Travel

Travel Diary: Jody Jacobs Shares Some of His Favorite Getaways

In this Travel Diary Jody Jacobs shares some of his favorite getaways across the globe.

DIASPORA— June 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.


A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Jody Jacobs is the owner of Space and Opportunity, a business operations and personal development consulting agency. As a senior electrical engineer, he decided to take a leap of faith to leave the corporate world to run his own insurance agency, but ultimately decided to consult independently and start traveling the world. At 27 countries and counting, his passion for adventure, food, and cultural immersion has opened the door to many unforgettable experiences around the world.

OkayAfrica: How important is it for you to travel to countries in the diaspora? Is there a connection there for you ?

Jody Jacobs: I know my roots originated in Africa and I LOVE immersing myself in black/Afro-centric cultures even here in the States. There's a silent connection and a sense of community for me.

OKA: Are there countries in Africa you would like to visit or have already traveled to? 

JJ: I definitely want to travel to more countries in Africa. South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) are on my list this year. Then next year Lagos (as I have many friends from there) and Ghana within the next 12 months.

For more pictures of Jody Jacobs' travels, follow him on Instagram.

Below check out some of his favorite spots around the globe:

Jaipur, India

“I traveled here to experience some of India's countryside to get away from the densely populated city life. I stayed on an actual farm that was transformed into a Bed and Breakfast.”

Chefchaouen , Morocco

“Located in the Rif Mountains, the Blue City is literally a work of art. The shades of blue are painted throughout the city architecture and it's said that the color is symbolic of the Moroccan sky and heaven.”

Kyoto, Japan

Visited the Nikishi Market to try some some street food. Daringly ate this little "big" fish in 2 bites”

Phi Phi Island, Thailand

“I would definitely recommend visiting the Phi Phi Islands. Everything looks like a postcard. You can relax on the beach or be adventurous with water sports and island hopping. This was a serene getaway from vibrant Phuket, Thailand."

 

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Photo by Antonio Thompson.

Travel Diary: Antonio Thompson Gets To Know Guinea-Bissau—the Birthplace of Revolutionary Amílcar Cabral

"Guinea-Bissau represents, to me, the meaning of family and the distance we can travel when kindness is the language spoken."

In OkayAfrica's latest Travel Diary, Antonio Thompson links with us again sharing the faces and places he came across in Guinea-Bissau after reconnecting with his homeland Cape Verde for the first time.

During my final few weeks in Cape Verde, I attended a party where, by chance, I met a couple from Guinea-Bissau. I knew this was a good sign: just a few weeks prior, I purchased an inexpensive flight there and planned to stay for just one week. After a great conversation, they promised to put me in touch with someone named Baltazar who lived in Bissau, the capital city.

Up to that point, the most I knew of Guinea-Bissau was its shared history with Cape Verde: both countries were once colonized by Portugal; then led to independence by the revolutionary Amílcar Cabral, who was assassinated in 1973. Going to another country with my still-developing Portuguese and such little background information was exciting, if not naïve. Thus, the idea that someone would help me during my travels there was a relief.

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Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

In Conversation: Ebonee Davis on Going to Ghana To Reconnect with Her History and Her Greater Sense of Self

"From this trip I have a more expanded idea of who I am, who I can be and what is possible for me."

The internet has played a huge role as a space for the narrative and perceptions of Africa to transform and has allowed people to see the perspectives of the continent directly from Africans. While this has sparked interest in African music, dance and food to name a few, not many folks within the diaspora have returned to see it for themselves due to negative stereotypes often perpetuated in western society. While this could deter many from going, model, author and actor Ebonee Davis saw this as a prime opportunity to lead by example and visit Ghana for the first time to reconnect with her roots.

A force in entertainment and fashion with campaigns for brands including Calvin Klein to Fendi under her belt, Davis understands the power of media and how it plays a major role in how we see our identity and how we connect with places outside of our comfort zone. This has been a major reason why she's used her voice to spread messages bigger than herself and to be part of the dialogue on diversity and even mental health. For Davis, visiting Ghana on the anniversary marking the start of 400 years of slavery was important to not only understand herself and her connection to the motherland—but to also show others that they too can come to Africa and feel right at home.

I spoke with Ebonee Davis about her trip to Ghana, her initial reactions and how she feels the fashion and entertainment industries can play a role in transforming narratives on the continent. Here's our conversation below.

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Burna Boy. Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage (via Getty Images).

The 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2019

Featuring Burna Boy, Rema, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Teni, Davido, Lady Donli and many more.

2019 was another huge year for Nigerian music.

Zlatan's presence was ubiquitous and powered by the zeal for zanku, a dance which is now de rigueur. Rema led the charge for a group of young breakthrough artists that include Fireboy DML and Joeboy. They all represent an exciting crop of talents that point the way forward for Nigerian pop.

Burna Boy's new dominance, built around his excellent African Giant album, delivered on his rare talents, while the long wait for Davido's sophomore album, A Good Time, paid off in satisfying fashion. Simi's Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 announced her departure from her longterm label. Tiwa Savage also made a highly-discussed move from Mavin Records to Universal Music Group. Meanwhile, Yemi Alade exuded female strength with her latest record, Woman of Steel.

Not to be left out, Wizkid sated demands for his fourth album with a new collaborative EP following a year of stellar features that included his presence on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift, an album which also boasts Tekno, Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage. Mr Eazi also notably launched his emPawa initiative to help fund Africa's promising up-and-coming artists.

Asa returned in a formidable form with Lucid, while buzzing artists like Tay Iwar, Santi, and Lady Donli all shared notable releases. Lastly, the beef between Vector and M.I climaxed and sparked a resurgence of Nigerian rap releases from Phyno to Ycee, PsychoYP and more.

Read on for the best Nigerian songs of 2019. Listed in no particular order. —Sabo Kpade

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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OkayAfrica Presents: 'The Adinkra Oracle' December Reading with Simone Bresi-Ando

We're back with another Adinkra reading from Simone Bresi-Ando to help guide you through the end of the year—and the end of the decade.

It's the a new month and that means we're ready for a new Adinkra reading from Simone Bresi-Ando to help you navigate your December.

After cleansing the space, Simone will pull five Adinkra Ancestral Guidance Cards from a deck of 44 Adinkra symbols—these cards help to channel information, messages and direction from your ancestors using Adinkra symbols when read correctly. Remember, as Simone says, "these readings tell you what you need to know and not necessarily what you want to know—our ancestors are emotionally pure."

Simone gives a general reading of what December has in store to help you know what actions and thoughts are necessary to get the best out of the month. This is a special installment as it also guides you through the end of the year—and the end of the decade.

Watch below.

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