Sam Desalu is a Nigerian born stylist, tastemaker, and philanthropist based in Los Angeles, California. This week we at Heart of Cool took a minute to chat with Sam about all that he’s doing with his charity, Afrika Fifty6, and their upcoming event AFROBEAT LA hosted by Dunnie O. and Ron Bass.
HOC: What’s your background?
I am Nigerian, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and I moved to America in 91 with my mother and my sister.
HOC: What do you do in the industry and how did you get started?
I started in the fashion industry in 2009, I got my start as an intern at BET in the wardrobe department. I worked under really dope stylists who not only styled Terrence J and Rocsi but worked with other celebs like Chris Brown, Rhianna, Ludacris just to name a few. I gained a lot of experience working there and made a lot of contacts. I still dibble and dabble in fashion because I still style celebs here and there but now utilize the contacts I’ve acquired over there years to help brands build awareness through product placement. My main focus now is philanthropy, I am passionate about helping the less fortunate kids in Africa.
HOC: What inspired you to start AfrikaFifty6? Why the name?
I’ve experience poverty first hand, I’ve seen people suffer because they don’t have the basic essentials to live/sustain a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to be the change I wanted to see in Africa. The name Afrika Fifty6 came from the original spelling of Africa and the number of countries on the continent which is 56.
HOC: Tell us about AfroBeat LA
AFROBEAT LA is a dance party that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for less fortunate kids in afrika. I also wanted to introduce the Afrobeat culture to Los Angeles because it’s not as big here as it is in other cities.
HOC: What have you been able to accomplish thus far with your non profit and what do you hope to gain in the future?
My goal is to travel to all the countries in Africa aiding the less fortunate kids. I want to build an orphanage in each country and help as many kids as I can. So far I’ve been able to help an orphanage in Tanzania become self-sufficient, now they are able to take care of the orphanage and the children living there.