How could I be so lucky to wake up this morning and write about the one-and-only Kofi Siriboe? What a hard job I have. On Sunday, the Ghanaian-American actor sat down with Bleu Magazine at NYC’s Ludlow House to discuss so many things – his career thus far, his heritage, his new film Jump, and even his thoughts on Beyoncé having an African-inspired baby shower.
But what stood out to me were Kofi’s thoughts on feminism. When asked about the notion of a young Black man being a feminist, with no hesitation, the actor said, “I am [a feminist]. Period. I champion women, I value women, I respect women.” Did you catch that? He said period. OK, just checkin’.
He continued, “Like imagine saying you’re a feminist but in real life you disrespect women. I think being a feminist starts at home. It means you understand first, taking the time to get the knowledge. Put yourselves in situations to have these conversations. Once you get that knowledge, process it and figure out a way to be helpful…”
Oh, we know well about men who claim to be feminists, but they disrespect women. See: Russell Simmons. So, where did Kofi come from? Seriously. At 23 years old, he seems to have a lot of knowledge and understanding on how to treat women that far surpasses his years. He chalks that level of wokeness up to his mother – seeing her struggle and putting himself in her shoes allowed him to be empathetic to the plight of women in this country, Black women especially.
“It’s just the simplicity of the fact that my mom is really awesome, we have a great relationship, and as I’m getting older, I’m learning more about her journey and her struggle,” said the Queen Sugar actor. “I mean really she wears the cape. I don’t wear a cape, she does.” He also said that he is honoring his mother through his existence, “…like who I am, what I represent. That to me is rooted in my character and my mother—I came out of her. That’s an ode to her.“
It is refreshing to hear a man say that he is aware that his existence is not only due to his mother but that he is trying to live a life that reflects how grateful he is to her for his life. We hear so much about how physically beautiful Kofi is, and he is. But what makes him even more beautiful is his desire to be a better human being. Don’t we need more of those? Ava Duvernay, creator of Queen Sugar, even said Kofi brings his real life goodness to the character Ralph Angel.
Duvernay jokingly said at Essence Festival, “I will take responsibility for the current phenomenon that is Kofi Siriboe.” She continued, “The sweetness, the humility, the effort that he puts in to try and live a better life [as character, Ralph Angel], really that is part of the sex appeal.” And she didn’t stop there, Duvernay also told Vulture, “He’s older than his years. There’s a wisdom there that’s innate and comes across in the choices he makes as Ralph Angel.”
Kofi, hot off being in People magazine’s issue dedicated to the sexiest men alive, is currently promoting Jump, a film that he wrote, produced, directed, and also stars in as a man battling mental health issues. His fellow Queen Sugar co-star Omar J. Dorsey also stars in the film.Check out the trailer that the Girls Trip bae posted below.