We were KINGS once.

“We were Kings once.” I heard my Dad say with pride but at the same time a glint of hurt in his voice. If you ever met Biodun Sowumi, he is an impressive persona even in his maturity as a Father of two, he has always endeavoured to share wisdom with his children, as well as their friends. In a a weird way, he always gave the impression when speaking to the youth that they were his legacy. He did so with almost no desire for appreciation or payment for his troubles. We’ll come back to that later though.

Currently it’s 2018, and I have lost five good friends, and almost lost my god brother. Nonetheless I still find hope in the human condition. I still feel like a lot of people if only for a while can realise their own potential, they could become twice the person i am right now. But I feel like energies are a strong factor in making these strides. The problem is that people are looking to be given positive energy only to dish negative energy. I’ve been guilty of it but I got round it, not necessarily to myself but I always try to push able people in the right direction. I’m just lucky my family name is most likely stronger than most, for example I don’t tell him but, my younger bro inspires me more than most people because being a young positive male in LDN right now as trivial as it seems, is dangerous.

Dangerous!?! Why has being positive in this day and age become dangerous?! The current state of kids killing kids, acid attacks has become painfully common. But we were Kings once. I love that idiom. I never thought much of the word King though. Mainly because as a man if I couldn’t demand the presence my father had when he was my age, I could never call myself a King. KONG always made sense. KONG was the callouses in my hands from the gym. KONG was the blood dripping from my mouth, when I wouldn’t back down to bullies. KONG would be me being called monkey on the way home from primary. KONG was a working class teenager who took pride in being Camden born and Harlesden raised. KONG was the brat who caused his parents grief, when teachers would openly recommend my Mum to give up on me an Parents Evenings. I was never a fxcking KING.

I was KONG.

However I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with my father on this, I would just say.

“We were STRONG once.


Middle name is King, but I prefer KONG.

My actual name is Alfred King Showunmi; along with a surplus of other middle names. I am a North West Londoner, that very much identifies with my African heritage.

It’s very easy for one to read this and be confused wondering how I can claim to love London when I seem to talk like someone who is a fierce advocate of the African lifestyle. The best way to explain is to use a phrase my Dad loved to use on my brother and I.

“As soon as you enter my house! You are in Africa! So if you don’t want to be disciplined , I suggest you behave accordingly!”

More to the point King was simply another given to CK (my brother) and I at birth almost as if to pay homage to our Dad’s home. As I got to my preteens, mates would call me Kingsey but that stop when I transferred schools.

Now KONG…… There’s a million theories on why my friends call me KONG. I find it funny listening to various educated guesses be it correct or not. All that being said, my personal connections with it is probably a lot deeper than most realise.

It’s common knowledge that Gorillas are my favourite animal. I dunno whether it was from watching Tarzan and seeing Kerchak for the first time,which may have lit my brain up like a Christmas tree; or it could’ve been when I first met Zaire in London Zoo but one thing was constant I loved Apes and in my opinion the strongest animal in jungle.

Strong. To me, probably the most important word in my vocabulary . I only started being obsessed with strength after my brother signed me up to a gym about 6 years ago. I mean I had a few spells with joining a gym before then but nothing as intense.

I remember being all of 10st and some change pulling up 160kg off the ground I didn’t realise till later that as a novice I had no business pulling up those weights realised I had a strong back just and I had a lot of mannerisms simillar to our jungle dwelling relatives and there it is KONG became my name.

And the reason I wasn’t King Kong was someone else in our gym had that name and believe me…..,…he earned it. So I settled for KONG seeing as it was already being by my friends.. Better than being called Jr. *scoff*