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Jessica Nabongo finally completes her quest to become the ‘first’ black woman to visit 195 countries

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  • The Ugandan-American started her ambitious mission partly, in 2009.
  • She fully committed to visiting all the 195 UN member countries in 2017.
  • With 195 countries down on October 6, 2019, Nabongo is now the first Ugandan and ‘first’ documented black woman to visit every country in the world.

Jessica Nabongo set out to become the first black woman to visit all the 195 UN member countries in February 2017. She was in Bali, Indonesia at the time. She had already travelled to 60 countries nations before committing to this ambitious quest.

This wanderlust started at a young age for the first-generation American, who was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. At age six, her Ugandan parents took to London and Uganda. 

“My parents normalized it in advance. I think this turned into wanderlust because my parents never made a big deal out of travel. It was like, “It’s summer, we’re going to go to Mexico,” or “We’re going to go to Jamaica,” or “We’re going to the Bahamas.” Sometimes they left us and went and travelled. So travelling wasn’t a big deal or something to be fearful of,” she said in an interview with Airbnb Magazine.

Once she committed to her quest, Nabongo decided to take a step back from her full-time job as the founder of a boutique travel agency called Global Jet Black.

Explaining why her mission is so important to her, she told BBC, “I think representation is important. We see Instagram, the travel industry and we are just not seeing enough people who look like me travelling as extensively as I am. So I think its really important for me to be doing this for other people that look like me.”

She also told CNN Travel, “It’s about changing the perception of female travellers, of travellers of colour and of anyone who doesn’t have the option of passing for a local in a given community. Racism is a thing. There’s nothing we can do to get around that. History has made it that way. I exist as a black person in this world and I’m not going to let that hinder me from going anywhere I want to go. Namely, everywhere.”

The self-proclaimed travel influencer also uses her adventures, shared via her Instagram page (@thecatchmeifyoucan) and blog, ‘The Catch Me If You Can,’ to create awareness on important causes like endangered species and the harmful effects of plastic on the planet.

She initially planned to complete her mission by May 15, 2019, which is also her 35th birthday. The deadline later changed to October 6, 2019, her late father’s birthday. 

“My Dad passed in the city in 2003. What I decided is that for my last country which is Seychelles, we’re going to land on Oct. 6 which is his birthday,” she said. “He hasn’t been here for most of this journey but we’re able to bring him in the fold by getting there on his birthday. The reason I picked Seychelles is because it is in Africa. The significance is the date.”

Nabongo became the ‘first’ documented black woman to visit every country in the world when she got to Seychelles, her 195th country, on October 6, 2019.

ALSO READ: Forget about the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx: I spent a month in Egypt, and the most spectacular site I visited was the ancient city of Thebes

How did she travel across the world?

Nabongo started with her money and miles. She later created a gofundme page.

“I have a number of income sources, I work with brands, I do brand partnerships through social media. I’m a freelance writer, content creator, a United Nations consultant, I run my own travel agency and beyond that, I have built such an amazing community that I have had over 500 people who have actually donated to my travels as well,” she added in an interview with BBC.

Is Nabongo really the first black woman to visit all the countries of the world?

Woni Spotts claims to be the first black woman to travel across the world. It took her 40 years but she completed her trip in September 2018. 

Her claim was further legitimised when she got a certificate from the Travelers’ Century Club (a non-profit organization for people who have visited 100 or more countries and territories) in April 2019. 

Spotts received the Gold Status reserved for people who visit over 200 countries and territories. However, her unusual story, inadequate “receipts” of her trips and zero presence on social media has raised red flags for some people.

Unlike Spotts, Nabongo has a strong social media presence, several photos of her trips and is actually the first to announce her plan to become the first woman to travel across the world.

Reacting to Spotts’ claim in a press release, Nabongo said, “I have read some of her interviews and it has become clear that Ms Spotts has not visited every country in the world…she has not visited the current list of UN member countries, recently noting on Twitter that she visited the USSR and Yugoslavia, but not the independent countries as they stand today.

“In 1982, there were not 165 countries and between 1983 and 2018, the UN gained thirty-five (35) new member countries…Based on Spotts’ press release, written by her and released in April 2019, she only visited four of these new member countries as part of her last 30.”

According to Matador Network, a digital media company focused on travel, Spotts is working to verify her claims with three black historical archivists for encyclopedia and Wiki submissions. Public verification of this achievement has not been published yet, as of October 2019. 

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Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert

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By Standard Entertainment



56 minutes ago

Controversial singer Gigy Money turned WCB signee Zuchu’s concert into a fight club, hurling shoes at her lover.

On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes. 

READ ALSO: I’m not behind Diamond, Tanasha split- WCB’s Zuchu sets record straight

However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.

READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money

Peaceful arrival, later chaos

Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment.  However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.

“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.

“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.

READ ALSO: I will get a baby with your eldest son – Gigy Money warns Zari

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At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.

Addresses incident

Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas.  In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”

‘Running over Ali Kiba’

Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.

“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba.  Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.

READ ALSO: Gigy Money under fire for dirty-dancing with married singer

Dating Kiba brothers

Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.

“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.

 

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true

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By Diana Anyango



37 minutes ago

Jahmby Koikai is glad her dream of being a TV anchor never came true.

Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.

“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.

“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.

READ ALSO: Jahmby Koikai back in Kenya after a year of treatment abroad

According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.

“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.

“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.

READ ALSO: Why I’m walking around with a mask- Jahmby Koikai

Second audition

Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.

“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”

However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.

“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”

 

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There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11

A post shared by Jahmby Conqueror (@jahmbykoikai) on

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