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Kente Claus comes to WBFO

Kente Claus
Thomas O'Neil-White
/
WBFO News
Kente Claus visits the WBFO newsroom

Thomas O’Neil-White: I'm Thomas O'Neil-White and it is that time of the season. And I am honored to be sitting across from Kente Claus. Kente Claus how are you doing today?

Kente Claus: I am absolutely beautifully, wonderfully perfect. And you how are you?

TOW: I'm doing great today.

KC: You look at sharp, sir. I like your sweater with the button. I’d like a little Kente on it, though.

TOW: You've got a lot of Kente on today. And I'm loving it. So my first question is, what's the difference between you in jolly old St. Nick?

KC: I would say starting with obviously, the obvious. How about we start there? Let's address the reindeer in the room, shall we? Let's do it. Alright, so of course our people have an over-standing based off of branding. And that's what branding does. It creates over-standing among people since the beginning almost of celebrating that season called Christmas. They've associated it with the jolly old Nick, the traditional jolly old Nick. Yes. Oh, my fellow, very jolly white fellow. And so and that is that is a fair, fair understanding of the person himself. So obviously I am from Africa. But once we get past that, people understand that it's a simple responsibility. It has the responsibility of spreading joy of focusing on children, and that is through Africa and the Caribbean islands.

TOW: There is an afro centric vibe, obviously, to what you do.

KC: Well, it's very important. Bringing culture and Christmas together. It's very magical. I don't know if you had a chance. But anyone who's come down to the African American Heritage corridor to celebrate that soulful Christmas, as we walk through that historically, black recognize space there, where the Underground Railroad existed, is a special blending a fusion of Christmas and culture that we haven't yet really tapped into. Now in the Caribbean and Africa. They experience that every time they celebrate Christmas, because it is part of their nature. But here in America and in Canada, and other places, we are slowly becoming a little bit more interested in a little bit more aware of what it sounds like when you celebrate Christmas with a slight accent.

TOW: Why is representation important? In this case, you working alongside jolly old St Nick to bring joy and to bring toys?

KC: Well I think the answer for any industry that when it's so important to have you here, even though it's radio they may not know, you know, that you are representing so even if you don't see it, it's important that this representation because there are things that matter to you in your heart that is unique to you and your experience.

TOW: Kente Claus, thank you, a real pleasure.

KC: God bless you, Merry Christmas and joy to the world!

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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