Liberia: PYJ’s Daughter Draws Inspiration from Horrifying Experience with her Father to Bolster Music Career
NORWAY – Annprincess Johnson Koffa is now using the traumatic experience she and her mother had under her father, Prince Y, Johnson, a former fierce warlord turned politician and clergy, as an inspiration for her new career in Norway – pop music.
Now 27, Annprincess lives as a refugee in the United Kingdom but her memory still holds firmly the horrifying experience she had with her dad 20 years ago.
According to the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, Annprincess narrated how she and her mother, Anna Bargbe Koffa, 67, were in and out of prison for disobeying him.
According to the Daily Mail, Annprincess and her mother fled from her father under the cover of darkness and sought refuge in Norway through the help of the United Nations. She took up two jobs as a pricing specialist for an internet services provider by day and a waitress by night.
No one is going to take a chance on you before you show them why they should,’ she said.
‘My goal is to release as much self-financed music as I can and create enough of a hype around me as a brand, and be an attractive player for the record labels.’
Speaking about her upbringing, Annprincess told how her father, whom she claims has more than 20 children by multiple partners, would regularly throw her mother in prison for refusing his demands and criticizing his regime.
‘When I was little I remember putting myself to bed,’ she recalled. ‘I remember being told to go away by the other mothers. That was most nights of my life.
‘My mother wasn’t in a “relationship” with my father. He captured her and took her away from everything she knew, and she stayed with him for eight years.
‘My father was never married to any of the women living in the house. I don’t know if he’s married now. My mother and I called them all ”his women”.’
On the night they fled, they slept at Anna’s friend’s house before leaving the following morning on foot and walking until the evening.
Annprincess said: “A little boy asked my mother if we were Liberians. He told her he knew of some Liberians living in a apartment and took us there, where my mother explained that we were looking for a place to stay for the night.
“They let us stay until the next morning, when Mom left me with them and went to the UN office, telling them that we were running away from my father.
“The UN picked me up and placed us in something called a guest house, which is temporary accommodation for people in need.”
Her mother had to leave her three sons – Annprincess’ half siblings – with her parents in Liberia to give the two of them a greater chance of survival.
“She couldn’t bring them to Norway because they were in another town, far from where we where,” Annprincess explained.
She told how the UN in Nigeria put Anna in a program that helped single mothers flee to other countries for a better life.
“The application was sent to several countries and we waited a long time to be accepted by one of them,” Annprincess explained. ‘We were finally accepted by Norway.’
When they arrived, the state granted them a one-bedroom apartment and put them in contact with fellow refugees. Annprincess learned the language within a year, helped by her mixing with Norwegian children.
“My mother still struggles a little bit with the language,” she admitted. “She came to Norway in her 40s; it’s not so easy to learn a new language at that age.”
But when her mother started working things became tougher for the two of them, with the state cutting them off financially due to Anna receiving an income.
“It was hard, she went to a Norwegian school for years to learn the basics,” Annprincess recalled. ‘Then she went to nursing school for another three years to get her degree. She’s now working as a nurse in an elderly home.
“As I got older I became more and more aware of the differences around me and found it increasingly difficult to cope. My friends would point out differences about my body compared to theirs, like my bigger lips and nose.
“Some couldn’t understand why I was brown but the insides of my palms were lighter, or why my hair looked the way it did and my hips were wider.
“The whole experience went from not understanding what people were saying and everyone treating us kindly, to finally understanding the language but having to defend the way I looked. It became more important to me to be liked and accepted.”