Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

In conversation with Chief, aka Mansa, thriving high on passion and love for fashion and music

Playing games and having fun usually doesn't land you in Top Magazine but Mansa is different

Published: Mar 16, 2023 10:04:29 AM IST
Updated: Mar 16, 2023 10:05:05 AM IST

In conversation with Chief, aka Mansa, thriving high on passion and love for fashion and musicWe sat him down to discuss his journey, challenges, and plans for the future as an athlete, artist and designer.

There is a famous adage that everyone is aware of, “Not all those who wander are lost.” This particular phrase has pretty well defined the journeys of several professionals, business owners, athletes, artists and many others across fields around the world. These individuals once started with something, navigated the course of their journey, reached a certain space and designed a whole career and life for themselves. Many did this all on their own and became the best versions in their respective fields.

Recently, we learned about one such high-performing professional in the sports realm who chose to be his best version and now continues to keep up the momentum to become greater in all that he does in his career and life. We are talking about Chief, aka Mansa, who dreamt, believed and is conquering.

Hi Mansa. Thank you for taking out the time to speak to us. First, let our readers know who you really are.
I am a creative that has a perspective on music fashion and design. My 11-year NBA career I give thanks to cause it’s what funded this time for me to take hobbies I use to use to distract myself from my work and recharge into a new career.  

Becoming an Olympian with my Nigerian national team was amazing in many ways.  For who Mansa is, it set the base of the lifestyle and culture one that I instantly gravitated to. The confidence my culture displayed was infectious.

Also traveling has been a way to spark my creativity throughout the years and I give thanks to all the places the game of basketball has taken me.  

Did you do any designing while you were an NBA player?
So, the NBA did an internship program in Milan I attended where I even first discovered what exactly designing means. It was during this time that I also met my future mentors, like Flavio the owner of common project and Salehe Bembury and Chris Bevans. But after understanding what design was I relieved is was the thing I always do when I travel.

How are you involved in the profession of designing today?
I use my Atlanta based luxury fashion house Artifakts to express my design ethos and aesthetics. Working with a range of mediums from silver to cotton.  

Amidst all this, juggling between your sports career as well as designing, how did music come about?
It started as a way to escape the stress that basketball caused. I would make beats and I dreamed of becoming a super producer. In the process of trying to find artists to use my music as well as writing so that artist could understand my beats. My super confident alter ego Mansa was born. So now I’m producing the crowd to have fun and be confident in one’s self.  

What do you most enjoy about music today?
That it serves as an emotional outlet for me.

Have past challenges in basketball helped you in your present career?
All the time, it what gives me the confidence to know that I’ll be alright no matter what twist and turns might occur.  I’m battle tested for sure choosing such a risky career already.

Tell us about your future plans.
I have some design projects that will keep me busy.  The store in Atlanta for Artifakts should be done by the fall.  Then i have a piece of land down in Jamaica that will allow me to focus on architectural design a bit which should be fun.  Also the academy my non-profit is raising funds for will allow me to create some beautiful design for the kids in Ibadan, Nigeria.  

Music wise I plan to start releasing music and my dream is to be able to tour with it.  

Any advice you would like to give up-and-comers?
With discipline and humbleness all the things you pray to happen shall.

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