popular

The Queen of Afrobeats Finds Community Wherever She Lands | Presented By Uber

We spend the day with Yemi Alade before her big concert in NYC

Sponsored content from Uber

Yemi Alade is the queen of Afrobeats—a global pop star who is constantly on the move. The touring life means she can be hard to pin down.

We caught up with her this month when she landed in New York for "OkayAfrica's Mzansi Heat and Naija Beats" at Lincoln Center.

Her work days are carefully scheduled affairs, moving herself and her crew quickly from the airport to the studio to the stage. For this, she tells OkayAfrica, she relies on she relies on the Stress-Free Pick Ups features from Uber. Their On-Time Guarantee means that she never misses her frequent trans-Atlantic flights or important sound-checks.

"I'm not talking just New York," says Alade, "but in Nigeria and anywhere in the world."

"I might have an appointment at 12 and can book it at 9 am. I don't need to worry. All I know is I need to come downstairs or come outside and the ride is right there. Right on time," she adds.

Yemi Alade performing at OkayAfrica's Mzansi Heat and Naija BeatsPhoto by Oluwaseye Olusa

In fact, Uber guarantees that your ride will arrive during the time period you select—or you'll receive credit towards your next ride.

The world is eternally unpredictable, throwing up barriers and messing up plans. For Alade, the solution is the people she surrounds herself with. "Community," she says, "is very important." These relationships are the building blocks of our towns and cities and the globe.

In a messy world, dependable services are what keeps her artistic community connected to each other, an essential element to creating the inventive and original music that Alade's fans expect of her.

Check out the video for more of Alade's thoughts on inspiration, spirituality and being a woman working and thriving in a male-dominated industry

"What's most important to me," says Alade, "is that I am doing it for my own personal happiness. Because I feels that I deserve it. I do what I love and love what I do."

Learn more about how Uber is headed in a new direction here.


Video Credits:

Director: Brittany "B.Monét" Fennell

Producer: Ayana Barber

Producer: Oyinkan Olojede

Editor: Nick Caiazza

Director of Photography: April Maxey

Director of Photography: Greg Poole

Sound Mixer: Rob Albrecht

Production Assistant: Ross Mayfield

Production Company: Keep Productions Inc

Sports
Photo by Ned Dishman, courtesy of Pops Bonsu.

In Conversation: Meet Pops Mensah-Bonsu—the Ghanaian Former Pro Player Trailblazing the Front Desk of the NBA

We speak to the general manager of the Capital City Go-Go about his journey to professional basketball stardom, his hopes for the Basketball Africa League and more.

Nana Pops Mensah-Bonsu didn't take basketball seriously at first. For the now General Manager of the Capital City Go-Go and a former player in the NBA and European leagues, the game wasn't as exciting as other sports. "For me, I was impressionable," he says, "I was young; all my friends played soccer and ran track. That's what I really wanted to do."

Born and raised in London, England, the former pro with Ghanaian roots (whose name stems from his middle name, Papa—the equivalent to 'junior') grew up playing soccer and running track. His older brother started playing basketball, a relatively invisible sport compared to soccer, when he was about 16 in the early 90s and eventually moved to the U.S. on a scholarship. Mensah-Bonsu says that when parents witnessed his brother's experience, they took it as an opportunity for the rest of their children to do the same—allowing them to have a better opportunity to succeed.

Mensah-Bonsu's dad introduced him to basketball and took him to the other side of London where he started developing his skills. After juggling the three sports with basketball on the back burner, Mensah-Bonsu eventually realized his potential once he made the move stateside himself as a teen. Making a name for himself as a student-athlete at George Washington University, his work ethic led him to a professional career in both the NBA, playing for the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors as well as internationally—playing for clubs in Spain, France, Turkey, Russia and Italy, to name a few.

Retiring in his early 30s, Mensah-Bonsu is still a part of the game—but on the decision-making side. Currently serving as the Capital City Go-Go's general manager of the G League (the official minor league of the NBA) in Washington, D.C., he's trying to blaze a trail for more diversity and inclusion in the NBA front office. "I really want to do my best and succeed at this next level because I know how profound and impactful it can be if it's done well," he says. "I put pressure on myself to work extra hard to make sure I can get to this position where I can have that impact on these guys and show them a mirror image of themselves and show them how possible it is."

We caught up with Pops Mensah-Bonsu to learn more about his journey navigating basketball stardom to calling the shots behind the scenes, his hopes for the newly established Basketball Africa League and more in the interview below.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
25K. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

How a 3-Year-Old Song Earned SA Artist 25K a Deal with Universal & a Co-Sign From AKA

We interview 25K, the South African rapper poised to be the country's next star.

AKA was so moved by up-and-coming Pretoria rapper and producer 25K's single "Culture Vulture," he gave him a slot on his monumental Orchestra on the Square concert in March.

"The whole process when Kiernan (AKA's real name) reached out," recalls 25K, who will later admit AKA is one of his favorite artists, "that was like a dream come true for me. We were doing a gig, when I got home, I got a text, and it said, 'Yo, this is Kiernan, hit me back.' So, I saved the number, I was like, 'Yo,' then he FaceTimed me. He was like, '25K, I just had to reach you, dawg. Your song is great,' So, I was out of words. Just listening to him talk to me. He was like, 'Bro, we need to cook up something.' But eventually, time will tell. So the people will get to hear."

Thabiso Khathi, the respected hip-hop head & record label executive popularly known as Hip-Hop Scholar, as well as the newly appointed Head of Urban at Universal Music Group South Africa, lets the cat out of the bag. "I don't know if the world knows that AKA officially jumped on the remix for 'Culture Vulture,' which we will be bringing out in the next few weeks," says Scholar. Today, him and the label have gathered journalists at the Universal Music Group headquarters in Rosebank to witness the young artist's signing.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Nigerian-British Actor Susan Wokoma's First Rom-Com Feature Film Is In the Works

She's set to write and star in BBC Films-backed 'Three Weeks'—a rom-com drama about abortion.

Just two months ago, we got wind of Susan Wokoma landing a series regular role in CBS' new comedy pilot, Super Simple Love Story.

The Nigerian-British actor and 2017 BAFTA Breakthrough Brit honoree continues to make power moves in entertainment, as it was recently announced that she's in the process of writing her feature debut, Three Weeks, Variety reports.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.