Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Tag Archives racism in athens

Travelling Perceptions & Safety: Why I don’t Allow the Experiences Stop me From Seeing The World?

The social digital world will tell you how unsafe the world is. The media will show you the poor areas of Africa, screening epidemics of Ebola and all types of diseases. They will even go as far as showing documentaries of drug cartels in South America – many that can be found on Netflix. But should you allow the digital world stop you from seeing the world.

They will go so far till you have become so scared of the place. You no longer want to go or have an interest in travelling.

Another thing they do is show black people in a bad light – this is the worst. Why would you wanna go somewhere that doesn’t welcome black people?

The digital world has grown so much more in the last few years. And more people are travelling around the world. However, there are many people in the world that are terrified of seeing the world. Some of these people have a personal choice of not seeing the world. They allow the world to dedicate how they live or how one should live their life, which is a scary feeling.

Let me give you an example. 

I have been to some (not all) places which are considered to be ‘dangerous’ and for a black young woman! In saying that, I’ve also been to real safe countries. Take Singapore for example, it is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Safer than England.

I remember the first time I told people that I was moving to Singapore. Many were, of course, happy for me. There was also the other side which surprised me! Several peoples reactions where – oh my gosh but there are no black people there! This saddened me because I was about to take an adventure of a lifetime, but some just didn’t get it.

Looking back now, I am so glad I didn’t let this get to me. Let people negative reaction get to me. If I did, I wouldn’t have seen all of South East Asia and met worldwide lifetime friends! In all honesty, it’s about finding the time to do your own research of a country and deciding whether it’s safe for you to go!

As I have grown older I have learnt, to taste and see the world for what it really is. After the ordeal, I received while in Greece, Athens. I never imagined writing something like this. It saddens me that people can take time out of their lives and lie on someone and authorities with no evidence can take on such fabrication.

On that day. I faced a harsh reality that I am black and I am female. How I perceive myself is not the same as how people perceive me. Being black can get you into some real shit. You may never understand why people choose to be the way they are. In this circumstance, I can put it down to one thing. People hate themselves and have serious insecurities. And if you let them win you won’t see the world freely.

As I have grown older I have learnt, to taste and see the world for what it really is

Should this stop you from seeing the world?

My immediate answer after what I experienced would be to say yes. However, my next question would be to ask why shouldn’t we travel because people discriminate in the world? There are racists, sexist all types of people and things everywhere! There are people who will try and do anything to ruin an experience. Or your views of the world – only if you let them. The fact of the matter is SHIT HAPPENS. This is the truth; anything can happen to you anywhere you are it’s how you decide to deal with it as an individual.

Travelling the world can be hard when the social world can be constantly placing fear in you. Not to mention family and friends. As a child my mother was always the worst, constantly planting fear in me. Oh no don’t go near the water, don’t go to that country, there are no black people there. Why you would go there? I had to decide as an adult that I wanted to see the world for what it really was.

Living Abroad

While living abroad I was lucky enough to take up a job that would require me to live in China. Again, friends and family showed their disapproval particularly my mother. She stressed the importance of me coming back to London once I had finished my exams. Sadly, I did come back which I am still quite resentful for. I believe there is so much for us in this world. People shouldn’t stop us from chasing our dreams because of a few comments.

Me and four of my friends standing in Hong Kong

Other places such as doing NYSC in Nigeria (a camp in Nigeria to serve your country) I have been hindered from because family or friends have once again got in the way of my decision making. I remember my father going as far as saying if I moved to Nigeria, he wouldn’t speak to me! Since he left Nigeria, he has not ever been able to say one good word about it! Of course, I listened and didn’t go but it’s another thing I wish I did.  

And this is my problem. There are so many perceptions of the world that makes one believe that you can’t go anywhere. This perception can hinder someone in not travelling and it drives me mad! People tell you their negative views of a country because they are so fixated on what the news or the social world tells them. I believe the digital world can be such an exaggerater and anyone that takes everything word for word might live a sheltered life.

Don’t get me wrong there are some countries that I wouldn’t dream of travelling too. Many that I wouldn’t name. But it doesn’t mean that my experiences and what I see on the news should stop me. So why should it stop you? I would never tell anyone not to visit Athens because everyone’s experience is different.

Final thoughts on seeing the world…

Honestly, the world is not scary…

No matter the destination, being informed and using your initiative is the best way to stay safe. I am not saying you will go somewhere, and you will always be safe. A life I’m afraid doesn’t always work like that.

A caption of the castle in Ireland

Tell me what you think do you think the digital/ news world plays a role in where you will and won’t travel?  Have you been anywhere that society considers dangerous? let me know in the comments below.  

Related Reads: Arrested At The Acropolis: What Really Happened & Things You Should Know If You’re Wrongfully Arrested Abroad

Share this article

Black History Month: 10 Black Bloggers Making Modern Black History

Happy Black History Month!

