The weekend of our fun Durban July weekend was coming to a close when we decided to take a trip to the Morning Trade Market to grab a bite to eat with our dear friend Cherae. On the way back to our hotel, Cherae dropped a line about hosting us in Ghana as part of an activation building up to the launch of the TSTMKRS Africa app.
Now you must be wondering what the app is all about? TSTMKRS is an amazing app that lets you explore and travel to different African destinations with the help of tailor-made packages – letting you get to know your city of choice like a local. This is what hooked us when we met Cherae at the PUMA InstaWalk at the end of last year. To be quite honest, we both kinda brushed it off thinking we were dreaming. Turns out dreams can be a reality because we found ourselves giddy and geared to travel to Ghana with some of the continent’s coolest ladies to experience one of the TSTMKRS travel packages, This was our first time travelling in Africa so we were super excited to suck up all the culture, meet these incredibly amazing ladies and attend the annual Chale Wote street festival.
Considering this was Twiggy’s first time over the border. She was quite chilled, while I was a bit more frantic. Overall we were both really excited to experience a new place together for the first time – this is starting to sound very romantic more than anything. Our friends and family had tons of comments and advice to share about our trip.
“Don’t eat any red meat, don’t drink the water, make sure your body is covered from head to toe.”
Okay some of these are some valid point, but Sedi’s doctor definitely freaked her out because she was super paranoid.
Paranoia rife, we still managed to make some rookie errors: not applying for our Ghanaian Visas. This saw us running around Pretoria only a few days before we were meant to leave; Sedi only got hers a few hours before we had to board our flight! They say bad things happen in 3s – Sedi also managed to get her account frozen as well as lose a new bank card on her way to the airport talk about adulting the WRONG way. Meanwhile Twiggy thought she could get away with having ALL her toiletries in her hand luggage – let’s just say the staff at customs scored big time LOL.
Drama aside, we couldn’t have been more relived to find ourselves buckled in and up in the air cos we seriously couldn’t believe how we managed to get our lives together to even make our flight on time. A boozy dinner, some chuckles and naps later, we finally found ourselves safely in Ghana with Velma – who also had her fair share of drama. We all couldn’t have been happier to see Cherae’s familiar face and get out TSTMKRS experience started.
The two things that we couldn’t keep our minds off in the first few hours was the crazy humidity and the food (we both fell in love with yams at our introductory dinner). Once that love affair began, we also realised that Ghana is no place for you if you rebuke carbs in any form. This quickly swayed me to join the yoga class held that morning but being the serial napper that she is, Twiggy opted to sleep in.
Now with the climate in mind, the class swiftly turned into a Bikram session which was a bit more than I signed up for. Maame, Velma and I pushed through the yoga but Yagazie quickly make her escape once she realized what was about to go down.
Once we conquered that, we got ready for brunch and had a chance to “catch-up” even though we secretly knew one another thanks to the Internet. We started off our day at the Electric Ladies Brunch which was hosted at the stunning house we were staying at. Inspiring convo, great company and some really good food were the order of the day. The brunch was a gentle reminder of how important it is to focus on one’s goals – from women in the creative industry to social empowerment, we all learnt some good lessons and made new friends. All while this is happening, we are melting by the second. Everyone was either born and bred in Ghana or used to a similar climate so it was a tough balance between maintaining convo and trying not to drink all the mimosas to keep cool; alcohol consumption was also probably not wise.
Next stop was a spot of shopping at a local boutique in Osu. The bubbles kept flowing and we all got an amazing style consultation from Mina Evans, pretty much the best way to shop. On our way out, we noticed the cutest Gelato store where Velma staged a young photo shoot, but opted not to indulge after all the goodies we had at brunch. We were all pretty exhausted at this stage and headed home for some leisure and more bonding. Fast-forward to dinner, we head out to the city for dinner at Coco Lounge which was quite the experience. It happened to be tequila night so things escalated quite quickly but our group watched from the sidelines at the unplanned entertainment that was provided for us.
We thought Day 1 was a sensory overload but Day 2 is truly when the trip began…
Twiggy & Ramone