When Africans from across the continent and throughout the diaspora took over Twitter with #theAfricathemedianevershowsyou, it was to debunk the many myths about what their lives are really like.
— Stephen Musyoka (@smusyoka) March 2, 2016
— Rahim (@Rahimpro) February 11, 2016
Cherae Robinson (@sasyrae) wanted to continue to give people ‘a different taste’ of Africa and breakdown the negative stereotypes shown too often by a mainstream media. As CEO and founder of Tastemakers Africa, she’s creating a new mobile platform to showcase the new Africa to people around the world who may be surprised to learn there’s more to life on the continent than poverty, disease, and violence.
“So tastemakers Africa is a mobile app and content platform that is essentially revolutionizing what people think about travel on the continent. It’s getting beyond the idea that you go to Africa and you only go on a safari or you only do some weird poverty tourism. It’s about saying, how do I have an epic good time whenever I’m on the continent.” – Cherae Robinson
Robinson says the idea for Tastemakers came to her after her own experiences traveling the continent while working with the World Bank.
“I was in my late 20s and I was often the youngest person on my team which meant I spent a lot of time exploring cities on my own. I started meeting filmmakers, photographers, just really interesting people that showed me a side of their city I wasn’t finding on Trip Advisor or Google. So for me, I would come and share that experience on Facebook and slowly but surely started bringing my own friends to the continent who all kept saying, ‘I’m never coming here if I don’t come with you’ or ‘I’m never coming here if I don’t ask you’. Because people started seeing there was just so much more than was readily available.” – Cherae Robinson
Since launching the app, Robinson has offered tours in 12 different cities across Africa. Her tours include pop-up dining with local chefs, escapes to private beaches, hidden waterfalls, yacht rentals, exclusive parties with DJ’s, designers, artists and more. The prices vary between $30 to $3000 and the trips last about a week. The app also include a concierge service for individual travels.
This year, Tastemakers will be taking their tour groups to the Chale Wote festival in Ghana, the Essence music festival in South Africa, the African art bienialle in Senegal and Cape Verde along with other activities in cities around Africa.
So what’s next for Tastemakers Africa? Robinson says they’re expanding their team and redesigning the app to allow travelers to share their personal experiences.
“We think our travelers are just as cool as us. They’re amazing people that are game changers in their own right, and we wanna include them in the process of sharing these sorts of experiences in Africa with the world.” -Cherae Robinson
Learn more about Tastemakers Africa