I have never felt so compelled to be part or take notice of Black History Month until my unfortunate ordeal in Greece this year. Read the post – Arrested At The Acropolis: What Really Happened

It saddened me that people can see colour and not take time to actually see us for our truth and how amazing we are in the world. As black people, our history is raw, and it’s worth celebrating.

As black people, I don’t think we are celebrated enough, and as Black Bloggers, we are often left unnoticed. I wanted to use my platform today and showcase several black bloggers for Black History Month. Please read below the amazing black bloggers that are impacting our community!

Sarah Toyin

Black History Month is such a great time to celebrate the people that have made an impact in the black community but also remember what others have done to pave the way for us today! 

Sarah Toyin

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

As a black blogger, I would not really say I have faced any challenges perse directly. due to being a black blogger so I have nothing to contribute here. 

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

As a travel blogger at www.sarahtoyin.com. I provide information on teaching English in Korea, solo travel advice, general travel tips and guides as well as accommodation reviews and tips. Blogging has challenged me and helped me grow as an individual because I  am here to serve and help people with their travels.

It is not actually about me but how I can make others lives easier through the information I am providing. This has allowed me to think of others more than myself and that is how I have grown as an individual through blogging.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

This is an interesting question,  perhaps blog about it more, putting on events to celebrate it. and collaborations like this. As much as I love that there is a month for black history, I would really love for us to celebrate the history we have all year round.

YasminTells

I know its cheesy to say but every month is Black History month to me. I make a conscious effort to support black owed businesses whenever I can, all year round.

Yasmin Tells

I’m a travel blogger who focuses on travel in West Africa in particular. I relocated from the UK to the country of my origin Sierra Leone 10 months ago and I use the platform to share information and tips on Sierra Leone. I also used to work in Senegal so I have some information on there alongside other neighbouring countries such as my trip to Ghana last month for the Chale Wote Festival.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

As its new industry, I find myself cultivating and trying to understand it like many bloggers. I haven’t faced any challenges as of yet if I’m completely honest. However, I am aware of cases of black bloggers being paid less in the industry. But tell me something new!

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I think it has in many ways subconsciously affected my thought processes, for example, I pay attention to detail more than I used to. That could be because I’m a content creator, I think more about the why, the outcome and the experience. I do believe all of these factors come from the art of storytelling also known today as blogging.

Mellissa The Island Girl

Black history month is about celebrating all that’s black. It’s about black people also educating themselves about their past- not slavery but all the great ways that we have contributed to the advancement of the human race. It is a month to remember how great we are both women and men. If we unite, we can be even greater. It is a time to rediscover the love that we should have for our melanin. We are a beautiful group of varied people. We are creative, we are strong, and we are resilient. 

Melissa The Island Girl

I’m a travel, fashion and lifestyle blogger/content creator. You can find me at www.theislandgirl.co.uk.  

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

 My blog has made me braver. I’m more fearless and I’m learning to not worry about what others may think of me or what I am doing. I have attended events alone and have met some wonderful people. I’ve connected with people on Instagram and Twitter. I have become more expressive. Through content creation, I am exposed to different mediums of capturing moments. Most importantly my blog is helping me to discover me. I am definitely learning about myself-all the things I am capable of doing and all the inner boundaries I am able to push. 

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

To be honest, just like this. Highlighting how much of us there are in these creative spaces and giving us a voice and a platform to be seen and heard. Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea of featuring other black bloggers! 

JennasWorldView

Our history is too rich, royal and powerful to be condensed in one month. I make it a point to celebrate my blackness everyday. However I do appreciate that our history does have its own space on the calendar. But we shouldn’t wait until October (UK) & February(US) to celebrate our greatness. Its an everyday thing.

Jennas World View

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

Blogging has stretched me. It’s been my personal therapy that has helped me understand so much about myself and my journey of womanhood and blackness. Being able to use my personal experiences for content has allowed me to reflect on a deeper level. In addition to that running a self-hosted blog has taught me lots of new transferable skills. I’m constantly learning.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I think that the black blogging community shouldn’t shy away from creating content that showcases our community. The power in our creative minds is next level phenomenal. We have the ability to bring our stories, views, experiences, current news to life. We should always aim to control the narrative and not be afraid to create content that promotes, edifies and educates those within our community. Nobody knows our stories better than we do. Black history month is the best time for all of us to contribute.

Cynthia Clarke

Black History month is an opportunity to “showcase”.  There are so many Black people who have done and are doing phenomenal things and we often don’t get to hear about that unless someone is being “showcased”.  It’s a time to celebrate how special we are, how talented we are, how resilient we are, how smart we are, and how beautiful we are! 

