How to feel alive? Every year, try to visit a new place.

How to feel alive? Every year, try to visit a new place.

 

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This year, I made myself the promise to visit a new country, to educate myself and face the fear that some people try to put on me by telling stories from their bad experiences. Now when I fear something, I try to find a way to just do it and deal with the consequences. The opportunity came to cover the Fashion Week in Niamey, Niger and I was really excited!

The African Union also had a summit with all the head of States and I was invited to attend the gala dinner and the seminars.

The Visa

The visa process was quite easy in term of what needed to be done. It was all online. The only issue I had was at the airport. I didn’t receive my invitation letter on time, so it took some a while for them to check through all the emails and let me through.

The Flight

I was flying with Royal Air Maroc and the flight was good. I was lucky that none of my luggages were lost but many other people on the same flights did not get their luggages for days. When travelling, I must say that I always try to keep to a minimum number of luggage.

The Hotel

We were supposed to stay in a nice hotel but due to the Summit and the lack of available rooms, we simply had the worst time I could ever imagine. From one day to another, we didn’t know where we would sleep as everywhere was fully booked. Even hotels that had cockroaches as big as a mouse running like they rule the world. This definitely made the trip very difficult but the people were so lovely that I would like another opportunity to visit the country and be able to stay at the Radisson or Noom hotel.

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This trip experience taught me the importance of going with the flow. It is true to say that not everything always go as planned but there is always a reason for everything.

The African continent has so many beautiful undiscovered places. I hope to visit many more.

The culture in images…

What my first Afro Punk event was like.

What my first Afro Punk event was like.

Saturday 13th of June, I had the pleasure of attending the festival Afro Punk at La Seine Musicale, in Paris for the first time. Headlining the concert was Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae.

I must say that it was surreal to see so much creativity in one place. It was like being on a movie set where new characters coming out of nowhere every 2 seconds. It was amazing.

I made an effort to add some African touch to my outfit as I really didn’t know what to expect there. I was definitely NOT overdressed and felt like I could have been a little bit more extra. It was impressive to be in the middle of so much art.

They had massive flags which I obviously used  to take a picture 🙂 . It was not easy with the wind but we managed to take something nice.

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Here are a few pictures I took at the event. It would be great to hear your comments if you experienced this event in Paris or elsewhere. There is another festival in the desert that I was looking into but I am not sure I will be handle to handle all the nakedness that google search has showed me.. ( ah aha ah)

 

 

 

GOLD CHOKER, Tribal jewellery from NACHO JEWELS , a label from Argentina.

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My friend came from Brazzaville, Congo to display and sell her clothing line, LIPUTA SWAGGA. If you have a minute, please have a look at her amazing work!

 

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Reasons why Rome was my worst getaway trip so far.

Reasons why Rome was my worst getaway trip so far.

I went to Rome for the first time over 10 years ago. It was an unplanned trip and I didn’t visit much of the city so I was really excited to return in May 2019 and do the photoshoot with footballer Steven Nzonzi for the cover of my magazine.

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A friend and I booked an Air B and B in Vatican City as we wanted to be able to do some sightseeing too. Big mistake. Although the apartment was lovely and close to a supermarket and a few other places, I had the worst weekend in an European capital of my entire life!

I love Italy, and I visited many places before for longer periods, Milan, Naples, Salerno, Capri, Grosseto, Florence, etc… but never I have felt the racism like that weekend in Rome. Of course, I am black and I get noticed but come on!!!!!! In 2019, can we just try to respect one another and get on with our lives?

Any coloured person I heard speak about Rome this year, had the same experience so I thought I would just write about it.

TAXIS

We had to take a UBER everywhere because Rome is actually quite big and beautiful. So much history to discover and the fantastic fresh food. But how does anyone explain a 10 minutes ride with UBER costing 60 Euros????!!!! Clearly, the Italians in Rome are like the French in Paris, rude without a cause. My best friend is Italian so I cannot find the words to say how much that weekend traumatised me.

The “regular” taxis all tried to rip us off as we didn’t speak the language so we thought at least with the rating system of UBER, things will be a bit better. The drivers were certainly nice but those prices completely outrageous. I guess, they have a reason to do this so “regular” taxis don’t get out of job. Hopefully in time, it will get better.

FOOD

The food in Italy is always tasty. But the service is another story. In London, customer service is key and maybe we are spoilt with that, same for America. But Italy has a long way to go in treating people equally with the same respect!

HOTELS

I won’t name them here but they were SO rude that we chose to rent a flat instead. NO COMMENT.

OVERALL 

We really tried to have a good time and Steven and his family made sure we felt at home.  The Vatican was simply splendid and I really wish we had more time to look at everything.

 

FONTANA DI TREVI and other places we saw…

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STEVEN AND HIS SISTER KAREN NZONZI

 

I did an impromptu shoot with my gorgeous red dress with my best carefree spirit in the middle of people staring at me like I was not part of the furniture. FUN TIMES!

 

We also had the honour the be invited by Steven to assist to his game, with his team AS Roma. Good thing, they won! And we got to see Ronaldo and Blaise Matuidi too!!

 

I hope you enjoyed the few photos. If you had a different experience in Rome and want to argue or add to mine, please feel free to share below or via email. I am working on adding content to our YOUtube Channel, ESIMBI Magazine and I can’ wait to share that later on.