Why many African-Americans want to visit Africa ― Travel expert

In spite of the negative stories being peddled about Africa to the world, particularly in the area of security and poor economy, there is an undying desire by many African-Americans who live in the United States of America to see the continent.

This was the submission of a popular travel expert, Alexander Oladele, who runs a travel group outfit, known as JetBlack Travel Group.

Speaking with Tribune Online on why he believes many African-American still prefer to come to the African continent for one business or the other, Oladele said: “There is a huge shift in knowing and learning more about Africa. It’s an exciting time that we are in and I believe social media has played a significant role in helping to shape that.

“There are so many people today interested in visiting Africa and learning the actual truth about the continent.

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“As more people visit and share their experiences, it creates more desire in those aboard to really venture out to see what Africa truly entails, not just what they show us on TV.”

The travel expert, who has been in the industry for a few years, said his passion to travel around the world to seek knowledge and exposure birthed JetBlack Travel Group in 2018.

According to him, the vision was inspired by the need for more African-Americans to gain exposure to countries all over the world by way of group travel.

He added that the company curates trips and life-changing experiences for anyone interested in immersing themselves and learning about cultures outside of the US.

He said that his company had curated trips to Ghana, South Africa, Spain, Morocco, Bali, Colombia, Cuba, Thailand and Jamaica.

Born in Nigeria but relocated to the US at the age of six, Oladele, who doubles as a social media marketer and medical science liaison officer, posited that the negative stories circulating about Africa have had little or no deterrent effect, saying one should not believe stories about countries one had never visited before.

“ One of the most shocking things for me is how kind people truly are when you travel abroad.

“There is a lot of apprehension when travelling internationally overall and I think a lot of that has to do with what we’ve been taught about particular countries.

“When you get to those countries, you oftentimes find that many of the things you were told are simply not true,” he said.

Speaking further on the need for people to seek exposure, he recalled his first trip to Cuba.

“The first time I went to Cuba I was met with so much love from members of the Cuban community.

“Because of that one experience I came back twice and one of those times was with 52 professionals. It was truly a remarkable experience.

“Interest in African countries is growing and in fact, is the focus for 2021 for our company.

“Remember we started late 2018 and have experienced significant growth.

“In 2021 however, we are intentionally focusing on African countries.

“Our goal is to curate trips to Ghana,  Nigeria (with the right partnerships), Senegal, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya/Zanzibar,” he added.