Liberia: Dissecting The Life of Africa’s Footballer President – A Review of Rodney D. Sieh’s Unofficial Biography of George Weah

THE UNOFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY | George Weah: The Story of Africa’s Footballer President
FrontPage Africa, 2023, 424 pp.

Veteran Liberian journalist of international repute, Rodney D. Sieh has trekked the literary cum journalistic landscape amid a detailed unofficial biography that examines and dissects the life of Africa’s footballer President, George Manneh Weah in a vividly incisive account that intensely underscores The Unofficial Biography of a slum boy-turned Executive President of Africa’s first independent nation.

By Ekena Wesley, [email protected], Contributing Writer

Officially published in March 2023 and widely available on Amazon, journalist Rodney D. Sieh maiden publication titled, The Unofficial Biography – George Weah – The story of Africa’s Footballer President. Titled most befittingly, the book encapsulates George Weah’s tortuous journey from the slums of Gibraltar, his sojourn along a soccer career path, Weah’s unbeatable rise to stardom and a somewhat mystical transition from soccer to politics.

“The Unofficial Biography – The Story of Africa’s Footballer President” is a seasonable evaluation of Liberia’s class divide, the disparity between the haves and have-nots, the daily struggles to make ends meet in the midst of impoverishment and neglect by the governors coupled with the determination to resiliently preserve despite the vicissitudes of life.

Journalist Rodney D. Sieh paramountly digs deeper into the obtaining reality of how a young man – grappling with the harsh difficulties that obtains within the survival sphere and details such obtaining circumstances, which did not become a barrier to the pursuit of Weah’s unassailable feat, triumph and mystique on the global soccer stage.

Pursuant to the adage that it takes a village to raise a child; journalist Rodney Sieh, meticulously researched an array of embellishing factors cum support systems that propelled George Weah unprecedented remarkable fame as a world-class athlete.  

“The Unofficial Biography – The Story of Africa’s Footballer President” captures the various historical antecedents in support of the game of football and zeroed-in by paying tribute to Master Sergeant, Samuel Kanyon Doe who awoke a sleeping nation called Liberia in April 1980 following a military takeover. He romantically reminisced Samuel Doe’s endeared passion, zest and affinity of the game of soccer and unbending commitment to elevate the game in the small West African nation.

Rodney Sieh makes no secret of his obsession with George Weah’s mesmerizing talent and incredible trailblazing skills as a great soccer hero, which he described as ‘exciting and memorable.’

The 315-paged dramatic thriller of the early beginnings and life of a slum boy-turned one of the greatest footballers in human history and a man who dive into politics seemingly became more than a prophetic realization – is a portrayal of what the author termed a moment of prophecy. It dabbled into the role of South African-born coach Sithole – who saw in Weah a promising life changing opportunity to shape the world of soccer. 

“The Unofficial Biography – The Story of Africa’s Footballer President” sententiously speaks of the manner of man called George Manneh Oppong Weah across the prism of the ‘good, the bad and ugly.’ It echoes Weah’s journey to Cameroon and later Monaco, France. It examines the intrigues of a ‘House on Fire’, the mystique of a let-down, meltdown, Weah’s controversial political ambition and the decision.

Journalist Rodney Sieh reckons the ‘spoiler’ instinct, the trappings of ‘bad timing’ versus the moment of sacrifice, and a compelling urge for reconciliation to chart a new course. It interlocks a dream come true; the power to the people hour; contrasted by the wealth-grabbing menace that rocked the populist leader’s boat. It rabble-rousers the emergence of Jewel Howard-Taylor’s isolation stigma and what could have been a lingering fallout.

The book vividly catalogues events leading to Weah’s most torrential and reverberating political test of time – the June ‘7’, which brought the regime to its knees and near collapse. Author Rodney Sieh copiously unpacked Africa’s footballer President as tantalizingly as epically telling in the words of a man trained in the science and arts of critically researching, analyzing, processing, gatekeeping and packaging the news fresh and alive.   

International award-winning journalist, Rodney D. Sieh has religiously used his eagle eye to critically follow socio-political developments in his native Liberia for about three decades; has constructed and unconstructed vexing scandals, unearthed daring political quagmires, explored new frontiers for a radically reforming society; been the voice of the voiceless and progressively championed the fight for social justice in Liberia.  

The Unofficial Biography George Weah – The Story of Africa’s Footballer President” reflects an enthralling, powerful and engrossing literary crusade particularly for all sundry in slum communities, who imagine a bleak future that indeed all is not lost. It is indeed with passionate scholarly pleasure; we invite you onboard to an epic and rewarding experience that is poised to give you a new perspective of the future.