Celebrities Editorials

How George Weah Inspired Illiterate Africans to Go Back to School With His Presidential Win

George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah was born in one of the poorest places on earth; the Clara Town slum of Monrovia in Liberia.  He was raised by his paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown. Weah attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School. He then worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician before he became serious with his football career.

His Career

Weah ended up becoming one of the greatest African players of all time. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or in 1995. No African player has been able to beat him to this reord.  He was named the African Footballer of the Year in 1989, 1994 and 1995.  In 2006, he became the African Player of the Century. Pelé named him in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004.

His Trouble

In 1996, he got into trouble and banned from six European matches the day he broke the bose of Jorge Costa. Weah had exploded when he was taunted in a racial attack from Costa. Costa denied this accusation and when Weah tried to apologize, Costa took him to court. This incident didn’t stop Weah from winning the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1996 that year.

His Love For Liberia

If there is something Weah loves after football, it is his home country, Liberia. He has been doing great things for his war torn country. He was the UN Goodwill Ambassador during his active years as a footballer. In 2004, he won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2004 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles. He was also named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a role he gave up for politics.

Political Career And Limitations

He had used football to unit his people, bring hope to the young ones and inspired so many Africans around the globe. Weah didn’t have a great beginning as a politician even though he was a popular figure. His opponents said he didn’t have a formal education and could destroy the country the more in the 2005 election.

His Harvard-educated opponent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the election and he went back to prepare himself. A  He went back to school and bagged a degree in  business administration at DeVry University in Miami. He came back and tried running against Sirleaf in 2011 Presidential election. He couldn’t get a good alliance with other opposition parties, and ended up as vice presidential candidate, running with presidential candidate Winston Tubman.


Luck smiled at him in 2014 when he won a senatorial seat after defeating the son of Sirleaf, Robert Sireleaf. In 2016, he started his campaign to run President of Liberia for a second time. He won the election in 2017.

Earlier in October, 2017, Weah made headlines when he was seen in the Nigerian church of Pastor T.B. Joshua alongside Liberian Senator Prince Yormie Johnson It is alleged that Joshua endorsed Weah’s candidacy in the 2017 Liberian elections.