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Four creative insiders tell us how to experience their cities—Lagos, Cape Town, Zanzibar and Addis Ababa—like locals.


By Innocent Ndlovu

Aug 26, 2020

LAGOS, NIGERIA

with Shekudo’s Akudo Iheakanwa

Known for its vibrant music scene, busy streets, and flashy street style, Lagos is a caldron of food, fashion, and culture. The capital of Nigeria in West Africa, this port city is also famed for animated street markets, the arts scene and nightlife. Its infectious energy, modern infrastructure, and wide range of activities (parties, art galleries, beach barbecues and live performances), gives Lagos the thrill of a megacity. Designer Akudo Iheakanwa, whose contemporary accessories label Shekudo is making waves for its timeless, handcrafted footwear in minimalist designs and vibrant local textiles such as Akwete and Aso Oke, takes us through her Lagos, detailing the perfect city get-away.

Photo:  Bankole St, Lagos, Nigeria. by Oluwapelumi Adeyemi

 Photo: Nike's Multi-Level Gallery. Via @visit_nigeria_now

Photo: Moist Beach Club. Via @moistbeachoniru

Where to Stay

Feel at Home on Victoria Island

“... 16 by 16 in Victoria Island was one of my go-to places when I first got back to Lagos—to work from, grab a drink with friends or eat Thai food. Inside an apartment building, it's funky with a minimalistic bar. They have a great view over the city, the building has a lot of light coming in [from both sides], and you get to meet different people [from all over the world]. It’s a warm and cosy atmosphere in a central location.”


What to Do

Escape to the Beach via The Club

“Lagosians love food, music, and weddings! So if you’re not out eating and enjoying a good beer, you’re at one of many clubs dancing or watching live music. I like a mixture of good tunes, good cocktails, and nice surroundings so RSVP and Moist Beach Club are the go-to for me if I’m having a cheeky night out. [When in need of getting away from the bustle of the city] I go on quiet beach escapes like a boat ride to Tarkwa Bay.” 


What to see

Discover the Art and Cultural Scene

“There are a lot of art galleries like Art Twenty One and Nike’s multi-level art gallery in Lekki, but for a soul-shaking experience, I love to see Femi Kuti [son of the late, legendary originator of Afrobeat music, Fela Kuti] who performs regularly following in his father's rhythmic footsteps at the New Afrika Shrine located on our mainland. (The Kuti family own and run the venue)”


What To Eat

Street Food On The Go

“I love finding street food around Lagos island whenever I go fabric shopping at Tejesho market Yaba, or St. John’s Market in Tinubu Square (and Mushin Lagos for leather shopping)—a plate of rice, beans, and dodo (fried plantain) for just under $2. You will find many Mama Puts [slang for small local street restaurants] selling fried fish, moin moin—[a steamed bean pudding]—which is my all-time favorite, bole (roasted plantain), corn, rice, beans and more.” 


What to wear

Layer Like a Lagosian

“I love layers and breathable fabrics like rayon, tencel, and linen because of the hot weather. There’s a lot of mix and match, clashing prints, and the occasional velour tracksuit. Fashion is just an extension of one's personality and it’s no different here—it just happens to be louder than most places.”

Shop Shekudo 

Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule

Shekudo

Agbo Mule

$210
Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule
Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule
Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule
Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule
Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule

Shekudo

Green Stripe Kakawa Toe Mule

$210
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule
Leather Kakawa Toe Mule

Shekudo

Leather Kakawa Toe Mule

$210
Tinubu Slide
Tinubu Slide
Tinubu Slide
Tinubu Slide
Tinubu Slide

Shekudo

Tinubu Slide

$205

Cape town, SOUTH AFRICA

with Pichulik's Katherine Pichulik

Beloved by tourists and the fashion set (for shooting fashion campaigns) alike, Cape Town, South Africa boasts the laid back allure of a coastal city. But, the city’s easygoing vibe does not detract from its rich creative scene. It's home to the annual Design Indaba Festival, world class vineyards, and has a varied culinary culture that spans across local, Cape Malay, French, and British influences. Here, hiking trails and scenic views are embedded within the city: no need to drive out of town to experience nature. Katherine Pichulik of eponymous accessories label Pichulik gives us a tour of her favourite spots in “the Mother City” (as it’s famously referred to by its citizens).