Cynthia Clarke

During my travels, I see and meet a lot of people but I don’t see as many black people as I would like, especially if I’m travelling somewhere other than the Caribbean. With Sojourner Moxie, I’m seeking to change that narrative by providing travel tips, destination travel guides, step by step instructions on how to start travelling, inspiration, and showcasing out of the box adventures. It’s a big world out there…let’s go check it out!  Another issue some Black women may face in regards to travel is finding someone to travel with.  Through my travels, I‘m showing them it’s ok to travel solo.  www.sojournermoxie.com

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

Good question! As a blogger, you are always reading other blogs, and if you’re not careful the tendency to compare yourself to others will hinder your progress.  My blogging journey has solidified my sense of self and what I have to offer.  The woman who is in her 40s and above, the woman who is now an empty nester, the woman who’s been married for decades and is now divorced…that’s my audience!  That’s who I want to reach.  I have to be authentic to do that.  Every day, I’m determined to be true to that.  That’s continual growth.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I like what you’re doing!  Bringing Black voices together and showing the length and breadth of what we bring to the table.  I’m even thinking of doing something like this in the travel space.  Every blogger wants to be successful, but Black History Month is a great time to say look at my sister, look at my brother…see what they’re doing…they’re changing the game and it’s a beautiful thing!!!

Gabby Beckford

In three words, I would say pride, representation, and hope. Black bloggers need more visibility than ever these days, and representation absolutely matters. We are no longer fighting for tolerance, we are fighting for acceptance and celebration. Black History Month is an opportunity to show the world that yes, we’re still here thriving, working, and succeeding! Many of us! In abundance! And that is powerful.

Gabby Beckford

I am a travel and lifestyle blogger—the main functions of my platform at the moment are writing helpful and entertaining travel articles and sharing funded travel opportunities I call Packs Light Travel Opps. These opportunities are travel grants for international experiences such as conferences, fellowships, study abroad, internships, and more. I won more than $69,000 in scholarships in college much of which helped me travel, so it’s a passion of mine to advocate and share this resource with my followers! You can find me on all social media platforms as @packslight, and on my blog at www.packslight.com.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

One of the biggest issues facing black bloggers is to pay discrepancies. Brands will pay other (often white or lighter-skinned) influencer considerably more than me when we are working the same campaign at the same time. I’m happy that most of the time, other influencers are open to sharing how much they are making so I can know about the unfair pay and address it. There have been times I worked pro-bono for a large company when they said they didn’t have a budget just to find out another non-Black influencer was paid. It’s ridiculous, unfair, and unendingly frustrating.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

Blogging has definitely transformed my mind into one of business. I see a system for every action, a collaboration with every meeting, and a window for every closed door. Networking is fun for me now! Blogging specifically about travel has also made me so much more appreciative of my life and aware of my privilege. I love to travel, and I love to encourage other people to travel. Sometimes it’s not that simple, and blogging has been an invaluable tool in my reflection and growth over the past 6 years.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

Lifting each other up is the best way. Taking this month as an opportunity to promote other Black bloggers and creatives, cross-pollenate the black-blogger-love between your followers and watch the magic that happens! By sharing others, they share you. And also, writing about it. Talking about it. Showing our followers that we do care about Black History Month, it matters in 2019, and we need to take note of it and it’s the true meaning of community!

Saabirah Lawrence

Black History Month for me is a time to remember the individuals that have paved the way for us as a community today. It’s also a great time to discover and celebrate the individuals that are doing great things for the black community right now.

Saabirah Lawrence

When I started out I pretty much wrote about anything and everything, from makeup to social issues and at the time it made sense as I have many interests. Now I only focus on a few topics: wellness, empowerment, lifestyle and natural hair. I try to keep my content within those topics but I have found that I really enjoy sharing my blogging experience and any advice for other bloggers. 

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

I think my biggest challenge is finding brands/companies that I actually want to work with. As a black blogger, I find my go-to when it comes to brand collaborations is black-owned businesses. This obviously isn’t a bad thing, sometimes It just means the budget for work is smaller but If I see the vision I am totally on board. I just find it hard to know where I stand as a black woman with a lot of major brands. It’s a big turn off for me to see brands throwing the words ”diverse” and ”inclusive” into their campaigns when really it is all just surface level. there is no real work being done to challenge the industry’s views on working with black bloggers.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

As I started writing about wellness, it has really made me become more self-aware and open to bettering myself. Mostly for me but I also think having a better understanding of myself and more confidence will make me a better writer. Blogging has definitely helped me find my voice, explore my creative side and meet some amazing people.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I think the black blogging community has been a useful source of information during black history month. It’s important to use this time of the month to highlight what is happening during black history month (events, films, new product/service launches, workshops, popups, etc), highlight some important and inspiring black figures and has conversations that need to be had within the community.

Debbie Adigun

When I think of Black History Month, I think about what I learnt about black history in school. Slavery. That’s all we learnt as if that is all Black history is.

So, for me, Black History Month is a reminder that we need to educate ourselves about our history. Although it shouldn’t be restricted this month alone, this is a time to celebrate our black heroes, look back on how far we’ve come and reflected on how we can do better in the future.

