Kofi Siriboe is a Ghanaian–American actor and model, best known for his role as ‘Ralph Angel Bordelon’ in the series 'Queen Sugar.' Kofi was destined to become an actor. He even gave up playing ‘AAU’ basketball to pursue acting. While his mother played an important role in shaping his career, Kofi’s attractive features, too, were instrumental in helping him earn roles. He started his journey in the entertainment industry in 2003. For over a decade, he was seen in brief and guest roles in films and on TV. He had a recurring role in the 'MTV' drama 'Awkward.' Kofi’s career soared after he got an opportunity to meet Oprah Winfrey, who was highly impressed with him. Some of Kofi’s notable film and TV projects are 'Prom,' 'Whiplash,' 'Straight Outta Compton,' 'Lincoln Heights,' and 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.'
Childhood & Early Life
Kofi was born Nana-Kofi Siriboe, in Los Angeles, California, to Ghanaian immigrants Kwame Boakye and Koshie Mills. He is the second-born child of his parents and has two brothers, Kwame Boateng and Kwesi Boakye. Like Kofi, they are also actors.
Kofi’s mother played a crucial role in nurturing his passion for the arts and entertainment and in shaping his acting career. She made him join acting classes at a tender age, so that he could polish his skills in the craft.
Kofi was enrolled for a bachelor’s degree. However, he did not opt for a master’s degree.
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Kofi began his career in 2003, as ‘Benjamin’ in the short 'Strange & Charmed.’ In 2007, he had an uncredited role in an episode of the 'HBO' comedy–drama 'Entourage.' Later, he made his film debut in the 2008 sports drama 'The Longshots.' The film featured him as ‘Javy Hall.’
In 2009, Kofi was seen as ‘JJ’ in an episode of the 'ABC’ drama 'Lincoln Heights.' He played the teenage version of the character ‘Godwill’ in the short '40.' Following this, Kofi appeared in the 2011 romantic comedy–drama film 'Prom.' The following year, he made a guest appearance, as ‘James Newman,’ in an episode of the 'CBS' crime drama 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
Kofi began his stint in the 'MTV' teen comedy–drama 'Awkward' in 2014. He was cast as ‘Tyler Miller,’ which was a recurring role (11 episodes) in the series. He played a bassist (Nassau) named ‘Greg’ in the 2014 drama film 'Whiplash.'
Kofi landed a brief role in the 2015 biopic 'Straight Outta Compton,' based on the story of the “gangsta rap” group 'N.W.A' and its members. He appeared as ‘Michael’ in the short 'Knotts.'
In 2016, Kofi was cast as ‘Kevin Hamilton’ in the pilot episode of the 'FX' crime-drama series 'Snowfall.' He played ‘Flaco’ in the 2016 adventure 'Kicks' and ‘Malik’ in the 2017 comedy 'Girls Trip.'
2016 brought him a breakthrough role. He was cast in one of the main roles in the 'Oprah Winfrey Network' drama 'Queen Sugar,' based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile. Kofi portrayed ‘Ralph Angel Bordelon,’ the youngest sibling of the featured family in the series, brilliantly.
Even though the depiction of his character in the series is quite different from that in the book, he has done complete justice to the character. He played a man recently freed from prison and battling several emotions at a time in his attempt to become a better person.
The creator of the series, Ava DuVernay, met Kofi first and then arranged a table read session with Oprah Winfrey. They had a connection instantly, and Kofi got the part. His brilliant performance as ‘Ralph Angel’ earned Kofi 'NAACP Image Award' and 'Black Reel Award’ nominations in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Apart from acting, Kofi pursued modeling, too. He is signed with 'Wilhelmina Models,’ a reputed agency based in New York, and 'Vision Los Angeles.' Kofi has been featured in campaigns such as 'Gatorade Big Heads’ (as Kevin Garnett’s voice). He was also part of the 'Got Milk' TV campaign, in which he was featured with his older brother Kwame Boateng.
Kofi has also modeled for brands such as 'True Religion' and 'Barneys New York.' He was also featured in the music video 'Someone to Call My Lover' by Janet Jackson.
Family & Personal Life
Kofi’s father worked as a style enthusiast and fashion consultant. His mother is an international media strategist. She owns a boutique multimedia firm in Beverly Hills.
Kofi’s mother worked solo for several years and now manages her sons’ careers and serves as their publicist. She also does branding for them. Previously, Koshie had a full-time job as a registered nurse and worked night shifts. Finally, in 2011, she ended her 19-year nursing career to devote all of her time to her sons’ careers.
To promote Kofi and his brothers’ on various platforms, Koshie founded the firm 'K3.’ It provides media relations, branding support, strategic support, and talent management services. The firm not only handles Kofi and his brothers but has several international clients, too.
Kofi initially pursued acting as a mere hobby. He and his brothers grew up playing instruments. Kwesi played the violin, while Kofi was interested in both the trumpet and the violin. All three brothers were athletic and played soccer, basketball, and tennis. Kwame and Kofi often played golf, too.
Many of Kofi and his brothers’ adoring fans have nicknamed them the “Triple Chocolate Crunch.’’
In 2016, Kofi and his brothers appeared on the talk show 'Steve Harvey,' where they explained the reason behind having different last names despite having the same set of parents. The three belong to the ‘Ashanti’ tribe of Ghana, which has the custom of carrying on their ancestors' last names to keep their legacy alive.
When Kofi auditioned for 'The Longshots,’ director Fred Durst was so impressed that he signed him on the spot. Kofi performed all the stunts in the movie, without a body double.