Malia Obama has a new boyfriend. The mystery man in Malia's life has been identified as Dawit Eklund, a record producer. And the two are not hiding their relationship. After two outings during which they kept a respectful distance from one another while strolling through Los Angeles, they are showing that they are a couple.
Interestingly, Eklund, much like Malia's father, former President Barrack Obama, has one American and one African parent. That's not all. There are more similarities. In addition to looking like a younger version of Barack Obama, Eklund also smokes like the 44th president, a habit that Obama has frequently said was difficult for him to kick.
Love Birds Spotted
Photos obtained by The Daily Mail show Eklund, the CEO of an independent label and the 24-year-old daughter of the former president at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday. Malia, who turned 24 on July 4, is nine years younger than Eklund, who turns 33 next week.
Eklund was seen in green shorts with a portrait of Bob Marley on the left leg, while the Malia kept things casual with a white crop top and loose-fitting green leggings. However, the two were not seen kissing.
Malia and Eklund were seen hugging in the pictures, with the music producer's hand resting on the former first daughter's waist and her fingertips stroking the back of his neck.
According to The Daily Mail, this is possibly the couple's third outing in public after they were photographed together on July 26 while getting lunch and again on August 2 while taking a leisurely stroll.
The identity of Malia's first serious boyfriend, Rory Farquharson, was also first revealed by DailyMail.com. There have been rumors that Malia's long-term romance with her British boyfriend may be over due to the closeness of her and Dawit.
It is not known what led Malia to end her relationship with Farquharson but her PDA with Eklund indicates that she may be already in another relationship. Eklund is one of the co-founders of the record label 1432 R alongside Joyce Lim and Sami Yenigun in Washington D.C., where Malia spent five years of her childhood.
Eklund is from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, according to his Facebook page. He, however, also reportedly lived in Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, and other places while growing up because of his parents' jobs with the U.S. government, according to a March 2016 Washington Post story on him.
His mother is from Ethiopia, and his father has worked for the U.S. State Department for several years, according to the Daily Mail.
According to his Facebook bio, Dawit "studied international development; Africa at George Washington University," which is a private college in Washington, D.C. He also lists that he studied at the "International Community School of Addis Ababa" prior to his university days.
Eklund reportedly is quite successful as a music producer. The Washington Post article about his label in 2016 said: Their music seamlessly brings together house music grooves, the stutter of U.K. garage, an uneasy electronic ambiance, and â perhaps most notably â Ethiopian folk music."
"Ethiopian music is super distinct. There are only four or five musical scales that they play in; each has its own meaning and attitude and mood," Eklund had told the newspaper at that time.
Eklund, one of four children, also goes by the name David, which is the Anglicized version of his name. When hundreds of thousands of people fled to Ethiopia to escape the fighting during the early 2000s Sudanese civil war, Eklund's father Jon played a significant role in helping the refugees.
His mother Yeshi is an accomplished businesswoman from an Ethiopian background. His sister Sara Eklund, who introduced menstrual cups to Ethiopia, was profiled in a 2019 Vogue piece.
Although they also maintain a home in the Chantilly, Virginia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., John and Yeshi have made Abidjan, the capital of the West African country of CÃ´te d'Ivoire, their permanent home since his retirement.
Following her graduation from Harvard, Malia relocated to Los Angeles last year in order to pursue a career as a screenwriter. She is now contributing as a scriptwriter to the upcoming Amazon series from Donald Glover.
This comes as Malia's younger sister, Sasha Obama, 21, is also building her own life in Los Angeles. The 21-year-old transferred from the University of Michigan and is now enrolled at the University of Southern California.
It was revealed a few months ago that Shasha was dating Clifton Powell Jr., 24, who is the son of Ray actor Clifton Powell.
Sasha and Clifton Jr. are believed to have met when she moved to the West Coast. He is already familiar with the family because he has recently been spotted spending time with Malia.