WanderlustCalls

I am a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger who achieved my goal to visit 25 countries before I turned 25. I use my blog to try to help and inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and to travel more. Like many, I love to experience a little luxury without breaking the bank, so I share tips on how to do bougie travel on a budget.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

One challenge that I have faced as a black blogger is turning up to events and being the only black person in the room. It’s not even an exaggeration when I say that sometimes I’ve been in a room and felt unwelcomed by others in the room. I literally felt like an outcast. There are so many talented black bloggers, so seeing events like this really frustrates me. 

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I’m extremely shy and blogging has really forced me out of my comfort zone. If you told a younger Debbie that I would one day put myself out there both online and off, I would never have believed it. But here, I am doing that on a regular basis. Even though I am still mad shy, it makes me realise how far I have come.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?

I think that black bloggers can use their platforms to share a different narrative to the one that we are bombarded with by the media. We can share black stories, uplift black people and collaborate with other black bloggers and businesses. This shouldn’t just be restricted to Black History Month. This should be a regular thing.

Jess Anyan-Brown


Black History Month is a great time to reflect on all the great things black people have done to contribute to the UK and just in general! The list is endless! I remember being in primary school and it was a time when we had posters around the school and put on events during assembly for this and this was special as 90% of the school at the time were black. However, I feel that it should all just be taught and thought about all year round (not just one month) and I hope to see this happen one day. 

Jess


I blog about travel and culture my website – www.roadtoculturedom.com  because I believe that you can find culture wherever you travel to (domestically or internationally) and I want to inspire others to do so through my experiences.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I feel like the challenges faced as a black blogger for me started with the lack of representation in mainstream travel spaces. When I started my journey, I had to search hard to find this and it gives the impression that you’ll have to work extra hard to have the same chance. This has changed as I got to know the black travel community more and connect with incredible bloggers both in the UK and abroad. I love how we are actively trying to change the diversity of travel and creating our own tables!

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

The black blogging community is doing well to bring Black History Month through social media, events etc. It is not just to other blacks people but everyone else who is interested and wants to understand the black culture more. I feel like once we start making black history month something that is celebrated all year round. This will do wonders to change how the Western World perceives black history. Social media is very powerful so anything is possible. 

DiyWithJoy

Black history month is empowering to me. But it means so much more than celebrating for a month. It means every day I can unapologetically celebrate my beautiful melanated whole self, black people around me and the historical black people before me who paved the way so I have a voice, a voice of freedom.

DiyWithJoy

As a travel, food and lifestyle blogger on www.diywithjoy.com, I create content to inspire and encourage a community to find more joy in travelling and cooking, life & wellbeing. I love creating delicious and nutritious recipes inspired by travelling as I explore different palates and flavours globally. I share tips on how to #travelsmart, solo travel tips to inspire more people, especially women to take the first step to travel solo, travel stories and advice while having an enriching experience and discovering the beauty of the world through my lens. You can catch up with the Diywithjoy platform on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

I feel that one of the challenges I have faced as a black blogger is that not everyone will like the content that you produce and that’s okay. This year I have really found my niche, my tribe and growing community in the blogging world and they have helped me understand what my audience would like to see more of from me.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

My blogging journey has helped me grow immensely in many ways as an individual. It has helped me strengthen my writing skills. Before blogging, I used to think I wasn’t much of a writer and more or a mathematician as I’m an engineer. I used to say to myself that I was better with numbers than words. Blogging has aided my cultivation for content writing and now I can boldly say to myself that I’m a great writer. Blogging has helped me become more organised, disciplined and accountable. It has also given me the courage to launch my travel business and has helped develop my confidence to put myself out there and network with other people which I am really grateful for.     

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

The black blogging community is really powerful and I think we can contribute more to Black history month but continuing to support one another, share more opportunities with each other and raise more awareness on why black history month is important and why it should be championed. 

And with that, I would like to say…

Happy Nigerian Independence Day

I hope you enjoyed reading about these amazing women and their journeys. Are your celebrating Black History Month? Check places to go – Read: 10 Black History Month Events to Attend in 2019

Share this article

Guest Post: Experienced Discrimination in Colombia

  1. First story

In my first year of living in Colombia, a group of girlfriends and I travelled to Cartagena. On one of the first nights, we went to a club called Bubaloos or something like that. We went in two separate groups, me being in the first. When we got there they told us the club was closed to a private event. Being our first time, we took it to be true and told our friends to meet us elsewhere. The next day we learned that other mutual friends had been there the night before and it began to sink in; they had turned us away because we weren’t the clientele they were seeking.

2. Second story

This is not quite travelling discrimination, but related to the stereotypes attached to black people in countries in which they are not the majority. While I was living in Santiago, Chile I had to experience being solicited as a sex worker at 4:30 in the afternoon as I walked to my apartment with grocery bags in tow.

After the shock and confusion wore off I asked Chilean friends why this had been assumed. The explanation was simple, if not completely limiting and infuriating: I was a black woman which meant I must have been Colombian and the only thing they “knew” about black Colombian women was they were prostitutes, particularly up in the mining towns in the north of the country. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time.

