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Each year, thousands of people visit Africa for many reasons. Some visit as tourists, experts, volunteers or for business purposes. How these people interpret their experiences in Africa sometimes serves as representing images to their friends, family, or colleagues.

I often read disappointing blogs or watch YouTube videos that don’t sit well with me.

If you are looking to visit Africa and have a wonderful time here, I have put together a few tips to help you achieve that. I left Africa as a teenager about 16 years ago and this is my first return.

The Best Travel Podcasts For Anyone Longing To Hit The Road Again. While travel may be on hold now and we don’t know exactly for how long. Satisfy your wanderlust for new places by listening to top rated travel podcasts that transport you through experiential narratives and uplifting travelogues.

We’ve gathered a list of travel podcasts from the perspective of  Black travellers and expats

Here are five Black expat podcasts you should be following:

Yomibas, is a painter best known for his hyper-realistic style. Born in Kaduna State, Nigeria, in 1995, his early work is a compilation of random photographs that depict his expressions of his experiences and observations. He developed an early interest in portraiture, exploring the power of the medium with the aim of connecting his viewers to his subjects.

Can you tell us more about your background and when you first started painting?

My full name is Abbas Yomi Segun, Born on January 15th 1995 in Nigeria and raised in kaduna state, the northern part of Nigeria. I have no background in the arts, wasn’t taught it, I learned from my life experiences. I believe our world is made of art and signs and if we know the language the world is made of then we can read our way through. Art has always been a way for me, fun and growing up it flowed effortlessly, I pretty much left everyone with a piece of art which is also a piece of myself. Money wasn’t a drive for me, thou I made little cash which helped fund my life. I literally have no idea when or how I started, I had no dreams as to what or who to become, I’ve always kept an open mind and pretty much accepted life as it happened, made my first oil painting in high school which later became know and was used for an entry. I realized there was something  for me in the arts after high school, seeing the internet came through and all I had to do was make art and put this works out there, how to achieve this became my process, I had no mentor or anyone to hold my hands and say this is the part, i kept failing, learning and growing. The process became my drive.

#AfricancreativeSeries With Yomi Bas

How did you came to pursue a creative path?

My creative journey started professionally when I stumbled upon the works of Teenez Martinez on a newspaper, a highly known Nigeria pencil artist who became someone I placed on my mental pedestal and I slowly followed his steps without his knowledge and after couple emails and dms, he finally agreed to meet. We became friends and then it grew with time. So my creative path started when I started ripping out people’s works from magazines, articles and newspaper and also the internet, being a visual platform made me realize with dedication and consistency I can play my part on the art world.

Describe your evolution as a visual artist?

Evolution is key, like the famous Quote by Stephen Johnson “we build the tool and the tool builds us” so I believed in the process not only for the desired goal but also for who I will become in the process. It’s a great one but I enjoyed eating dirts and having those sleepless night because it created the desire to grow, to evolve and to become.

Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve created?

I don’t have a favorite piece so far, all pieces are extensions of myself and when put together one can make sense of my whole experience. So yeah, no favorite piece till date.

What are the central themes of your work?

My works revolves around Imagination, consciousness and the individual journey as the sole cause of the phenomena of his life. I try to portray my conscious experiences in portrait form, it’s a deliberate and conscious effort to force to viewer to see through the lenses I gave. For me, ones I have made a piece of art, then I’ve it to remind myself of what I felt when I contemplated the idea, and if I can show you then it makes the experience less acute. Like Williams Blake clearly states “Man is all imagination and all things exist in the human imagination, all that we behold thou it appears without , it is within in which this world of mortality is but a shadow. So I believe everything is taking place now, so it’s my job to pause for a minute and capture the experience. I believe it’s always the artist who senses that the future is now and thereby uses his works as a ground to prepare for tomorrow, the artist has a unique outside perspective and he is not like stuck to the empirical data’s of our society. He makes unique connections.

#AfricanCreativeSeries

What can we expect to see from you in the near future? Are you working on any particular projects?

