JJ ran away from home in Kenema when he was ten years old, after an argument with his sister. He hit her with a stone and was afraid of the punishment he might get so he crept away. For the first few nights he crept back home when his family was asleep and slept on the balcony, disappearing again before anyone got up in the morning. He eventually found his way to Freetown where he lived on the streets for the next eight years. He didnt say goodbye to his mother who spent the years looking for him. JJ sent money and photos home when he could afford it but his mother never received them so she did not know if he was alive or dead.
JJ joined The Way street film group in June 2012 and starred as the bad guy in their short drama ‘The Way‘ which won an award in the Opun Yu Yi Film Festival. It was when we were meeting to discuss the next movie that we found out JJ’s story and the next time we drove up to Kenema we took JJ with us. His mother was shocked at first, she thought he was a ghost, but now JJ has frequent contact with his family. He no longer lives on the streets and makes some money selling DVDs which WAYout gave him a start up grant for.
JJ is still an active member of The Way street film group, currently starring in another production. He has learnt editing and how to use a camera and helps others to learn.