’s Showmax’s first comedy-drama?
Well thankfully I don’t have to say the jokes. But like with every production I do, there’s a little bit of pressure. Even if I’ve done it a few times, it’s always new in a sense. Also, I always feel like everything I do has to be better than what I’ve done before, so yes, I’m under pressure.
What do you want fans to take away from Ghana Jollof?
I want anyone who watches this show to have fun and be entertained. There’s drama and comedy; a lot of times when you see comedy, there’s a bit of slapstick but I love the fact that there’s drama and comedy with Ghana Jollof. There’s a storyline to it and once you follow it, it’s intriguing. Even as a character, I’m entertained. Sometimes I think ‘Why is Abena doing this? What is her problem?’. It’s also a very relatable series: everyone has had a crush on somebody and everybody has loved the attention they’ve got from people who have had crushes on them. There’s also somebody who has always felt like an underdog. Everyone can see themselves in a particular character on the show.
Ghana jollof or Nigerian jollof?
Ghana jollof because I make the best Ghana jollof anyday!