I think the base of my paintings won’t change because it says a lot about who we are as a culture and also what we have chosen to forget, so as I remember and awake to this states, I will continue to transcend them in my work but I think the base will not change which is “man is all imagination and all things exist within man, the outside world are just an extension of what takes place within him” I just rounded up my Awakening series which consisted of 12paintings completed over the course of 2years, so am open to seeing what lies ahead for me, so for now no precise projects, just collaborations. I believe as I open myself to experiencing the outside world, something will sip in for my next project.

If you could sit down and have a meal with one artist/designer/musician in the world, who would it be and why?

Without a doubt, I will take “Neville Goddard” and “Williams Blake” I have been studying their works for years now and to have that come true will just be a dream come true, besides they are dead. But to come down to contemporary structure, I would love a meal with Cj Hendry, Kehinde Wiley, Marco grasi and Mike Dargas, Just to mention a few, I chose them for the simple reason that their works have greatly impacted the way I do things and if you look closely, you will see their influences in my pieces.

Artist - Yomibas — Yomibas

Tell us a bit about where you were born and where you are living now. Are all these places important to your identity and to your artwork?

I was born and raised in Nigeria, the northern part, born in a small town called Barnawa. Had a simple upbringing, supported greatly by both parents, am the 2nd amongst 4kids to whom all were boys. Am the only one who reflected a desire for creation, was quite the task as one can’t get attention off oneself being the only creative in the house. Environment played a key role in my career part but as time went by, I realized that one has to tune into another frequency if one is to succeed or keep the fire burning, as we all know the mindset that goes with being an artist, mostly neglected and looked upon as the most irrelevant beings in society. So as I grew up, I had to make my environment within my mind, I listened to positivity 24/7 , kept a very little circle and avoided the blind desires of men who don’t know who they are. This played a key role to my process, self reliance is key to the artist and also to any career path that one chooses to follow.

Africa is a new economic frontier where young people are shaping Africa’s future. What do they want to see, hear and read that will inspire them to embrace African arts and culture?

I think art is very individual considering the fact that none can or will ever be able to think, do or act like we will. So every artist tells a story if we only we listen, no work or art is irrelevant. So I strongly believe the culture, society and minds are eagerly awaiting the manifestation of the artist, no Audience comes with expectation to see a play, they only come to be marveled, inspire , impressed or to be critical and if the play is good, you get an applause but if it’s not they won’t come back, so yeah, the artist must love solitude and believe that he/she is creating because everything with depth has a profound truth and the world awaits and hungers for truth

#BlackArtistToWatch: Meet Nneka Jones From Trinidad and Tobago

It can be argued that Africa’s time is now. How do we prepare to take full advantage of the opportunities that are constantly unfolding in front of us? More importantly how does the African contemporary art establishment position itself to emerge as a ‘global player’ whose voice can be heard and respected?

I will advice on this, we have to adopt the infinite mindset and not the finite mindset, the solution is to range against the dying of the light with art, with poetry, with great music and to not go quietly into the good night sleep at the moment end of the day. So the infinite mindset is one that is not about victory or losses but about a continuous struggle of adventure, curiosity, bewilderment and one of awe in which we try not to win or be first but to be, to create and to inspire, if we make this our mantra and keep in the back of our minds, not only will there be a revolution but we will set the foundation to which others will and can stand. As Allan Harrington said “we must never forget that we are cosmic revolutionaries not studious conscripted to advance the natural order that kills everyone, having invented the gods, we can turn into them” or as Williams Blake clearly states “in the universe, there are things know And there are things unknown andin between there are doors” so in my opinion if the artist is to create a genuine work he must be willingly to open that door which leads to truth and virtue.

 

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Chebet Chikumbu, I am a Pan African woman of Kenyan origin and South African cultivation. I currently serve as the Regional Director of Southern and East Africa at Global Citizen.

 What was the path that led you to this role at Global Citizen?

I was working under the extraordinary leadership of Mama Graça Machel in her capacity as Chairperson of Mandela Institute for Development Studies. During this stint, I was exposed to the power of information dissemination for social change and finding solutions for
development challenges on our continent. I was in awe of her humanitarian efforts
through various interventions and channelled her lessons into my own line of service. I
was responsible for shaping the nature of the development programmes in African
Heritage and Economic Development which planted seeds in the role that Africans can
play in actively seeking our own interventions through collaboration and coordination.
Prior to that, I served at Praekelt Foundation – an organisation dedicated to using mobile
technology to improve the lives of people living in poverty. This was my introduction to
advancing our development agenda using digital platforms to tackle social issues.

