George Weah: Ex-footballer of di year don turn to Liberia President

Former football player and winner of di presidential election. George Weah pose during photo session for Paris. Image copyright AFP
Image example George Weah, 51, na im dey lead di Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)

Di National Election Commission for Liberia don announce say former footballer- George Weah na im win di Boxing Day presidential run-off election.

Dem say Mr Weah win with more than 60 per cent of di vote.

Im go take over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, wey be Africa first elected female president. Dis go also be Liberia first democratic handover in decades.

BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper dey report say dis na Weah second time wey im contest for di presidency and im don dey win am clear, even though people no too come out to vote.

She say: "Dis na because di former football star appeal to di youth; many people see im rival Vice President Joseph Boakai as person wey dey too old and no know wetin dey happen for world.

"But small palava wey dey ground na say Weah running mate na Jewel Taylor, di former wife of di warlord Charles Taylor wey dey jail for United Kingdom on top war crimes."

As e be so, Liberia go through many years of civil war and things never too steady for di country - dis na di first time dem go use democracy transfer power in more than in 70 years.

Image copyright AFP
Image example Im bin contest di 2005 election with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

How Weah take grow up

Weah move from di slums wey im grow up for Liberia capital Monrovia, to di most famous pitch for Europe and now as di president of di country.

E go take you less than 30 minutes to drive between Clara Town, di slum where Weah grow up, to di big mansion where im go dey as President.

Weah parents bin dey live for south-eastern Grand Kru County, one of di area wey no too dey develop for Liberia.

Im parents come send am go stay with im grandmama for Clara Town- one area wey dey for swamp, wey plenty crowd of people dey stay and disease dey worry well-well.

Na di talent and determination wey Weah get, show am di road out of Clara Town. As young boy, im begin dey play league football for Liberia.

E later drop out comot from school during im final year, so dat e go fit put eye well-well for sport.

Image copyright AFP
Image example George Weah as im dey play football for Monrovia for 2016

Football star

Weah life change forever wen im be 21 years. Na Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger discover am dat time wey im dey play for one team inside Cameroon.

Di manager carry am go Europe, where e go play for AS Monaco. From there, football carry am go Paris Saint Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Olympique Marseille.

Image copyright AFP
  • Dem born am 1 October, 1966
  • Im become popular wen e dey play for Monaco for five seasons, from 1987
  • Only African to ever win di Ballon d'Or
  • Retire from football for 2002
  • Im first contest for president for 2006

But e never forget im home country where civil war dey happen dat time and di war claim about 250,000 lives.

Most times, Weah dey pay from im own pocket for di national football team to travel go play matches abroad, if dem no get money to go.

Weah like music well-well so tay e go join fellow African stars to produce song wey go discourage wars for Africa.

E go back to music again years later, for 2014, when im and one popular Ghanaian musician produce one song to let people know everything about Ebola.

Image copyright AFP
Image example Supporters of George Weah wave during presidential campaign rally for Monrovia on 6 October, 2017

Success finally jam Weah for 2014, when dem elect am as senator for di western province of Montserrado, wey include di capital Monrovia.

For April 2016, na im e announce second bid to contest for di presidency, plenty people begin shout out say: "George Weah na im be di man we want, George Weah na im be di man we want".

Ever since, di papa-of-three don ginger di crowd with talk-talk of economic empowerment for all of dem.

E use im own poverty background as example, and make people believe say im opponent dey lie, when dem claim say im no get political experience to lead at 51 years.

According to AllAfrica.com, Weah tell crowd of people wey gather for Monrovia say:

"When I start my journey as professional soccer player, I hear di same negative claim."

"Many critics talk say I no go make am. Many suggest say I go be failure, but I no listen to dem."

"I keep on, dey try my best until I succeed as one of di greatest soccer legend di world don ever produce. Today, those people wey say I go be failure dey call me 'Chief' now."

E fit be be say dis same people go need to dey call am "Mr President."

Topics Wey Dem Resemble

Another thing we de for inside dis tori