Share this article

Things You Should Know If You’re Wrongfully Arrested Abroad

Going on a holiday usually involves a nice getaway for a few days of work. For me at least. It usually means I experience a view of a city or spend some time by the sea. Travelling for me is not only my form of escape but a time to educate and refresh myself for my return home. It never ever involves being arrested for a false accusation.

On the 1st of August, I was invited by my boyfriend to meet his parents. In the trip, I knew I wanted to see the sites of Athens. What I experienced still till this day has left me humiliated and traumatised. How things can be massively exaggerated and blow out of proportion is beyond understanding. If you are yet to read the full story please read the full story – Arrested at the Acropolis: What Really Happened. 

There is guidance already on what one should do if arrested in a foreign country. After the ordeal of what I went through, I would suggest every single person that travels to read them. They can be found on this link – Help if you’re arrested abroad 

Protect yourself if you are arrested:

In all the countries I have been I have never ever been arrested! I feel it’s essential to know the following things below:

  • Know the number of the British Embassy for the country you are travelling too
  • Do not sign anything unless you fully understand what is being asked.
  • Contact your local embassy immediately
  • Request for a lawyer and a translator
  • Always have some form of identification with you on your person
  • Never argue with the local authorities
  • Tell the truth
  • Importantly stay calm and comply with the authorities

Looking back at the incident now, I don’t know how this could have been avoided. It could have happened anywhere and to anyone, but it occurred to me in Greece Athens, a country notoriously known for racism.

The Golden Dawn was a party that sat in the Greek parliament; and one of most far-right parties in Europe. While the party itself rejects the fascist label, it nonetheless espouses all core fascist- and more specifically Nazi- principles.

Five things you should be aware if you are ever arrested in a foreign country.

You can call the British Embassy

The first thing to do if you can is to ring the local British Embassy. There is an emergency contact number which you can also contact if the local embassy is closed. Unfortunately, I was unable to get through to the embassy at the time. One, I was hysterical and two my phone wasn’t allowing me to make calls.

When you do speak with the embassy, be sure to explain to them what happened clearly. They will advise you on what next to do, make them aware of where you are currently. The embassy can also arrange for friends and family to be informed. So be sure to identify someone you deeply trust.

Do not argue with the authorities (comply)

Comply with whatever the authorities ask you to do (within reason). This can be difficult if there is a language barrier. Do not sign anything you do not understand.

I was able to know what I needed to do next through signals. If they make signals for you to move or they are pushing you out of a site. I would advise you to comply and not argue.

Ask for a Translator 

According to the Acropolis, Police Station was convinced that they couldn’t provide me with any legal advice or a lawyer. This made me extremely uncomfortable, but there wasn’t much I could do at the time. I was very fortunate that my boyfriend agreed to translate the statement. If you can get a professional please do so.

Ask for Legal Support  

As a British Citizen, if arrested, you’re entitled to a lawyer and a translator. I, unfortunately, didn’t to receive any of these benefits until I was presented at court. Once you have contacted the British Embassy, they should be able to consult with what you should do next.

Remain calm  

This has to be the most important advice I can give you. You won’t really know or understand what is going on. In such an ordeal, many people will be telling you different bits of information. Try and remain calm in shock, you won’t understand what is going on.

If possible, try and remain calm because it can be terrifying. It was most certainly the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Moreover, I hope and pray that I never go through such an incident again. What helped me the most was having the love and support from you all. It really assured me that your prayers would be rightfully answered.

If you know you have done nothing wrong, then you have no reason to be at fault. I was able to speak the truth and immediately acquitted.

Thank you for taking the time to share, read and show your continued support. You may already know that I have now opened my blog to share other stories of discrimination while travelling. If you would like your account to be shared, please follow the link – Have you ever experienced discrimination?

Share this article

Arrested At The Acropolis: What Really Happened

There are several different versions of the story, and I only want to tell the truth about what happened to me in Athens. So, before I start, I want to state the facts of what happened:

  • On 1st August 2019, I went to the Acropolis temple with my boyfriend and his sister as we took pictures, I was grabbed by a woman and pushed out of the site. I was not once asked to leave or given any warning.
  • There was absolutely nothing wrong with my dress, I was arrested because a false accusation was made against me.
  • I was wrongly accused of a breach of sexual decency due to Karkos Anastasious, making a false statement that I lifted my dress twice.
  • The Acropolis site said they had video evidence of this. The surveillance never was presented to the police, me or the court.
  • I was acquitted.
  • I am now in the process of suing Karkos Anastasious for lying and racially targeting me for something I didn’t do.
View this post on Instagram

