Photos

Travel Diary: For J. Nambowa Traveling Africa is Pure Joy

In the first of our June travel diary entries, j. nambowa aka Jessica Nabongo takes us to Djibouti, Morocco, Uganda and Kenya.

KAMPALAJune is "No Borders" month at OkayAfrica. That can mean a lot of things and we'll get to that, but one thing we wouldn't want to miss out on is the sheer joy of travel on the African continent. So, to honor the carefree black traveler we'll be posting new photo diaries from a wide range of African and diaspora super-travelers of their favorite places and why.


We start with the incredible blogger, photographer and nomad, Jessica Nabongo who runs the site Catch Me if You Can. As she writes on her site:

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Ugandan immigrants, Jessica, better known as j. nambowa lives a duality that could be described as Afropolitan. Seeds of travel and wander were planted at an early age when she embarked on her first international journey, traveling to London and Uganda at the age of six. Largely encouraged by family summer holidays in the Caribbean and trips home to Uganda, Jessica's curiosity for different cultures and deep desire to see every country in the world has intensified in the last six years.

Follow Nabongo for more incredible travel pics on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat: @jnambowa. And on Periscope: @thecatchmeifyoucan. The following are some of her favorite spots on the African continent and the best things to do when you're there.

Lake Assal in Djibouti

Photo courtesy of Jessica Nabongo

"Lake Assal is the lowest point on the African continent and the second lowest point in the world. The lake is also the saltiest in the world. Saltier than the Dead Sea!"

Spices in Marrakech

Photo courtesy of Jessica Nabongo

"The souks in Marrakech are full of spices of all colors and flavors."

Shopping in Kampala

Photo: Sarah Waiswa/@lafrohemian

"My favorite place to shop for handicrafts in Uganda is at the National Theater in the nation's capital. If you visit, be sure to stop and say hi to my aunt in stall 14!"

Nairobi Vibes

Photo courtesy of Jessica Nabongo

"While traveling I love linking up with creatives. For this shoot I linked up with photographer Brian Siambi (@urbanskript) and stylist Bryan Emry (@bryan.emry). With inspiration from Kenyan designer Katungulu Mwendwa and using her garden as a backdrop we captured the spark that is fueling the creative movement in the continent."

Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
Film
Photo courtesy of Madelyn Bonilla

Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.

Madelyn Bonilla is dedicated to being the person she needed when she was growing up.

The former forensic science researcher-turned-advertising guru was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in the Bronx, New York - or, “where Hip-Hop was bred”, as the 36-year-old puts it. Growing up in a typically Latinx family, community, and neighborhood, Bonilla knew that there was so much more of herself to discover, as her interests in Black culture shaped a lot of her life. It wasn’t until her early 20s that she started to allow herself to explore her identity as an AfroLatina woman. The first to do so in her family, Bonilla faced – and still faces – scrutiny and shaming from the Latinx community at large, but also from her own loved ones. Comments like, “Your hair looks messy” or, “Your hair’s not combed” when Bonilla first began rocking her natural curls truly mirrored the thoughts and opinions of those around her, too. Her experiences as an AfroLatina woman are the experiences so many face, as they try to get to the root of their own roots.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The Fugees' Concerts In Ghana & Nigeria Cancelled

Their entire reunion world tour "will not be able to happen [due to] the continued Covid pandemic."