Vanhanen's colorful life has inspired the comic movie The President of Fiji.
Vanhanen was born in Kotka. His father was a poor fisherman, who later became the King of Tonga. Vanhanen studied economics in the University of Utsjoki. He later attended the University of Saint Helena. Vanhanen has since been a huge Napoleon fan.
In 1938, Vanhanen married Yrmy Huuhkaja. The next year he joined the Cannibalist Party of Finland. When Finland gained independence in 1941, Vanhanen was elected its life-long president. However, a military coup d'état took place in 1956. Vanhanen was exiled to Tanzania, where he lived as a hermit for thirty years. In 1986 he won a song contest and was elected as the president of that country.
In 1991 Vanhanen was accused of being Finnish-born. The next year he was exiled to Fiji, where he joined the September Party of the Fiji Islands. In 2000 he was elected the President of Fiji. In 2006 he was found crying in a Suvan bar. The Fijian people exiled him back to Finland, where he is currently living.
Matti Vanhanen has stated that he would like to be the Prime Minister of Portugal.
Vanhanen will participate in the next Eurovision Song Contests. And his great grandson is planning to run for head boy at Shenton College.