On the 1st August 2019, I was falsely accused for a ?????? ?? ?????? ??????? by a guard at the Parthenon Acropolis site. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ In his statement he said that I lifted my dress and flashed my geneitals twice to young children and adults that where sightseeing. This was complete fabrication, he also said that this was recorded on their surveillance camera at the site. This was never shown to me or the police when he gave his false statement.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ I spent the next 24 hours in police custody and was eventually taken to court to explain the truth. The judges could clearly see I was innocent and I was acquitted immediately. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ I am now being trolled on social media for speaking the truth. I understand people are entitled to their opinions as I am also, and I will continue to say that this was racism at its finest because other people where dressed similar if not in lighter outfits and I was targeted. I was not asked to leave I was screamed at in Greek and bunded into a room and was not told what I had done in English. I was lucky that my bf was able to translate to me what was being said. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Please understand that this had nothing to do with what I was wearing, I don't think it is a crime not to wear a bra. I was arrested because I was falsely accused of something I didn't do. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ I would like to thank those that have supported me in such a traumatic incident. I can't express to you how terrified I was for something I would never do. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣Please let the truth be told. ⁣#TravellingWhileBlack⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

A post shared by Adebola of #MyBreakingViews (@mybreakingviews) on

ARRESTED IN ATHENS

Two weeks ago, a guard at the Parthenon Acropolis in Athens wrongly accused me of exposing my genitals to children, leading to a traumatic series of events involving handcuffs, a charge of sexual indecency and more than 24 hours in custody at a Greek police station.

It has been an incredibly difficult past few weeks and to say that I’ve been shaken by this ordeal is a mild way to put it. There have been many different, sometimes false interpretations of what went on that fateful day, but here I am finally, presenting the truth.

THE ARRIVAL

My boyfriend Solomon and I arrived in Athens, El. Venizelos International Airport on 31st July at around 9.15pm after a 3-and-a-half hours’ flight from London’s Luton Airport. We were tired from a full day at work but mostly excited to explore the city we had been planning to visit for months.

Athens was where Solomon grew up and where most of his family still lives. They emigrated to Greece from Nigeria shortly after Solomon’s first birthday in search of a better life. Seeing his excitement when we arrived was an emotional moment for me.

It was obvious in his face as we sat on the x95 bus that he had a lot of fond memories growing up in Greece, and I was grateful to be sharing this special moment with him. Solomon had told me many stories about growing up in the birthplace of democracy. He told me that Athens was a city that truly expressed itself, which was evident by the endless number of graffiti engulfing the streets. I was truly excited to get to know this city more intimately.

The trip was also meant to be extra special as it was when I would meet Solomon’s parents for the first time. I am not going to lie, I was very nervous at first but they welcomed me with open arms and Greek Hospitality which made me feel truly at home.

THE ACROPOLIS

While we were planning the trip, we knew that visiting Athens’ iconic monuments were on the agenda. My trip was only for 3 days, so I prioritised seeing the Hellenic Parliament, the Acropolis and Plaka.

The Acropolis is an ancient fortress which sits atop a rocky hill in Athens. In English, ”acro” means the highest point while “polis” means city. It’s a beautiful site which homes a number of historically significant ancient Greek buildings and architecture.

I was so excited about visiting the site that I went to Boohoo and got a long halter-neck white dress. The idea was to dress like a Greek Goddess. It was the perfect dress, especially for the sometimes unbearable Greek heat (think 40 degrees 104 Fahrenheit!).

We embarked on our sightseeing trip mid-afternoon on 1st of August the second day we arrived. We then made our way to the Acropolis after a fruitful visit to the parliament. At the Parliament, I was impressed by how they were able to sustain the heat in their uniform.

When we arrived at the Acropolis, we were advised not to walk to the top of the site as it was too hot, so we went to do some other sightseeing around the area. From the architecture to the natural landscapes and the company that I had, everything about Athens was lovely and inspiring.            

At about 5.30pm, Solomon, his sister Rhoda and I headed over to the Acropolis. I had already seen lots of different pictures on social media and was excited about going over to see the historical site. I had learned that the Acropolis was built for the Goddess Athena, so I knew my outfit honoured that and was appropriate.

We headed straight to the top, taking pictures along the way. There were lots of laughs and even more photo-taking. We stood in front of the Parthenon, taking turns to take pictures. After Solomon posed for photos, it was my turn to pose for the camera. As I was posing, I felt my whole body being aggressively grabbed.

CHAOS AND CONFUSION

I wasn’t sure what was going on but tried my best to keep my cool while I was forcefully escorted by a woman and 3 to 4 other guards with walkie-talkies. In my confusion, I asked for an explanation in English. Instead of being answered, I was screamed at in Greek.

At this point, Solomon and Rhoda started speaking in Greek while I was still being escorted down the rocky and unbalanced terrain. I understood nothing and was confused but still didn’t think much of it.

I finally got to the bottom of the Acropolis and was shoved into a small room. I started to worry but wasn’t too panicked. It’s probably just a solvable misunderstanding, I thought. But when Rhoda burst into tears and said ”you’re a liar!” in English, I knew something was wrong.

Rhoda then explained to me that the guard said we were taking pornographic pictures and I literally burst out laughing at the absurdity of his accusation. I’m free-spirited and adventurous, sure. But Pornographic pictures? Umm, last time I checked, nipples are still banned from Instagram and that’s where all my pictures end up.

