Our guest post for today is physically hot in the handsome world. He is controversial, indigenously African, orally free with a kind heart. He is a great father and is a great singer. Our guest for today is none other than Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu popularly known as Wanlov the Kubolor who was kind enough to grant us an interview in his abode in Accra.
AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to Amoafowaa.com
WANLOV: Thank you
AMOAFOWAA: Please tell us about Wanlov Kuborlor, from infancy to now
WANLOV: My infancy is a blur. I was born in Ploiesti, Romania early 80’s and before I was one, we moved to Ghana. By the time I was five or six years old, my parents separated and my mother being an immigrant, kept us. We moved around a lot because she was renting and moving around because rent was going up or whatever. So my infancy was a lot of moving around, every two to three years, we changed neighbourhood. So little Legon, Dansoman, Mile Seven, Zoti Clinic, Dome St. Johns, Taifa, Asylum Down. It was a lot of moving around.
AMOAFOWAA: Did that affect your schooling? I mean, changing schools?
WANLOV: I wasn’t changing schools all the time. I only changed school once. I remember they tried to get admission for me in Christ the King but I don’t know why I was giving opposite answers to all the questions for the entrance examinations. You know how my mind works. I was in North Ridge but then I got kicked out of North Ridge by the time I was in class five.
AMOAFOWAA: Why was that?
WANLOV: Because in class four, I fought with Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings. She is my cousin, so nothing happened to me apart from just being transferred.
AMOAFOWAA: And that was nothing?
WANLOV: I think it was nothing because those times, if you messed with the Rawlings’ family you would be tagged on a sign board in Teshie.
AMOAFOWAA: What are your hobbies?
WANLOV: Eating “alansa” is one of my main hobbies.
AMOAFOWAA: What? Eating “alasa/alansa” that bitter fruit?
WANLOV: Yes. How many people can eat thirty in a day? I can eat thirty in an hour. And I like basketball, I actually play basketball sometimes for charity events. I like soccer too, more for the fact that it works my body out, but I don’t enjoy it, as much as I enjoy basketball.
AMOAFOWAA: Any mentors in life?
WANLOV: I’d like to say Gyedu Blay Ambollay is a mentor. Panji –
AMOAFOWAA: What do you see in Gyedu Blay Ambolley?
WANLOV: Gyedu Blay is like a primordial force. He is very, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard of this legend. I don’t know who it belongs to but on the continent are huge giant tortoises that civilization rests upon. I just see him as this huge force of nature. Very magnanimous.
AMOAFOWAA: Magnanimity means he is kind and generous …
WANLOV: Yes, but you can see in his music, very good energy in his music.
AMOAFOWAA: So apart from Gyedu Blay Ambollay, you were mentioning a few others?
WANLOV: Yes, Panji Anoff. Panji is like a world encyclopedia. I have not spoken to Panji about anything or for any advice that he has not been able to give about ninety something percent. He is very knowledgeable. He is like an oracle. He is very revealing and enlightening. If you just sit by Panji and just say “tooth pick”, he will just start “In 1512, the first toothpick was…” and he will tell you how many toothpicks are being produced now in the world, every possible trivia to a quite accurate end.
AMOAFOWAA: What inspired your genre of music?
WANLOV: I see myself like a “tri-genre”. I am doing three things, Gospel Porn with M3nsah, and by myself , I am doing what I call, Afro-Gypsy Music and also just rap, I feature on people’s songs.
AMOAFOWAA: How do you maintain your daily motivation and inspiration despite obstacles or setbacks?
WANLOV: I don’t dwell on one thing at a time. Every time I have three to five things I am doing. Right now, I am editing videos for some artists, I am writing scripts for some films, I am learning how to play guitar, I am writing songs as well so if I have a setback, it is just on one thing out of the things I am doing, so the other things keep me going till I am re-inspired or rejuvenated to take on other things.
