When Kofi Kingston first debuted for WWE in 2006, his character wore Jamaican colors and spoke with a Jamaican accent. Speaking with Muscle & Fitness’ Reps Podcast, the New Day member reflected on how happy he was to be able to drop the accent. He also revealed Vince McMahon’s reaction to an interview that revealed Kingston wasn’t actually Jamaican.
Kingston shared how Vince McMahon instructed him to do all of his interviews with the Jamaican accent. Any time he was on screen or being interviewed, he had to reply with the accent. He explained how WWE Magazine would calm him from a regular number. Kingston would answer with his regular voice, only to be asked if Kofi was around to take a call. “I would say ‘Oh hold on’ and then answer in Jamaican.”
Keeping up the accent was, admittedly, “really annoying.” Kingston reflected on how the only other Superstar who could relate was Santino Marella.
Kofi Kingston On Being Revealed
The Superstar then spoke about how a BBC interview pressed him for an answer regarding his name and accent. Kofi Kingston revealed how they confronted him over Kofi not being a Jamaican name. They asked him why he was playing a Jamaican character, forcing him to come up with a variety of answers.
“So finally I get off the phone and I’m sweating and I’m like it’s over. Then all of a sudden maybe an hour later my mom calls me up and says ‘Somebody from the BBC just called and they asked me about your Jamaican heritage and I told them you were from Ghana and this,’ and I was like ‘No! Mom, kayfabe, kayfabe!’ Eventually, I told Vince about it and he said not as many people are going to read that article as you think, and then in a year I ended up being able to drop it.”
Kofi Kingston admitted that dropping the accent was a relief. Kingston believed that playing that character was only going to allow him to reach a certain level. He thinks that those who can get to the top of the business are playing a version of themselves “just turned way up.” Although he liked certain characteristics of that version of Kofi, he was grateful to “have that lid popped up” so he could continue climbing the ladder in WWE.