I quickly noticed a police car but did not believe that it would be for me. I was becoming restless and confused. Solomon had already shown the pictures to the staff, which were clearly far from pornographic, so I didn’t understand what else they wanted. Rhoda then explained that we should wait for ”CCTV evidence” of me taking pornographic pictures, evidence the guards said they had. I knew this wasn’t true and was happy to run along with their lies.

After about 5 mins or so of waiting for the purported proof, the guards asked for our IDs. As we did not have our passports with us, the guards said they could not show us the footage.

The police were already walking towards us and I started to get scared.  When the police came they continued communicating in Greek, so I left Solomon and Rhoda to deal with the police on my behalf. When I explained that I didn’t speak Greek, they told me in English that we had to give our phones and come to the police station to verify our identities and to search for the alleged ”pornographic pictures”. They said it will only take 5 minutes. I knew I had done nothing wrong, so I complied. I handed my phone to the police officers and was driven to the police station.

GREEK POLICE & CCTV FOOTAGE THAT NEVER WAS

An hour passed at the police station and I started to ask questions: When will we be leaving? When can I get my phone back? No one, not the eight officers surrounding us, answered my questions.

After asking them repeatedly, one officer finally explained to me in English that a guard at the Acropolis had alleged that I had flashed myself. The guard said that I had opened my legs wide to show my genitals to the public. I rejected this accusation and insisted that this was a lie, but the police officer said that the guard had CCTV evidence. I said that if I was under arrest that I should have at least have my rights read out to me, a lawyer and a translator. He assured me I wasn’t being arrested and told me to continue to wait for my phone to be thoroughly checked.

While I was waiting to get my phone back, Solomon’s parents arrived at the police station and were shocked and perplexed by the accusations. After three hours of waiting, I finally got my phone back.

But that did not mean I was free. At this point, I saw the Acropolis guard – my accuser, Karkos Anastasious, walk into the station. He was there to make his police statement. I hoped and prayed that he told the truth, figured out it was a misunderstanding and apologised. But I was dead wrong.

After Karkos Anastasious left, Solomon, Rhoda and I were brought in by police officers into a room separately to verify our identities. Finally, this is almost over, I thought.

One by one, the police brought Solomon, Rhoda and I for questioning. When it was my turn, I was asked in broken English to show the pictures I took on my phone. I complied and even showed them the Deleted Photos folder on my phone. I was then told to sit down and wait.

As I sat there, 4 or 5 officers began speaking to each other. I didn’t understand what they were saying but picked up on the word “Arrest”. 30 minutes in, I messaged Solomon.

Solomon looked upset and confused before he told me:

In a quiet tone Solomon said  “Ade, they’re saying you have to stay in custody. The guard made a crazy accusation about you and they are arresting you and you have to go to court tomorrow.”

This was when I made the first tweet informing the world of my arrest.

It would be a lie if I said I didn’t cry. I cried so much that I became hysterical.

What do you mean I’m staying here? What did I do to deserve this? I didn’t flash myself, I promise you! I pleaded and begged. I didn’t understand why someone would make such a lie up!

I started to ask for the video evidence while sobbing and screaming. Solomon tried to calm me down, explaining to me that there was no evidence, and that, I can request for it when I’m at court and tell the judges what had really happened.

With tears in my eyes, I begged for a translator. I did not believe what was going on nor what Solomon was telling me. I still clung to the hope that perhaps, he had mistranslated but the officers simply responded with a shrug, informing me that there is none. Some moments I thought Solomon was lying and at other moments I genuinely believed the whole ordeal was a nightmare. I could not fathom what was going on.

I tried contacting the British Embassy, but my phone wouldn’t make calls (I later found out that EE had turned off my outgoing calls in Europe).

IN CUSTODY

I was in deep shock. ME, going to court? I had never been to court a day in my life and today I was going to stay in a cell and be heard in court in a foreign country. Solomon, who tirelessly continued to speak in Greek to the officers on my behalf, explained to me that as there weren’t enough beds and since I was crying and seemed shaken by the ordeal, the officers would allow me to stay at the police station while I was in custody. Solomon asked to stay with me, and he was allowed to.  I didn’t feel like it was his role but as I didn’t know what I was being accused of I asked Solomon if he would translate the statement made by my accuser, Karkos Anastasious.

In his statement, he said that he had walked over to me, asking me to leave. He said that instead of leaving the premises, I lifted my dress and flashed my genitals to adults not once, but twice. Of course, I had done no such thing.

Solomon and I sat in the station from 6 pm on 1st August till 10 am the next day. In that time, I slept for less than an hour without any food.

The conditions at the police station where I was detained was disgusting. The toilet had no light, no tissue and was filthy. At one point, Solomon offered to accompany me to the toilet with his phone flashlight so I could see, but he was immediately instructed by officers not to. As I couldn’t use the toilet without any tissue anyway, I held it in.

At 10 pm, Solomon left me to get some food and tissue paper. I was crying a lot despite his best attempts to calm me down and make the hellish affair as comfortable as possible. He even pushed some chairs together so we could lie down and get some rest.

