About Us

Magic and Melanin is a travel agency that provides immersion experiences in West Africa to those seeking to return to their roots. We are a Pan African platform offering 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 helps you: 
    • Access West Africa through an immersive, two-week homegoing journeys
    • Invest in West Africa’s economy by supporting local entrepreneurs
    •  Deepen your knowledge of West Africa’s history and culture

3 Key Concepts

1. Travel to West Africa

Have you always dreamt of exploring the land of your ancestors, but didn’t know where to begin? Many humans of African descent 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 regions 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 forcibly enslaved. These regions have a rich and vibrant history long before enslavement, and we’ll bring that history and culture to light throughout our travels in the Motherland.  

Our all-expense travel package covers transportation, housing, travel, and excursions throughout Togo, Ghana, and Benin  so you don’t have to worry about organizing every detail of your trip. It’s like studying abroad, but more on a whole other level, because you’re returning home. Learn more about our trips here.

2. Invest in West Africa

Looking for ways to support the Motherland and grow more intimately connected to it? One way is to support West African entrepreneurs on Magic & Melanin’s online shop.

Magic & Melanin designs is a collaborative effort born from the creative designs of our founder Dossé-Via, and the tailored work of Tata Germaine, Dossé-Via’s favorite tailor in Lomé, Togo.

Our selection of locally tailored wax print designs are unique and sustainable. Part of our profits go to Magic & Melanin’s Homegoing Fund, which will help subsidize trips in 2020 and beyond. Support the Pan African movement, and look fly while doing so.

3. Know West Africa

Our team curates 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. Our Instagram and Twitter are growing communities of humans connected to the Motherland.

In an era where African narratives has been misrepresented in the media, or  there have been attempts to completely erase us, 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, 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, and we’d travel 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 grandmother Mamima lives. 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. There were some triggering experiences though, because decolonizing our minds is not easy work. Ultimately, being able to bring my sisters back home was healing for all of us.

Our re-discovering 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 and platform 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 intention 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. I moved to West Africa and now reside here while welcoming our diaspora family to also partake in this magical experience. 

I’m inviting you to join us and explore the immense beauty, richness and culture of the African continent.  2020 trip dates will be available soon.