AMOAFOWAA: You have a unique lifestyle, what inspired the way you live?
WANLOV: I don’t have any unique style of living.
WANLOV: Yes, maybe just with dressing but me wearing a wrap skirt happened when I was just doing my laundry. All my clothes were dirty and I wrapped a cloth around me and I just felt like that was how I was going to dress from then on. It just happened by chance. And now I am used to it.
AMOAFOWAA: So what do you think of the saying that “clothes maketh a man?”
WANLOV: That is when you look at the world on a flat standpoint. That quotation obviously comes from one of those elites who can afford a certain kind of clothing and regard men by their social standing as opposed to their conscience or their nature. Somebody can have a bad and wicked nature but because the person is nicely dressed, then they will be received well somewhere. This quotation comes from those kinds of people who are moved by the cosmetic presentation of men instead of the internal makeup.
AMOAFOWAA: Wow! How do you see the music industry of Ghana?
WANLOV: It is round and hairy
AMOAFOWAA: Like an ape or something like that?
WANLOV: Don’t quote me as saying that, that is just you saying that.
AMOAFOWAA: If it is round and hairy, that is just one of the things that comes to mind
WANLOV: Then why don’t you say test***es. Well, I said it is possibly hairy. It used to be a bit flat but now it looks like nine months pregnant.
AMOAFOWAA: So that is creativity at its peak?
WANLOV: I hope so. But that is also Obour’s stomach. Maybe you can say that it is about to give birth to creativity.
AMOAFOWAA: But I think Obour is fit now and has grown cool.
WANLOV: Cool like what? Like standing in a fridge or what? Do you mean he has given birth?
AMOAFOWAA: (Laughing out loud) Maybe through a caesarian section
WANLOV: Lol. You are worse.
AMOAFOWAA: But Obour has exercised and grown fit, I think, from the last time I saw him on television. I know you to be a great father. One who makes sure he represents even at the maternity hall. What inspired your commitment to fatherhood?
WANLOV: Well, I think my parents kind of raised me in a way that instilled in me a sense of responsibility. I don’t even think I am a person who likes children, but I feel I need to do everything for my children because I am part of the reason they are here. When I am with my children, I enjoy myself but I also love to be by myself. I don’t also want to come across as disliking children…
AMOAFOWAA: You can’t even say that because I can see for myself what is happening. (For the benefit of followers, I met Wanlov with his a little under 2 year old son: Kojolescu and he was taking care of him at his home alone. Feeding, bathing, and changing his diapers. He was so attentive throughout the interview) What has been the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
WANLOV: I was playing with my brother when we were children and I threw cement and it went into his eyes
AMOAFOWAA: That is not as bad as you made it sound, more like a mistake. Let’s talk about politics. From Nkrumah to Mahama, which politician has impressed you so far and why?
WANLOV: Apart from Nkrumah, none has been able to impress me. Just because all of them had no vision.
AMOAFOWAA: If you talk about visions, what do you think Nkrumah had that none of them possess?
WANLOV: I mean Nkrumah went into a forest in the Volta Region, a forest, and decided to turn the whole place into a dam. He also decided to create the Bui Dam, then he decided to set up a thermo-Nuclear plant at Atomic for themo-nuclear energy which he did. He created all these Tema communities, Dansoman, he planned everything, the systems, the Tema Motorway, he did all these things and everybody who has come has just run it down. None has decided to continue, to finish the Bui Dam, , upgrade the Akosombo VRA project, they’ve just come to be there while everything is going down. Even when Nkrumah did all these things, we were just about five million so why is it that everybody has come to use what he created for five million people for twenty something million people? They actually chaperone all he has done to the grave. All they came to do is “Konongo Kaya”. (For the benefit of foreign followers, “Konongo Kaya” is a legendary porter who will not help to carry the goods at hand but won’t also let anyone carry it)
AMOAFOWAA: Bribery and corruption, from judges to clerks, any words on that?
