Your wisdom does not lie in your years but in the gravity of reaching your deepest self. Kofi Siriboe is the embodiment of this. At age 23, his achievements are enough to color a resume of a lifetime, but the humility that Kofi radiates would make you think this is just the first step of his journey. With a recent interview with Bleu Magazine, the actor, poet, and photographer opened up and revealed the morsels of gold that sit inside of his soul.
"I am [a feminist]. Period. I champion women, I value women, I respect women. 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."
Have you ever witnessed a Black man living his life as a love letter to women? Kofi considers himself a feminist through and through, and with a lot of grey area existing between the intersections of where feminism subjectively lies, the young artist reminds us of the nucleus of feminism through an extension of himself: the love of his mother.
To be grounded in feminism is to be rooted in the love for the women around you. Kofi's love permeates any rigid idea of feminism by the simple, yet profound, love for the woman who birthed him.
"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. I mean really she wears the cape. I don't wear a cape, she does. I'm just honoring her, and honoring her through my 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."
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, "We should all be feminists."
Everyone's implications of what constitutes themselves as a feminist may vary, but the root of it is where the truth grows. In the wake of an uproar of sexual misconduct cases and abuse of authority against women, it can seem as though "feminism" has become a reactive weapon rather than a revolutionary movement rooted in the desire for equality. With outside views trying to skew the solidarity of feminism, it's important we return to the core of the ideals - because small acts of love will always be revolutionary in the scope of war. To Kofi, that means starting in the local realms of your heart's vicinity.
"Value the people that you can value. Let it start with your mom, your sister, whoever is close to you and extending it from there. That way young people are able to say I'm a feminist–it's just about starting somewhere. That to me is being a feminist. I think it's about respect, understanding and taking action."
Black men loving women is an act of political warfare, in a country that disregards us and the magic inside of us.
In the loud truth of being a feminist, we can hear the echoes of women who have been waiting to be addressed, heard, and loved for years before our birth. It is liberating to hear the genesis of chains being broken that represent inner turmoil between Black men and women. It's about time we all become feminists and begin to uplift the women within arm's reach, to catalyze millions extensions of self, to be works celebrating the divine feminine.
Kofi's existence is a reminder that it isn't anywhere but the roots, the home, where feminism lies. Start with yourself and extend that love to others around you. Life will begin to taste a lot more like sugar.
Read the full Kofi Siriboe feature in Bleu Magazine.
Featured image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com