Joselyn Dumas on why she wants to play more funny roles

The Ghanaian actress joins the cast of Showmax Original 'Ghana Jollof' set to premiere October 22, 2021.

Joselyn Dumas [Showmax]

Joselyn Dumas is no stranger to the Nigerian film industry with years successfully navigating both the Ghanaian and Nigerian movie scenes.

With a media and entertainment career spanning a decade, Dumas is undoubtedly one of the most sought after movie stars on this side of the continent. But like most talents in the business, the AMAA nominee says people have a perception of her personality no thanks to typecasting.

In a recent chit-chat, the actress opens up about her personality, her ideal role and playing Abena in the soon-to-debut Showmax Original comedy series 'Ghana Jollof' created by Nigerian comedian Basketmouth.

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 the series.

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.

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.

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 any day!

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