One of the biggest groups to emerge out of Ghana in recent times is undoubtedly the Foes of Kwame Nkrumah, the FOKN Bois for short. The duo of Wanlov and M3nsa have won admirers and foes in equal measure. Despite this love-hate relationship between them and a section of the public, one cannot but admire their artistry. They have become a refreshing musical duo worth paying attention to despite their ‘flaws’.
There are musical groups who do not receive adequate praise or respect from mainstream musical players as well as fans during their prime years. The enormous value of their work is appreciated when they have run their full course. The FOKN BOIS belong to this crop of musicians.
They have succeeded at making nonsense of the ‘celebrity’ tag. Unlike some musicians who are not easily accessible to fans and journos unless they have something to publicize, the FOKN BOIS are everywhere and are very approachable.
Over the years, the duo have not been appreciated enough as far as the mainstream music scene in Ghana is concerned despite being one of the most eclectic indie acts to emerge out of the country, perhaps after NAKOREX and Native Funk Lords. Proof of their worth lies in the numbers who troop to watch their concerts-either as individual artists or group.
In short, FOKN Bois are not celebrated or held in high esteem compared to other musical acts as they rightly deserve albeit they appear nonchalant about this. Ironically, they are hailed outside of Ghana (a case of prophets not honoured in their own land) with MTV, CNN and the BBC doing a profile on them.
In this piece I am pointing out 5 reasons why the FOKN BOIS are worth celebrating than at present.
The FOKN Bois have proved that their creativity has no bounds. From album construction-either as solo projects or as a group album- they have always amazed listeners. Albums like Coz Ov Moni (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in 2010), FOKN DunaQuest in BudaPest (2011), FOKN Wit Ewe (2012), Coz Ov Moni 2 (FOKN Revenge) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 2014), FOKN Ode To Ghana (2016) and the 2019 released Afrobeats LOL qualify as some of the masterfully crafted albums to have been produced in Ghana in a long with regards to production, lyrics, themes and features.
Their creativity is not only bound to music. They have a movie out as well. Coz Ov Moni I & Coz Ov Moni II, the first ever pidgin musical to be produced in the world speaks volume about their beautiful mind as far as creating concepts and content is concerned. Wanlov directorial acumen can’t be glossed over, likewise M3nsa’s production skills. Their ability to pick on haggard themes and with tact and intelligence turn them into something unique and dazzling is worth applauding. Proof? Listen to their FOKN series of albums.
The unconventionality of the duo has not been in doubt. From their views on religion (Wanlov being a culprit), politics and social commentary, fashion sense to posing nude with no shame has raised eyebrows. Their bluntness has rubbed people, both in the industry and outside the wrong way. In short, they do challenge status-quos.
Their opinions on issues of religion, politics and social norms have often brought them into sharp conflict with section of the populace. Despite these backlashes they continue to stick to their opinions – especially on homosexuality, corruption and social justice- no matter the backlash, especially online. Simply put, in a court jestering fashion, they ooze Ananse-like wisdom which may be discomforting.
I haven’t patronized a lot of their concerts like I should but the few ones have always proven to be a spectacle. FOKN BOIS know their craft. They know how to thrill an audience. In short they are entertainers. And without fear I could say they are the biggest Ghanaian musical export to the world after Osibisa, taking into account their annual tour list.
Down To Earth
They have succeeded in making nonsense of the ‘celebrity’ tag. Unlike some musicians who are not easily accessible to fans and journos unless they have something to publicize, the FOKN BOIS are everywhere and are very approachable. Their simplicity of life and free-spirit (who walks in town bare-footed with a wrapper on waist in this modern time?) endears them to all who have met them.
Who in this world would put out nudes of themselves and still remain unapologetic despite public outcry? And go ahead to make a track about how the ‘Beeches” want to ‘fuck their dicks’? Only the FOKN BOIS. Also, songs like ‘Thank God We Are Not Nigerians’, ‘Jesus Is Coming’, and ‘Help America’ will annoy you at first yet gives you something to appreciate-Talent and Wits.
Added to this is their sense of humour and level of sarcasm. Any of their interviews have been fun to watch. They leave the viewer mouth-opened and sometimes question their sense of rationality.
Their talent, opinions, craziness, sense of no entitlement, free-spirited attitudes and passion put them street ahead of their fellow contemporaries and it is for these gifts that they would be remembered and celebrated a decade from now or sooner.