WANLOV: Yes, errrm, what’s crazy is that everybody is commending the judges who did not take the bribe. For me that is absurd and shows that we totally miss the whole plot. If you are in any sensible country which has a working legal system, let’s take the UK, if you go and sit in front of a judge, which you may not even be able to do, and just mention the thought of bribe, within ten seconds, you will be in jail. They will arrest you. So for Anas and his team to be able to sit in front of about twenty judges for them to say “Oh no no no, go away, I won’t take it”, that means, they just didn’t mention their right prices. Those judges are worse than the ones who collected the monies because they are ready to do something just for bigger monies. It is almost like you’ve seen an armed robber come into your house, and you have the power to catch the armed robber but you let them go to steal from someone else. That is what those judges did and it shows that we have a serious sickness in Ghana.
AMOAFOWAA: May I ask for the definition of love according to Wanlov Kuborlor?
WANLOV: Love, I don’t use the word “love” for infatuation, those things, temporary attraction, I use the word in the sense of any human being who is in touch with humanity in the sense that if you are standing by the roadside and see somebody crossing the road and a car about to hit him or her and you jump in the way to save that person at the expense of your life, then I will say that is love. That is to say human beings are defaulted to love. The other kind of love that people talk about is just not real. If you take the concept of love, it is supposed to be something that is supposed to be there permanently. You can’t grow love to say I love you more or less, so none can apply love in the contest of meeting some girl or boy and falling in love and all those things. That is temporary attraction. When we say God is love, it is so because God is constant and cannot change.
AMOAFOWAA: Let’s branch to feminism, you are smiling, what is your impression of it?
WANLOV: My favourite feminists are black feminists who pray to a white male Jesus to help them. Everything is ironic about that situation because feminists are supposed to be independent and not rely on men because they can do exactly as the man should yet they are praying to a male God to help them in their lives. Don’t you find that ironic? They should have a female God.
AMOAFOWAA: So you don’t believe in feminism?
WANLOV: You see, it is not about belief, feminism is not a concept that translates well with the African world. And it is a fashion to me among the so called middle class exparte community in Africa and other parts of the world who try to bring this, you see, feminism is about women empowerment. In any Ghanaian household, before the time of the appearance of feminism, feminism was already there. When you look at the power structure within any household, you realize that the woman controls the house. She is the one that kicks the man out and so on. She controls the food, the woman that has the shop is the only one doing all, the man is just there managing things on the sides, the main power relied within the woman. When you go to Makola, you see this concept of woman power we have always revere the woman, Yaa Asantewaa, we don’t raise any human or person above Yaa Asantewaa. So this new wave of feminism does not fit well into the Ghanaian system. It is more like a middle class Ghanaian trying to adopt a western movement. The European structure comes from a patriarchal system. That is why they brought up God in the Bible where the men control the women as subservient, the woman is listed next to a donkey and other properties of the man, so the Western world is what has created the need for feminism. We never had the need for feminism until we started adapting to foreign ways as against ours.
AMOAFOWAA: So do you see yourself getting married to a woman and make her a housewife?
WANLOV: No I can’t, but mine is different because I can’t even see myself getting married at all.
AMOAFOWAA: As you grow older, do you think you will change your mind about getting married?
WANLOV: I don’t think so but I never knew I will not wear shoes so…
AMOAFOWAA: Okay. Bleaching and makeups, can they contribute to women attracting you?
WANLOV: I just think if you are bleaching you should just bleach well. If you can’t bleach well then don’t bleach at all, unless you know someone who likes zebra bleaching. At the end of the day, to me, bleaching, tattooing, perming, all these alterations, temporary or permanent to the body, are everybody’s choice to make. The question remains, do you know the dangers of what you are doing? If I am going to tattoo, which I am planning to start this year…
AMOAFOWAA: Really? Maybe you should start from your face. It will be nice.
WANLOV: Yes. What do you think is the first tattoo I should make?