Photo: Ellerman House Hotel Via @ellermanhousehotel

Photo: A view of Camps Bay. Via @livdevilliers

Photo: Swan Café. By Micky Hoyle

Where To Stay

Find Old World Charm in A Modern City

Camps Bay Retreat [is in] an idyllic location. [It’s this] old charming house filled with a treasure trove of historical objects. Ellerman House [also has an] old-world charm [they offer a mix of elegant hotel rooms and villas]. [It’s in a] magical setting [with a view of the Atlantic Ocean].” 


What To Do

Dip into Literary Nostalgia at The Book Lounge

The Book Lounge is like a walk back in time to a 1920’s book store. They have an exceptional selection of books. It has a nostalgic feel and very personal staff engagement. You can spend an entire morning browsing these magnificent books which are beautifully displayed. They also serve wonderful cappuccinos and cupcakes. It’s for the discerning reader looking for something special.” 


What to see

Marvel at Mountain Views

“Cape Town is one of the most magical cities in the world because you don't need to spend any money to have the most extraordinary experience. [Living in Cape Town makes] you want to get into the mountains, and there's so many different places [to explore]. In Camps Bay, there’s The Link which is a new [running and walking] trail and it's at the top of Teresa Avenue. It has breathtaking views over Camps Bay.” 


Where To Eat

French-inspired fare

Swan Café is one block from our offices. It’s a beautifully curated French cafe, it's warm and embracing and it's got the best coffees in town. So much care has gone into creating this Paris in Cape Town [experience].” 


Where To Wear

Keep it Chic Like a Capetonian

“What I love about Cape Town is that it has a relaxed chic [vibe]. For me, [it's] denim with sneakers, a crisp white linen shirt, and a blazer finished off with a pair of Pichulik earrings. [Cape Town style] is understated but elegant. If we wear a suit we would wear it with sneakers. We don't do high heels. It’s [about] natural organic cottons and linen.” 

shop Pichulik

Ishtar Earrings
Ishtar Earrings
Ishtar Earrings

Pichulik

Ishtar Earrings

$210
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings

Pichulik

Samba Earrings

$140
Bossa Nova Earrings
Bossa Nova Earrings
Bossa Nova Earrings
Bossa Nova Earrings

Pichulik

Bossa Nova Earrings

$105
Araci Necklace
Araci Necklace
Araci Necklace
Araci Necklace

Pichulik

Araci Necklace

$230

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA

with Doreeen Mashika

Beyond the clear blue waters of Zanzibar, lie centuries-old spice farms and lush forests. On this East African island off the coast of Tanzania, spices are part of the culture—you’ll find cakes, teas and beauty scrubs all made from homegrown spices such as cinnamon and clove. Free from large crowds and congested city streets, there’s a sense of unspoken tranquility in seeing chickens running around town or fisherman docking a boat from the comfort of your hotel window. This slow-paced vibe is exactly what makes Zanzibar remarkable. From heritage experiences in Stone Town, the island’s eclectic old city centre, to a dream restaurant nestled atop a rock on the Indian ocean, Mashika gives us a glimpse into her world in paradise.

 Photo: Jetty Lounge at The Meliá Resort. Via @melia.zanzibar

Photo: The Rock Restaurant. Via @therockzanzibar

Photo: Park Hyatt Zanzibar Via @nicolas_cedro

Where To Stay

Find Architectural Inspiration in Stone Town

“After fashion week and my European business travels, I am usually exhausted and I find myself escaping into my favorite hotel in Stone Town, the Park Hyatt Zanzibar. The architecture is alluring and as a designer, there’s always an element or detail that inspires me. [For a beach escape], The Level Beach Pavillion at Meliá is in a great location in Kiwengwa [on the island’s northeast coast]. It’s chic and homely. Upon entering the hotel, you are immediately welcomed with a view of the ocean.” 


What To Do

Embark on a Forest Adventure

“Jozani Forest is a must-see. The temperature in the forest is cooler than Stone Town and the colors there are beautiful. On the way to Jozani Forest, you get to see the spice farms and discover the history of spice. It’s a rare experience.” 


