King Mensah :
Supporter of Victoria Grace Foundation.
On Wednesday 20 October, I had the chance to meet King Mensah.
King Mensah is an international singer. Born from a Togolese father and a Beninese mother, he is very much listened to in Togo and internationally known.
In front of a cup of coffee we did this little interview that I let you discover.
How did you start music?
“I come from an artistic family, both my parents are traditional singers. I started very, very young.
We had no television, no radio at home so it was also my dad’s job to do the animations with traditional songs.
I put down roots at that time. In 1996 I had the chance to release my first album and since then I have continued.”
How do you find the inspiration to sing since all this time?
“I listen a lot to people who sing around me, I try to see what’s going on around me, to tell it inside my songs, how to compose a song with it. At the same time, my own life is a story too.
I come from very, very far. I lost my father when I was 13 years old. We had all the problems in the world, to go to school, to pay the school fees, the money for the notebooks, all the little things like that. We struggled to get to where we are, so the inspiration comes from my own life and the lives of everyone around me.”
Who your songs are for?
“I speak mainly about hope in my songs. It is in the ring we throw in the towel and in life whatever hardships you always have to go back to the fight. In all my songs I talk about how to surpass yourself, how to fight, how to rely on yourself. It can touch children, also adults, all those who had the same stories as me.”
How did you get the idea of your foundation and why did you chose to help orphans?
(King Mensah founded his foundation: “King Mensah Fondation” in 2005 to help orphan children in need through an orphanage he built in Lomé, Togo).
“It was mainly due to the fact that I lost my father at a young age. I know the difficulties that an orphan can face, I know what it is like. It is like a contract between God and me. At some point in my life I went through it, so I have to return the favour. My orphanage is my own way of thanking God for everything he has done for me. I didn’t set up the orphanage because I have money, but it is the heart that pushed me into it.
Many people say, yes, this person has the means, so why doesn’t he start an orphanage? But no, it depends on the way that each person has taken, that is what drives each person to make their own choices.”
You already support Victoria Grace Foundation. Are you particularly sensitive about mental health ?
“I’m a big supporter of people who give and people who have a heart. It is just the way how Jennifer (Founder of Victoria Grace Foundation) introduced me the project. The truth is, I didn’t even think about it before I said yes. Sometimes you think and sometimes you say yes before thinking. Behind that I felt the sincerity. People who want to do something, to bring something new. I said to myself, I’m doing the same fight, so why not accompany them if my presence in return can also bring something.
So why not!
Today it is true, you walk down the street and you meet “crazy people” and you do not pay too much attention to them, it is like they were part of the setting. It is weird.
When I was a kid I lived in a neighbourhood called Bé-Kpota, not far from the airport. Planes land at every moment, but you don’t even hear it anymore, it is part of the setting. When someone comes to the neighbourhood and hears the plane, he is surprised by the noise! Then you realise it.
So when someone tells you there is a mad man, you don’t even pay attention anymore.
We have to help (people with mental illness), but also to save ourselves. Maybe this person will attack someone or kill our child. So we say to ourselves, if we had helped him nobody would have been hurt. I also think that it was God who put them in our way, a way of forcing us to look after them. It is our duty.
All this made me say YES without hesitation. Until today I don’t need to think about this project. Sometimes I feel things like I feel my music and then I go.
Usually before I even work with someone, I investigate the person. Know who he is, where he worked, look up his biography etc. I used to say ”What I will leave to my children as a legacy is not the money but the name”. So I’m careful about what I put my name on, and who I work with.
But here, with this project, I don’t need to ask questions. As they say, I’m in love, I close my eyes!”
I would like to thank King Mensah for the time he gave me for this interview.
I hope that through these few questions you will get to know another facet of this artist with a big heart.
Our newsletter’s readers have discovered the future project in progress between Victoria Grace Foundation and King Mensah in favour of Mental Health in Togo!
A big charity Gala the 5th of December 2021 where King Mensah will perform, with other artists.
Join us for this big end of year event !