Sentinel Poetry Magazine January 2003


Nnorom: How did you get to choose the name Kola Boof and what is the significance of this name other than for the purpose of identification.
 
Kola: The name Kola Boof came about from my love of films from the 1920's and 1930's.  I am a big fan of Clara Bow and the cartoon character Betty Boop...and when I was in my twenties, I came up with "Kola Boof" as the African version.  Now, I'm stuck with it, because I put it on my first book.  The great writer Chinua Achebe said:  "When you bring the people Kola...you bring them life".  So that is where Kola is from.  Boof is from "Boop" (as in Betty Boop).  Boof is to signify the noise of the African drum and my sexuality, which is like a force.

Nnorom: Where were you born?
 
Kola: I was actually born right on the Nile River in a little house in Omdurman, Sudan.

Nnorom: What is your date of birth?

Kola: I have no idea when I was born.  I only believe, because of Aunt Ramah, that it was in March.  The records were destroyed in a fire. As far as unmasking Kola...there is no mask on me.  I did a television interview with the Fox News Channel.  I have made personal appearances in Los Angeles.  I am not a "mysterious unseen writer" as the New York Times article so viciously reported.  I agreed to meet with their reporter in person, but the editor said that he could not afford to fly the woman to California to interview me.  This whole idea that I am not a real person is bogus.  I'm an American citizen, born in Omdurman, Sudan. I'm the mother of 2 small boys, ages 6 and 4. Now mind you, the police have told me to always give wrong     information about the details of my boys to the press.  They told me to do this deliberately as a safety measure.  Another such measure they use is the one we did on the radio interview programs.  The radio host would tell the audience that I was in Houston, for instance, but I might really be in Washington, D.C.  The police taught me that, because they say it throws dangerous people off track.
My fans in America know this about me...despite all the lies and stories that are being made up and circulated about me by press people--mainly because they don't like me.  In America, the press is sympathetic to Palestine, the Muslims and the Arabs.  So the liberals, of which I am their Goddess, they can't stand me, because I am against this empathy that Western fools feel for Arab Islam.

Nnorom: There is no question that you exist. There are photographs of you and like you have said, you have made television appearances. This does not tell us who you are. When it is said that you cannot prove your identity, it is because the trail runs cold. You are definitely not in hiding, so what is the big deal? You can answer questions without leaving people guessing. For instance, there are more than four different ages at which you were when your parents got killed. How old exactly were you at the time of the death of your parents?
 
Kola: I just explained that.  I don't know how old I was.  I am guessing my age.  No one knows.

Nnorom:
Somebody must know. You have claimed that your father was an archaeologist. This tells me he was educated. It beats my understanding how an archaeologist supposed to be particularly interested in documenting dates would fail somehow to note the date of his own daughter's birth. You believe Aunt Ramah that it was in March - of what year? I don't know who Aunt Ramah is, and you probably won't tell me, in order to protect her, but whether she is your paternal or maternal aunt, she must have had an idea when her sister or sister-in-law was pregnant. She must know what event was going on in Sudan or Egypt at the time. Kola, you were not born in the 14th century, you must know the year or near-year of your birth. For instance I was born during the Nigeria-Biafra war. The war lasted between July 1967 and January 1970. My birth certificate was lost during that war, but my parents knew the date of my birth because they were educated, but even if they had not been, they would have been able to say to me, 'you were born in the very month that the Nigeria-Biafra war began.' Ask aunt Ramah again.

Kola: My Auntie Ramah is dead.  I suspect I was around 5 when she died.  I have people to protect in Sudan and Egypt.  Frankly, I don't want anyone to know my age.  You could list me as 33 if you'd like.  That's about right.

Conversation continues >>>

I am not a "mysterious unseen writer" as the New York Times article so viciously reported. This whole idea that I am not a real person is
bogus.  I'm an
American citizen,
born in
Omdurman,
Sudan. I'm the mother of 2 small boys,
ages 6 and 4.
-Boof