Kofi Kingston on his mother revealing he wasn’t Jamaican in 2008

As a guest on the Out of Character podcast with Ryan Satin, Kofi Kingston joined the show to talk about his 2008 WWE debut as a Jamaican character. The former WWE Champion revealed what his initial conversations with Vince McMahon were like involving several vignettes he started with.

“It was my first meeting with Vince, we had a group of writers and they had written six different sketches and they were all me saving someone on the beach because it was ‘Trouble in Paradise’ and that was the line,” Kofi explained. . “At that point, you’re just happy to have the chance to be on TV, so I’m not going to come through and be like it’s rubbish and I don’t think it’s going to work. So here we go, he goes through all the sketches and he approves everything. We go down to Miami to film everything and it was a great experience, the first time everyone on set was there for me, it was all about me, I was the central character.

“We taped them and then they started airing several weeks later. Often, with the shows airing, you can put on headphones and listen to everything that’s going on between Vince and the truck, the cameramen. As a studious guy you put the headphones on and listen to the show and my vignette comes to where I buried the guy in the sand and I remember Vince came over the headphones and he said ‘ugh, that’s barely passable.’ I was like oh my god, we have six left! But he must know that I’m on the helmet right now and he’s teasing me. Years later I’m like he didn’t know I was on the helmet, he really thought those thumbnails were barely passable, that was his real opinion and he said it out loud. For all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t be here. I come back and look at these thumbnails and I’m like oh my god, this is cringeworthy. It makes me shiver a little. »

Kofi Kingston also talked about having to pick up the Jamaican accent and use it during every promotion or interview he had. The WWE Superstar also revealed conversations he allegedly had with the folks at WWE Magazine where he should have changed his accent mid-conversation.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster,” Kofi Kingston said. “Initially, when I arrived, Vince was like ‘look, you have to do everything in character, I want you to do every interview in character.’ At the time, we had WWE magazine and they would call me I would get a 203 number so I would answer the phone like, ‘Hello?’ ‘Yeah, it’s Scott Dorsey and I’m calling Kofi, is Kofi there?’ I’m like ‘oh, yeah, he’s here, wait.’ [Speaks in his Jamaican accent] “What’s going on, Kofi Kingston here, what’s up?” Then he would ask me all the questions, you know? It was a silly situation because you know I’m not Jamaican and I know you know I’m not Jamaican but Vince said I had to put this accent on and now we have to play this game and I’ I have to interview you with that accent.

Continuing to talk about his WWE debut, Kofi Kingston revealed that his mother was the first person to say outside of WWE that he wasn’t Jamaican. At the time, it was reported that the company did not want to market him with the stereotypical accent despite not being Jamaican. The former WWE Champion said he spoke to BBC News about his character and revealed that shortly after they called his mother and she told them this:

“15 minutes later my mom calls me and says ‘oh Kof a guy just called me and asked about your career and asked if you’re Jamaican and I said no he’s coming from Ghana but he just does it for work…’ So now I’m like ‘Mom, kayfabe mum, kayfabe!’ It’s over Two days later Leslie Goffe writes this article you can go to Google and it’s BBC Come on man you know it’s World Wrestling Entertainment you know there’s people here who play characters there. The Undertaker isn’t a walking zombie, he’s not actually dead, he’s alive, and he has kids.

“So the article came out, talking about ‘Kofi is ashamed of his culture and his heritage,’ and I was like oh my god, it’s over bro. I survived those vignettes, that accent terrible, all for this and now it’s over I go to New Orleans, I go to the office with Vince and I say “Vince, we need to talk man” It’s over bro, they know, cats out of the bag. He said, ‘Well, you might think everybody knows, but it’s just a small part of the people who know and you’re always going to come out and do that accent.’ I’m like no, but six months later he calls me back to his office and says “yeah, I think we’re going to drop your accent today.”

Finally, Kingston also mentioned the first time he went to Jamaica after playing this character for a few years. The New Day member revealed the reaction he received from the Jamaican people and also shared conversations he used to have with another WWE Superstar going through a situation related to him at the time. -the.

“I thought people were going to be mad, I could never go to Jamaica and people were going to be mad that I was trying to emulate their culture,” Kofi said. “I will never go and I have never been there before. It was three years later that I made an appearance there and I was like guys, you can’t send me here, they’re not going to let me back. Of course, I go there and everyone is cool. All was love and all was well. It was liberating to be able to drop the accent and the only other person who had the same struggle as me was Santino because he is actually from Canada. Sometimes we would just sit in the stands and tell our stories and we could relate to each other. When I was finally able to drop it, it was a dap as you came out. It was really liberating because it’s hard enough to remember what you have to say to millions of people, let alone how you say it. The fact that I didn’t have to worry about how I had to butcher an accent and use the words of an entire culture was liberating. A big relief for my back.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Out of Character featuring Ryan Satin with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript.

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