Lynnie's Night Out: Fayetteville State University Presents An Evening with Boris Kodjoe

Written By: Lynnie

Photo Credit: Lynnie of LFJ Photography

Guess whose back!  It’s your girl Lynnie from the beautiful 910. Did you miss me? I sure missed ya’ll. Hunni Chile, Hunni Chile, let me tell you about this past Saturday. I was afforded the opportunity to attend this year’s “True To Yourself”, a Black History Month Talk Series with Piedmont and it was absolutely awesome. It all took place on the campus of Fayetteville State University in the J.W. Seabrook Auditorium.

This year’s special guest was none other than the oh so handsome Boris Kodjoe. Yes, you read correctly, Boris Kodjoe. Ladies let me tell you he looks even better in person. It wasn’t his looks or the fact that he had a light beard that made him look better it was the conversation he shared with the audience. The conversation was so refreshing and uplifting. He gave the moderator, Judge Toni King permission to ask whatever she’d like and she did not hold back.

Throughout the entire conversation, Kodjoe expresses his love and value for his family.  As most of you know Boris is married to actress, model, and multi-business owner, Nicole Ari Parker. They share two beautiful children Nicolas and Sophie. They also have multiple companies together. Judge King asked him at one point how he balances the different hats, being a father, husband, actor, mentor, business owner and so on? His response was beautiful and uplifting.

“There is no balance, its priorities. We put each other first and we put our kids first. So you don’t really have to balance because when your priorities are put first that’s what empowers you. What forefronts you, what feeds you, what loves you unconditionally then everything around you falls in place.  There’s no need to balance anything because I’m focused on these three people.”

He shared that he has actually turned down a movie role because it would cause him to be away from his children too long. Being that the room was mostly women I’m sure you can imagine all the soft “Ahh's” and applause that took place. 

When he was asked about his father and the relationship they shared. He praised his father for being an amazing grandfather. Boris’s father left his mother when he and his brother were very young. This was the point in the conversation I was able to tell there was a good amount on men in the room. Especially when she asked how has your father influenced you as a dad?

“I learned a lot from my dad, but in two parts. Part one was what not to do…”

This is the moment you can hear the men in the audience softly agreeing. One is the young gentlemen that sat in front of me. He let an emotional “hmm” as if Boris was telling his story.

Being that we were on the beautiful campus of Fayetteville State University, with a large group of students in attendance, I asked him how did he know he had chosen the right career path?  I remember always wondering if I was on the right path when I was in college.  I was actually surprised by his answer.

“I can’t honestly say I have. Hmm, I can say this career has afforded me many other career paths.  I’m still exploring.  The good thing about it is it has allowed me to connect with different the people of influence and mentor others along the way.”

Even though it wasn’t the answer I was expecting I was still honestly able to respect it.  To me, it was the most honest answer a person could give. Throughout the entire interview his answer somewhat surprised people. Another audience member asked him what he would do if given the power to change anything in the world? When she asked he paused to think about it. In the middle of him pausing the people in the audience started yelling out different answers such as “TRUMP! THE PRESIDENT!  MEN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOUNG GIRLS!”.

I admired the fact that he didn’t flinch. He smiled, leaned his head back and chuckled with a slight grin. Then he looked at the audience and said,

“I would address our compliance because everything we’re suffering through right now is due to our compliance. The fact that we as individuals don’t have power and that we can’t do anything. It starts with voting. It starts with speaking up. Speaking up about the inequality that might fall upon our neighbor. We stay in our own house and not say anything.  That makes us complacent. I always say that inequality will never end until those not affected by it will start to speak.”

When asked what being true to yourself meant to him, he responded by saying,

“Being true to yourself means that everyone can star in their own movie once they stop being an extra in someone else’s.  You just have to understand that no matter who you are or where you came from, you have to make a point to write your own story and not conform to public opinions”

Mr. Kodjoe had a way of relating to everyone in the room. I’m sure everyone left the event with something to think about.  He talked about lessons he learned from his mother.  An encouraging moment with friends. Hard business let downs and joyous ups. It was truly a treat to be in the midst of this conversation. I look forward to next year’s “True To Yourself” Series.

Until next time, Bless up

Lynnie from the 910