His mother recalls that Joel started acting by copying his father's walking style at age 4 plus things he watched on TV or saw at school. By Primary Five, he had won his first award and kept acting throughout his school experience. Okuyo also joined MITG (Music & Instrumental Training Group), an Arua-based Drama Group that championed European Union AIDS Intervention Programmes in West Nile. Joel has acted in many films and plays, both local and international plus worked with world class directors such as Michael Landon, Jr., Gabriel Range, Adrian McFarlane, Ruman Kudwai, Yuval Shefferman and fellow countryman Matt Bish (Full name: Matthew Bishanga). Joel played roles in feature films like State Research Bureau (S.R.B.) plus TV Series like Locked Up Abroad, Raised Wild and Lost in Africa.
The Maisha Film Lab short films he acted in after training at Mira Nair's annual film academy include On Time (2008) directed by Patricia Olwoch, Looserpool, Live Joseph and Estranged (where he played a lead role) directed by Sandra Kosse.
Other shorts he has featured in include Fruits of Love, Journey to Jamaa as Lucky, Haunted Souls and A Good Catholic Girl directed by Matt Bish (which was included in Africa First: Volume Two, an anthology of five short films from new African filmmakers).
He was the face of BlackBerry Curve (MTN Uganda) in 2007. Then in 2009, he became a runway model at V.I.P fashion night in Lagos, Nigeria. He has worked as a model at Vanity Models (Verona, Italy) and Uganda's Gorgeous Fashions. Joel's face also appears in SAB Miller Television, Billboard & Print Media advertisements for beer brands such as Stone Lager in Ghana, Safari Lager in Tanzania and Nile Special Lager in his home country, all directed by Mark Lawrie for The Videolounge. Other TV commercials include Warid Telecom (Congo Brazzaville) directed by Steve Jean; Warid (Uganda), Stanbic Bank and Johns Hopkins University directed by Carolyn Kamya plus Bank of Uganda directed by Matt Bish.
He was the first male to appear in the African Woman Magazine's 'All Lights On' Segment in 2010.
Okuyo has lent his talent as a supporting voice to radio productions like Mako Meere directed by Patricia Olwoch (for Mifumi) and Rock Point by Albert Mwesige (Audio Central). He once worked for Bob FM also.
He has acted in theatre performances like Just You Me & the Silence directed by Judith Adong in conjunction with Alfajiri Productions.
Okuyo received negative criticism, even from friends for acting in The River and the Mountain, a play whose parts Uganda's Media Council ruled "implicitly promote homosexual acts". Written by Oxford-educated poet Beau Hopkins in collaboration with David Cecil, a British producer and the manager of Tilapia (Cultural Centre where the play ran for a week until 23 August 2012), it was deemed contrary to the laws, cultural norms and values of Uganda hence Cecil's arrest on 6 September 2012. In the play, Okuyo plays Samson, a homosexual factory owner killed by his own workers after they are incited by fiercely conservative pastors. Okuyo was accused of "being funded by gay lobby groups", but replied, "I am not into gay advocacy. Although with this play, we do want to make people understand that we are all human. We should not judge, segregate, harm or kill others."
Joel enjoys drawing (Art), fashion, film acting, modelling, meeting new friends, humanitarianism, playing basketball, guitar, swimming, fishing, reading, cooking, writing and travelling.Films