About Magic and Melanin
Magic and Melanin is a cultural immersion experience providing access to the motherland, as well as resources for humans of the diaspora to know the motherland, explore the motherland, and invest in the motherland.
We’re creating bridges that connect the diaspora through love, culture, knowledge of our history, art, fashion, and travel.
Now is the time for remembering and reconnecting with our royal roots.
Magic & Melanin will allow you to:
- Access West Africa through an immersive, 12-day travel program offered twice a year (summer and winter).
- Invest in West Africa’s economy by supporting local entrepreneurs
- Learn about West Africa’s culture through a variety of online resources
3 Key Concepts
1. Travel to West Africa
Have you always dreamt of exploring the land of your ancestors, but you didn’t know where to begin? It can be overwhelming to travel out of the country, and many black people feel a strong pull and curiosity towards the motherland, but may not feel like it’s as accessible as they’d like. That’s where Magic and Melanin comes in.
So many African nations are eager to welcome its brothers and sisters back home, and dispel stereotypes and myths about what it’s like to live in Africa. Magic and Melanin’s West Africa tour focuses on exploring Togo, Benin and Ghana, which were three main regions where Africans were captured and sold into enslavement. These regions have a rich and vibrant history long before enslavement, and we’ll bring that history and culture to light throughout our travels there.
Our all-expense travel package covers transportation, housing, travel throughout Togo, Ghana, and Benin, excursions and more, so you don’t have to worry about organizing every detail of your trip. It’s like studying abroad, but better! If you’d like information on our trips, please sign up here.
2. Invest in West Africa
If you’re looking for ways to support the motherland and grow more intimately connected to it, we encourage you to support West African entrepreneurs by browsing Magic & Melanin’s online shop.
Our selection of locally made African textiles and accessories are unique and sustainable. 50% of profits go directly to the local producers, which leads to a great boost in the local economy. This is the definition of “support black business”, while looking fly!
3. Know West Africa
Our team is constantly curating resources to help the world become more knowledgeable about West Africa’s vast history, which is often passed down orally.We have an online resource page for you to delve into incredible music, articles, tweets, and poignant perspectives from the motherland and diaspora. Deepen your understanding of your royal roots.
In an era where African nations have been misrepresented in the media, or completely erased, Magic and Melanin aims to provide greater visibility and accessibility to the land of our origins, wealth, and power.
About the Founder
Hey there, I’m Dossé-Via Trenou-Wells, a West African entrepreneur who’s passionate about travel and self-exploration. I was born in Paris, France to parents Edith and Dossevi Trenou, who are from Lomé, Togo. My family moved to America when I was 3 years old, but we’d make trips back to France and Togo throughout my childhood. However, between the ages of 15 and 24, I experienced a large gap without traveling back to West Africa, and I missed it dearly. It felt like some part of myself was missing.
In January 2017, I traveled to Togo — where my last remaining grandparent, Mamima, lives — with my mom, my husband Royce and our daughter Nova. As soon as I stepped foot back home after being away from 9 years, I was filled with a huge sense of relief and belonging. I had missed West Africa so much, and I made a vow to myself to never go so long without returning home.
Fast-forward 11 months later, and I stayed true to my vision and returned to Lomé with my family, and also brought two of my friends from grad school along. This was a game-changer for me, because for most of my life, whenever I told my friends that I was traveling to West Africa, they had no idea what it was like. But this time, I was passionate about sharing my home and the West African experience with my friends, especially since they too are originally West Africans (as millions of Black people around the world are). So my family opened our home to them, and we all had the time of our lives.
Our most recent trip to the motherland, which included visits to Togo, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, is what emphasized my desire to create Magic & Melanin. I am privileged to be able to know where I come from and to still have direct connections in West Africa. The next step is sharing that privilege with my fellow brothers and sisters of the diaspora, and providing access to the motherland through an immersion experience that awakens them to the beauty, richness and culture of West Africa. That’s why I’ve curated a traveling experience where descendants of Africa can reconnect with their roots in a safe space, and/or access resources and items from the motherland such as clothing, books, accessories, and more, directly from the source.
My goal is for humans of the diaspora to keep close ties to the motherland in whatever way possible, and to help us all celebrate our royal roots.
Beginning this winter 2018, I’m inviting you to join us and explore the immense beauty, richness and culture of the African continent.