Queen Sugar’s Kofi Siriboe recently launched his new media and lifestyle brand, We’re Not Kids Anymore. It’s an ode to nostalgia, taking visitors back to the early 2000s through an interactive web experience featuring a curated selection of over 1000 events. Siriboe spoke with Shadow and Act to discuss the inspiration behind the brand and how he believes the past shapes the endless possibilities of the future.
At times, life appears to be moving at a rapid pace. It’s necessary to slow down and ruminate on where we’ve been and where we are headed. With the pandemic creating an opportunity for the world to slow down, Siriboe came up with We’re Not Kids Anymore. Living an incredibly active and busy life as an actor, he yearned for time to digest all that has happened in his own 26 years. “I just think it’s important to reflect and actually appreciate and find value in the experiences that shaped us to this moment,” he said.
The platform is described by Siriboe as a “network of nostalgia which is connected via media memories.” The first part of the website, Timeline, starts at the beginning of the new millennium and continues to this present moment. “We’re just going to be experiencing the last two decades at the swipe of a finger. We have over a thousand facts, which include some amazing cultural moments [and] a lot of Black excellence moments,” Siriboe explained. From Limewire and Myspace days, to the beginning of YouTube in 2005, millennials will certainly have plenty to reminisce about in regards to the birth of the social media era. Yet, it’s far more than just a reflection of technological advancements; there’s also a major social element.
Siriboe found a need to create a safe space for important conversations to happen in the Black community. “Naturally, I wanted to do something beyond just showing up and being there with the community,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do something…that’s my entire algorithm of existence. It’s like how can I be of service to not only myself, not only my friends [and] my family, but everybody?”
Tech partner and co-founder Julian Lane expressed his thoughts about Timeline and its deeper significance. “When I think of Timeline, I’m really learning about myself. Nostalgia, reflection, and opening memories is a form of re-learning and re-experiencing yourself. It’s really an exploration process for anyone who taps into it. It’s like therapy. As two African American men in America, we knew we couldn’t sit silent during the current social movement. We wanted to assert our resilience and create a space to preserve our cultural moments. We moved with urgency to remind ourselves, and young people globally, how far we’ve come, and how we have prevailed over adversity.”
The brand will also sell clothing and other merchandise. When it comes to the expansion of We’re Not Kids Anymore, Siriboe has high aspirations. “I really see a space that expands to a global community where we redesign and reimagine the identity of education we reimagined identity in itself. And we really start having fun with our experience as young people in this new world. I think it’s changing so quickly and there are so many definitions that get thrown around, but the truth is it’s happening so fast and it’s happening right now.
We get to create and define that reality that we now live in. I want us to be a staple in the young community globally and I want us to have these conversations effortlessly and I want education and become cool again, because when was learning not cool? Like I always say, when does an adult that being a kid and when does a kid become an adult? I think our goal is to always be the space in between kids and adults. And that’s a big space.”