AMOAFOWAA: A huge dragon on your face.
WANLOV: Oh my God! So it can defecate into my mouth? I think I will just get the word “tattoo” tattooed on me. Just know what you are getting into. If you want to bleach, see your doctor, let them advise you so that you choose the right products to bleach with so you don’t get some kind of skin disease or you don’t end up looking like something.
AMOAFOWAA: Pastors and special waters for healing and solving spiritual problems, will there be a time you will be seen being delivered by those pastors?
WANLOV: I have been there before, I think from 1998 to 2000, I was a kind of like semi-by force Christian. I was going to church with my father every Sunday so I got to kneel in front of pastors, having oils in my head, having their manhoods to my face, errm, I don’t think I will go back there again.
AMOAFOWAA: You don’t believe in romance but you have five children. How do you get the women?
WANLOV: There are women out there who are like me, not romantic. They just want to have a good time and later, after knowing each other for sometime, we come to the mutual agreement to have a child together. But giving out flowers or taking someone to a restaurant, sit down, have dinner? Maybe movies, but even that, maybe we are in town and there is traffic, so we dash into a cinema to see a film to kill time. I have never dated since I was in Junior High School.
AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Who can gain your respect?
WANLOV: People who work hard, those who do not bend to the crowd
AMOAFOWAA: What are your views on racism?
WANLOV: It will never go away. Human beings have always found a way to find differences among certain groups of people so that they can be at an advantage. The Irish who looked just as white as the European were treated with racism saying they were less than Europeans, same with the Jews by the Arians, same with the Palestinians and the Israelis. So even with people who look alike, humans find ways of making others less in order to advance. Life is about survival. That is why the zebras walk with zebras and the hippopotamus walks with the hippopotamus. To think that everything will move about quietly without deaths is naïve. Life is war.
AMOAFOWAA: I have bothered you enough. Now let’s get into the advice segment. What would you tell scammers who believe it is their right to dupe foreigners because of colonialism?
WANLOV: I like that. It is not even about the colonialism part. I mean if you are sitting behind a computer and you receive an email from a Nigerian who tells you, he is the first Nigerian to go to space and is currently stuck in space but when they get to Nigeria, the government will give them some millions so if you can give money to his wife so that when he comes back he gives it to you with interest. And you are sitting behind your computer and you read this and you send your money, it means you don’t deserve that money. You got it just because of some kind of privilege. If you really worked hard to get that money and you think, you won’t be able to send it to a Nigerian. And the young women too, when you start having relationships with women and they fall for you and you start collecting their monies, life is not fair, the women should thank the boys for teaching them lessons. At least they can still work for monies now and they can thank those boys later.
AMOAFOWAA: Your advice to those who are contemplating suicide.
WANLOV: I will ask them why? Everybody’s case is unique. If that person has a good point, I may even consider joining them.
AMOAFOWAA: Are there links to buy your songs online?
WANLOV: wanlov.bandcamp.com, regular itunes, etc.
AMOAFOWAA: Now your advice to those who want to be like you.
WANLOV: They should finish being like themselves first. I mean I see all the young guys who try to wear skirts, I am not in costume, so when I see them doing that during the Chalewote Street Arts Festival dressed like me, it makes me smile because I know it takes courage to make them behave that way even for a day.
AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time on Amoafowaa.com
WANLOV: “Foo waa”
He is like a sword of truth
One son of Africa fetched from the belly of far away
To give universal eyes which transmit all freely
To the mind to a fault
From will to zeal
From nil to real
From sand fingerings right through to his quill
All that is rudely real
As shadows follow their reals
So do his weird fruits mar his visions of light
Wisdoms wrapped in parcels of sarcasms
Knock without success on gates of infant minds
Hidden in bodies of greatness
Close to the liver is the bile
It is time to burn the file
Of frivolous foolishness
To file voices of truth without victimization
For Wanlov is for most to love
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2016