Arizona native Chanice a.k.a. Queenie is a New York State agency employee and the CEO of Fly With Queenie, a company specializing in curating worldwide experiences for travelers.
The 32-year-old mother of one is of Jamaican heritage and has traveled all over the world. Her most recent trip to Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya however, has been her most memorable trip to date.
“My first experience in Africa was in Morocco, but I didn’t feel like I was in Africa and I didn’t get that feeling of connection when I was there,” she told Travel Noire. “I spent a week in Kenya, where I saw animals I’ve never seen before on the safari, ate delicious Swahili food, and swam in beautiful clear water.”
In Kenya, Queenie also visited a Maasai tribe in a remote village about a four-hour drive from Nairobi. There she had the opportunity to learn about their culture and daily lives
“I learned that Masaai men have multiple wives and got to meet all three wives and the husband, which was pretty cool. It’s funny because although the family dynamics are very different from how we do things in the United States, when it came to marriage everybody was happy. The wives and all the kids were just so happy.”
“The Maasai people rely on very little to survive, which taught me the importance of simplicity. Unfortunately, the Maasai are a dying tribe. The dry seasons in East Africa are becoming longer due to climate change, and they are suffering from droughts and drying crops.”
Queenie encourages others to visit the Masaai tribe and support them to aid in their survival. A conscious traveler, she also visited an orphanage during her time in Kenya.
“I feel like there’s no way I can be blessed and not bless others, especially, in the land of my ancestors and where my brothers and sisters reside. I wanted to do an act of kindness so the kids could know that they are loved. It really takes a village and I want to be part of that village. Meeting the kids made me feel complete in a sense.”
“I danced and sang with the children and gave them lots of hugs. I told all the girls how beautiful they were and how nice their hair and skin was. Little Black girls often struggle at some point with their self image, so I wanted them to know that they were absolutely beautiful. My friends and I passed out items we brought with us from the States, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys, school supplies, hair items, candy, and more.”
Queenie returned home feeling like she needed to do more for the children. After receiving many messages from people who also wanted to give back to the orphanage, she decided to do a fundraiser.
With an outpouring of love and support, Queenie and her friends raised over $1,000 within 72 hours. This was enough to pay two months worth of rent, and purchase food and personal hygiene products for the children.
Queenie says one of the reasons she loves Africa is because of the sense of belonging she feels there.
“In Kenya I didn’t feel Black, I just felt human. I blended right in and I didn’t have things like people and systems constantly reminding me every day that I was Black. I could just exist as a human being.”
She encourages all Black people to visit Africa to learn more about their history and to dispel any misconceptions they may have about the continent by seeing and researching for themselves.
“When you mix the controlled media with the lack of true education in the school system you get ignorance. People are sponges who listen to the media and believe it because they assume a news outlet must be telling the truth. The failure to take initiative and do one’s own research is the reason people are so miseducated.”
As someone with a passion for studying and learning about Africa and Black history, Queenie was well aware that Africa was not what the Western media portrayed it to be long before she even booked her flight.
“I was just excited to showcase Kenya’s gems and show people that it is a luxury travel destination and more than just slums. To be honest, though, I never knew ‘hakuna matata’ was a real Swahili phrase. I thought it was a phrase that was made up for The Lion King movie.”
That is part of the beauty of traveling. You learn more about not only the world, but yourself as well. Queenie says she never realized she had a soft spot for animals until she experienced the Kenyan safari and saw animals such as zebras, giraffes, and warthogs up close.
For this year’s travels, Queenie plans to focus on seeing more of Africa. She has a trip every month and is most looking forward to exploring Ghana in August. You can follow her at @flywithqueen
Our truest desire is that you embrace your culture, your scars, your skin color, your voice, and your craft. That’s what makes us unique and strong.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
When 2019 began, we didn’t know we were going to create something so important and of value to you. 2019 ends but the Moyo Afrika adventure is just beginning !
We are so proud of what we brought to life and the impacts it is creating. We put in a lot of work and energy, in order to give you the best articles and stories, but also the most accurate information.
WHAT INSPIRED US TO CREATE MOYO AFRIKA ?
- We saw that lots of mainstream media and many of the western world still think that Africa is overrun with huts and poverty, We thought it was about time we tell our stories by ourselves by showcasing live in Africa by those who live it.
- We wanted to inspire those in the Diaspora to visit the Motherland.
- We wanted a platform to connect black people all around the world.
WHAT ARE WE EXPECTING FOR 2020 AND EVEN AFTER ?
The MoyoTeam, are really happy about what has been achieved this year. But one of the goals is to give back to Africa, this is why we will be launching the #GiveBackToAfrica project in 2020. This project is to help build a stronger and more prosperous community.
- Investing in African women by empowering them with the tools they need to accelerate and build a sustainable business. Together we can empower thousands of women to build businesses to bring themselves and families out of poverty.
- Invest in African Children, it is saddening to know that a big number of African children still do not have access to basic education. While African governments are responsible for providing their young generations with quality education, there’s a lot that the diaspora community can do to help. For most of these kids, all they want is a simple classroom and a steady supply of basic learning materials. Together we can help provide students with school fees, Renovate Schools, Provide them with the help they need.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED SO FAR
In 6 months, we have built a community of over 6,000 followers and we have reached over 300,000 cousins in the Motherland and in the Diaspora.
We also launched our website www.moyoafrika.com . Through this website, we have gained viewers and readers from the motherland and other continents. We have interviewed black women shattering the glass ceiling, we have interviewed creatives/ creators in the motherland and in the diaspora who are representing us in a positive light.
Our Memories and History must be kept alive.
We want to continue to showcase life in Africa through those who live it. We are reclaiming our agency by creating and distributing our own self-representations. We want to share more about our motherland until Africa becomes the land for tourists, travelers and everyone in the world. Africa is rich in Culture, Arts, Entertainment, Food and wonderful people.
Our culture is worthy of emulation. We want to visit you to visit the beautiful destinations across the world with African history ! There will be more visuals, more interviews on the website and on our social media platforms.
Finally, thank you for supporting us, for sharing our passion and our work, for following us, for loving the Motherland…
We wish you all a very Happy New Year, full of joy, happiness, success, reconnecting with the motherland, your culture and shmoneyyy !
From the MoyoTeam, with love. Happy 2020 !