My entire life, I have been submerged in African culture by my family and their friends. Even my name–Nyota Ya-Asubuhi–is Swahili and means Star Of the Morning. It all led to my intense interest in the African diaspora, which also saw me create All About Us LLC in 2017, which specializes in selling African designer fashions for every occasion.
But I never dreamt that I’d be able to travel to the Continent–until I had the opportunity in the summer of 2018 to go to Senegal and The Gambia.
Those trips changed my life. They connected me in a way my name never could. The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Senegal, the first stop, was a sea of the most beautiful people with melanin-rich skin and the widest eyes that grab at your soul. The people are extremely welcoming and friendly; they seem like long-lost family which, in a sense, they are. One fascinating thing I found is that an African person can look you in your face and tell you what tribe you’re from, which gives you a greater sense of belonging. That’s something that I feel is missing here in the United States.
So, in that sense, those two trips have grounded and inspired me because, before going to Africa, I felt like a plant without roots; I felt no real sense of origin, no connectedness. For me, living in the States feels like living at a transfer station–just waiting to move to the next stop.
But in Africa, it feels like home–and, of course, it was once our home–even though I had never been there before. I had a spiritual change; I came back with renewed energy and a strong sense of pride. I wanted to achieve, I wanted to work for me. I encourage any person who is a member of the African diaspora to make at least one journey home.
And I can help.
If you think you could be interested in an authentic African experience, join All About Us and our tour guide, New York City-based Access Africa, on our next tour of Ghana, scheduled for June 1-10, 2020. The cost per person is $3,650, which is all-inclusive: air travel, hotel accommodations, site visits, a three-city tour in Ghana, ground travel and one meal per day. Contact me for more information. Come with us. And grow.
Nyota King is a native of West Palm Beach who grew up, in part, in North Carolina. Click here to learn more about what she does, including co-hosting local African diaspora-driven events in West Palm Beach. Read about one of those events here. For more travel information, visit Access Africa’s website here or contact Ms. King at 561-247-0618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.