What to see

Explore Historical Landmarks

“The [heritage center] has a great curation on the history of Zanzibar [built on a former slave market in Stone Town, it pays tribute to the victims of slave trade and also serves as a reminder of the Anglican churches role in abolishing slave trade]. It shows how Swahili women used to dress during slavery and when they got their liberation and what Zanzibar looks like today.”


Where To Eat

A Table with A View

The Rock is a delightful restaurant located on the Indian Ocean (it’s an actual rock with a restaurant built on top). You can access it on foot or by boat depending on the levels of the tide. Apart from the menu (which offers seafood and Italian cuisine), and great service, it’s stunning especially because of its location. [Another one is the Emerson Spice Hotel], you get to see Stone Town from a 360-degree view and a unique sight of the church and mosque buildings adjacent to each other. 


What To Wear

Zone into Zestful  Zanzabari Dressing

“Long and flowy pieces that respect the local culture and [Islamic] customs. It's hot and humid so lightweight, loose-fitting styles work best. A pair of sunglasses and comfy sandals to trot along the winding alleyways [of Stone Town] are always practical.” 

shop Doreen Mashika

Tamu Dress
Tamu Dress
Tamu Dress
Tamu Dress

Doreen Mashika

Tamu Dress

$200
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress

Doreen Mashika

Amani Dress

$210
Fahari Dress
Fahari Dress
Fahari Dress
Fahari Dress

Doreen Mashika

Fahari Dress

$220
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress

Doreen Mashika

Nia Dress

$200

Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

with ZAAF’s Abai Schulze

Surrounded by mountains and hills, Addis Ababa, the capital of the East African nation of Ethiopia, is notable for its many cafes and centuries-old homegrown coffee. Coffee is so popular here that you find coffee stalls and street vendors selling it everywhere around the city. When you visit Piazza (an old shopping area with hotels and Italian restaurants) you’re welcomed by bright buildings and beautiful artworks on walls. This modern metropolis currently in the process of a major transformation (as a modern architectural and art hub) is forever buzzing with people and cars. ZAAF founder Abai Schulze guides us through the city, including where to buy the highest quality Ethiopian coffee and the best markets for souvenirs.

Photo: Tomoca Coffee. Via @mugabiphotography

Photo: Kuriftu Resort and Spa. Via @kurifturesortspa

Photo: Addis Fine Art Gallery. By Eyerusalem Jiregna

Where To Stay

Relax with The Family in Debre Zeyit

“I like going to Kuriftu Resort in Debre Zeyit to relax. It’s about a 30-40 minutes drive from Addis Ababa airport. It has a nice view of nature, the lake, good restaurants, a water park for children, and a spa.”


What To Do

Dig for Treasure at Local Markets

“There are interesting markets such as Shero Meda for affordable, handwoven traditional textiles and clothing—It’s great for picking up souvenirs. Piazza, one of the old shopping streets that still has that authentic look, sells handmade gold and silver jewelry and has a mix of good Italian restaurants.” 


What to see

Be Drawn In by the Art Scene

“My favorite art gallery is Addis Fine Art. They have the top Ethiopian artists. Every month there’s a new collection, and it's well-curated. In terms of entertainment, my personal favorite is Fendika. It’s a cool center for live music, dancing, poetry, and insult comedy. 


What To Eat

Homegrown Coffee and Plenty of Pasta

“I’m a picky eater, but [there’s a good mix] of Ethiopian, Indian and Italian restaurants. I like Gusto, it’s Italian. YOD Abyssinia is another place that you would go to [but] not for their food—for the entertainment. They perform different Ethiopian accents and cultures from different regions. We invented coffee. One of the oldest cafe companies is Tomoca Coffee, and they have cafés all over the city.”


Where To Wear

Amp up the Casual like an Addis-Ababan

“[People dress casually], so women wear dresses, jeans, tank tops and skirts. [For a night out], people like to dress up, in party dresses and heels. They will do the whole nine yards.” 

shop ZAAF

Avalo Weekender
Avalo Weekender
Avalo Weekender
Avalo Weekender
Avalo Weekender

ZAAF

Avalo Weekender

$410
Indica Afar Weekender
Indica Afar Weekender
Indica Afar Weekender
Indica Afar Weekender

ZAAF

Indica Afar Weekender

$590