Can you tell us a little about your duties as the Africa Director at Global Citizen?

I am responsible for leading our Joburg-based team in the execution of our regional strategy.
I oversee the delivery of our key advocacy campaigns, communications, programmes
and strategic partnerships in the Southern and East Africa region.

Did you always know that working in the Humanitarian was what you wanted to do?

Yes, working in the humanitarian field was always what I wanted to do as a conscious
citizen fueled by serving others and using my inner agency to uplift vulnerable people.
As a first born child, I was taught to work hard and treat everyone with kindness while
remembering my roots. As a grown African woman, I am determined to lead with
compassion and live with purpose to tackle the systemic causes of extreme poverty.

What  motivates you on a daily basis in the humanitarian field?

I am motivated by those who have gone before us and fought for our economic freedom such as Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Mama Wangari Maathai as well as living legends devoted to leaving a legacy for a better world for our next generation, driven by their individual stories for social justice and I emulate their ideologies through my own existence.

And what are the main challenges?

Given the nature of finite resources in our world, we will continue to experience inequalities and scarcity to some extent. Thus the opportunities for us remain to address shortages, to source supplies and mobilise those who are fortunate enough to meet the growing demand of basic needs in our communities.

What was it about your mentality that changed when you started working at Global Citizen?

I have gained a greater appreciation for diversity. Working for an advocacy
organisation that spans across five continents has affirmed that our thinking and actions
are truly shaped by our cultural awareness, lived experiences and varied background.
Our cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural
diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. As a member of
the human race, our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the
socio-economic solutions we develop and pass them on to the next generation.

You’ve had so many career highs. What’s been your proudest moment?

Being part of a team that delivered the Mandela 100 campaign culminating in a festival which
galvanized 16 governments, eight international institutions and foundations, and 12
corporations to make financial and political commitments. This campaign saw engaged
citizens take over 5.65 million actions globally, which resulted in 60 commitments and
announcements worth USD $7.2 billion (ZAR 104 billion), set to affect the lives of 121
million people around the world.

How do we achieve having more women chairing government or business Affairs in
Africa?

We need to lean into our own inherent capacities and capabilities to chair all
types of affairs on the continent. It starts with self belief to apply our innate strengths,
followed by making decisions using facts and figures with good sensibilities and
sensitivities when needed. Additionally, I am learning how to make a difference and
move the needle through teachings from some of our formidable African elders such as
Amina Mohammed, Maki Mandela, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Winnie Byanyima.

Which topics or Areas are most interesting to you?

Early childhood development, gender equality, women’s empowerment and partnerships for development.

What’s your advice for women trying to discover or build upon their passion?

Go for it wholeheartedly, grind hard and have a willingness to try again if at first you do not
succeed. Life is a series of learnings and wins, there can be no failures if we build upon
each lesson. Condition your mind with positive success stories and fill up on courage to
step outside of your comfort zone. As the great late poet Maya Angelou said “you
develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a
100-pound weight without preparing yourself.” The inches we need are everywhere.

#InspiredByHer: Annie Jean-Baptiste, The Woman Fighting To Ensure Google’s Product And Workforce Reflect Its Diverse User Base

What are the main characteristics you believe every successful leader should possess?

Empathy, humility and integrity.

 What Woman inspires you and why?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; for her outlook on identity, feminism and fashion as well as her excellent command for storytelling and positively shifting narratives through her craft.

Why is it important for people to care about the crisis and disasters that are happening
around the world?

We have a shared universal obligation as members of the human race to care for each other as well as our planet as our home. The negative externalities we face are often within our control to course correct as we have the agency and abilities to take action to make our world a better place. We need to generate more consciousness about the collective power of active citizenry that lifts societies for our greater good.

 

Vivienne Okafor is a travel content creator, content strategist and coach. She is a Nigerian-American, a healthcare consultant and an avid traveler. Vivienne  loves to explore a variety of destinations and to share all of her travel tips on her blog.  In this interview she shares what it’s like to be a travel blogger, what travel will look like post Covid-19 Pandemic and a lot more.