My acting career begun with a punishment- Josam aka Kojo

 “For me, school is just an eye opener that you might be able to be informed and not the key to success,” says Joseph Nsama who plays the role of 'Kojo'; a village boy in Lusaka for the first time, trying to adjust to the environment. Popularly known as Josam, the 23 year old mesmerised the audience in the 2012 UNZA DRAMS organised drama 'Kojo comes to Campus'.

Josam has played the role of Kojo three times in row since last year; twice in ‘Kojo comes to campus’ and once in ‘Kojo Reloaded’.  “For me, school is just an eye opener that you might be able to be informed and not the key to success,” says Joseph Nsama who plays the role of 'Kojo'; a village boy in Lusaka for the first time, trying to adjust to the environment.

Popularly known as Josam, the 23 year old mesmerised the audience in the 2012 UNZA DRAMS organised drama 'Kojo comes to Campus'.

'Kojo comes to Campus' is a show that is hosted every academic year at the University of Zambia (UNZA) meant to orient first year students to the institution.

Contrary to the character he plays, Josam was born in Luanshya but grew up in Lusaka. His depiction of 'Kojo' shows that he possesses the ability to keep the audience captivated due to his dynamic talent.

When the show begun, he sang and danced like an international pop artist and as it went on, he transformed into the role of 'Kojo' leaving the audience wondering whether it was the same person.

“When you act, you are supposed to transform into the character. They told me to be a villager and that is exactly what I became; I reacted to things the way a villager would,” says Josam as he recollects his performance.

Josam says his acting career begun with a punishment at St Francis Secondary School when he was in Grade 8.

“I had been punished to slash the grounds with a couple of other people when I saw a group of pupils rehearsing for a competition called NATAZ (National Theatre Association of Zambia),” he says.

He says as he was clearing the grass, he began to dance with his friends. The teacher in charge of NATAZ noticed him and was impressed and asked him to join the group which was unheard of because the programme was restricted to senior students. He was picked as one of the best five to perform in the competition.

“I actively got involved in it. At first I would just dance at the shows but by the time I was in grade 10, I discovered I could act so I begun to act and dance,” he narrates.

Josam was chosen as entertainment prefect in 2007 when he was in grade 11 and held the title for two years. During this period,  his school became recognised, for the first time, during the NATAZ competition as the best in arts in Northern Province.

That same year, Josam was nominated as best actor at the Ngoma Awards although he did not win the prize.

“Even though I did not win, I felt honoured for being nominated,” he discloses.

Josam says when he came to UNZA, some people recognised him from NATAZ and recruited him to UNZA DRAMS.

“I played small roles in the show that year for which I got the best actor nomination even though I did not receive the prize because some people objected to awarding a new comer such a prize. I was therefore given the best upcoming actor prize,” he says.

Josam has played the role of Kojo three times in row since last year; twice in 'Kojo comes to campus' and once in 'Kojo Reloaded'.

With regards to music, Josam reveals that he started writing songs when he was in grade seven.

“By the time I was in grade nine, I had written songs for big artists like Ozzy and MUVI TV presenter Nathan Mbao,” he says.

Josam reveals that he turned down a contract from Digital X because he could not meet the requirements as a student. He also turned down a contract from the Lusaka Play House for the same reason.

“I fear that I might get carried away; right now, I just want to focus on school. But once I am done, I plan on going on the big screens,” Josam says.

Josam reveals that he would never be completely happy if his life did not comprise of singing, dancing, composing songs and acting.

Asked why he is in school instead of chasing his artistic dreams, Josam said he is firstly in school  because he wants to have a backup plan from his 'true love' and secondly because he wants people to take him seriously as an artist in future.

“Sometimes, people make fun of me but acting is my passion and I know that I will achieve great things in future,” he says.

Joseph Silolezya, a fifth year student in the School of Mines, who has been a friend to Josam for three years says Josam’s talent is rare.

“He is multi-talented. He can sing, dance and if you give him a script and an audience, he will have their ribs cracking by the time they leave the show. That's not talent you can find anywhere anyhow,” he says.

And Cheelo Mwanachingwala, a friend of three years and Co-star, says Josam will go very far with a lot of support.

“He has a rare blend of talent and I see him going very far with a lot of support from friends. The young man is good,” he says.

And a third year student in the School Of Humanities And Social Sciences, Miyoba Namakobo, says she was impressed with Josams' performance in 'Kojo comes to campus'.

“I was completely taken by his performance because he sold the villager act. He is really talented and he has a bright future in the arts industry,” she says.

Josam was born on 21st July 1989 in Ndola. He is majoring in Mathematics.

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