Travel

Travel Diary: Style Star Malcolm Mensah's Favorite LA Hideaways

Malcolm Mensah works for some of the world's biggest luxury fashion brands. Splitting time between NYC and LA he hopes to visit Ghana soon.

June is “No Borders” month at OkayAfrica. That can mean a lot of things and we’ll get to that, but one thing we wouldn’t want to miss out on is the sheer joy of travel. So, to honor the carefree black traveler we’ll be posting new photo diaries from a wide range of African and diaspora super-travelers of their favorite places and why.


Our fourth travel diary this month comes from Malcolm Mensah. Born to Ghanian parents, the Bronx native has built a strong rolodex of high rollers from around the world. Living between New York and Los Angeles, Mensah is a liaison for celebrity clientele and luxury retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Hugo Boss, and Saint Laurent. From styling some of the most affluent housewives to working with the industry’s top stylist for award shows, video shoots and appearances, Mensah never has a dull day.

OkayAfrica: Have you been to the Africa? what did you feel or hope to feel when you go?

Malcolm Mensah: I have not been back to Ghana since I was a kid. I am happy to announce that I will finally be visiting this fall. Recently I have not been able to stop thinking, Googling, and downloading everything Africa!! Being around other successful Africans and seeing us live our BEST LIVES has brought a new found appreciation and proudness that I'm craving more of! Like I CANNOT wait to go to Ghana now! I am excited to see where not only my entire family is from, but where my origins are as an African man.

Below, Mensah shares some of his favorite spots around the United States.

Commissary at the Line Hotel, Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Mensah

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Mensah

“Los Angeles is my home away from home. I love to be there because although it is a major city it has great weather, the beaches are amazing and I can still enjoy all my favorite restaurants from NY.”

 

The rooftop at the W Hotel in downtown Miami

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Mensah

The streets of London

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Mensah

“London is a always fun! It's my European New York. I have a lot of clients that live there and love for me to visit “

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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