But I wasn’t able to calm down. I had so many questions, but no one to answer them. I was glad that I still had my phone, which I used to communicate with friends and family about what was going on. In the time we were held at the police station, several different police officers entered the office, smoking with different girls. It didn’t look like they were working, but I decided to stay as quiet and inoffensive as possible and try to get some rest.

Being a black female travel blogger, I decided that sharing this was important for people to understand what it’s can be like while travelling black. I prayed and prayed that whatever this was, I would wake up from this nightmare. I could not understand why someone would make such a disgusting lie about another person. I could not come up with any reason except for that I was being targeted as a black woman.

I was told that I would be taken to court at 8 am the next day, but at 8.30 am my fingerprints were taken by a police officer, which required black-ink all over my hands. Solomon then told me that he wasn’t allowed to go with me to court and that he would have to leave soon. This brought me to tears, so he decided to stay a little longer.

The thought of being left alone with people that didn’t speak English terrified me. I had heard already of a Nigerian man, father of two, that was held in custody February this year, and didn’t come out alive. I only thought the worst for myself. I was scared, terrified even. I started to enter a downward spiral of all the worst things that could happen to me. All routes of that spiralled to images of prison or death.

Solomon then broke the news to me that I would need to be put in handcuffs while being transported to court. I began to cry again.

9.30am came by, more than an hour after I was meant to be in court. When it was time for Solomon to leave I kept a brave face on as crying would only oblige him to stay. At approximately 10 am, the British Embassy called me explaining that I needed to call a lawyer from a list they had sent me via email and that my boyfriend needed to bring me my passport.

All the calls I made to the listed lawyers either didn’t get through or it was to a lawyer that didn’t deal with criminal law. At this point, I felt so alone and in an utter state of panic.

Moments later, a man came into the office, speaking Greek. One of the officers prompted me to follow him. To my surprise, I wasn’t put in handcuffs, which calmed me down a bit. I followed the officer to a small car where two men were cuffed together in the back seat of the vehicle, prompting a fresh bout of tears to spring from my eyes.

The prisoner who sat in the middle of the back seat tapped my knee in an attempt to provide some comfort, which I appreciated. I continued to beg God to get me out of this in one piece.

I was taken to what I believed to be some sort of prison, and we were all put into one room. The room had my stomach-churning. The room was a yellow-painted wall with stains all over it and smelled revolting. The benches we had to sit on were shabby with stains on them. I had never seen anything like this before.

There were around 50 to 60 other alleged criminals in the room, with many of them smoking and speaking on their mobiles. Less than five of us were women and two young girls were handcuffed together. I sat next to the young girls while a man stared, licking his lips. I felt extremely uncomfortable and did my best to cover myself with my bag.

There was a group of men who walked in with no shoes on and with bruised arms and legs, which scared me even more. Every time I started crying, the other prisoners continued to encourage me to be calm with a thumbs up. I was there for nearly 3 hours while we were called upon one at a time to take our pictures and fingerprints. I was also increasingly desperate for the toilet but refused to go as there was no light, and the smell was nauseating. Although I had a watch on, I stopped keeping track of the time as it was only making me more anxious. I was supposed to be at the beach and I was meant to be going home the next day. Instead, I was sat in a cell for something I didn’t do.

Eventually, I was put in handcuffs. I wasn’t cuffed to another person. Thank God, I thought. At this point, I was trying to count the small blessings in such a horrid situation. There was only one great thing about that cell and that was leaving for my next hurdle.

ACQUITTED IN ATHENS

On my way to court, I was asked by another prisoner if I was ok. I nodded with the hope not to have to speak to anyone for fear of trouble. I stayed quiet, I wanted out of this situation, and the only way to get out of there was for me to keep silent and keep out of trouble.

When I arrived at the court, Solomon was already there calling out positive affirmations to me through the window of the coach I was sitting in. “We are going home today, baby!,” he shouted.

I burst into tears, fighting it was no use. He had also come with his family. Getting off the coach in handcuffs and having his family see me in cuffs was such a shameful experience: Within 24 hours of meeting my partner’s parents, they were seeing me in handcuffs. I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole and make me disappear.

Solomon and his family followed me into an area where all prisoners were being kept. He wasn’t allowed to come and talk to me but called my name to wave at me and tell me that he had found me a translator. I lifted my cuffed hands to wave back. I was so worried because I hadn’t been able to get a lawyer. My friend Debbie had been messaging me about one, but my battery was weak. I finally spoke to my translator that told me that I had to remain patient.

Another hour or two had passed when all prisoners were led to a courtroom. My boyfriend and his family stood outside right behind me with words of encouragement and supportive smiles. I felt reassured to have his family behind me as well as the love and support I received.

One by one, a prisoner was led out of the courtroom. I didn’t know where they were going, but the room slowly emptied. After an hour or so, all of the last few prisoners, including myself, were instructed into another room. I saw 3 judges sat at the far end of the court in front of us. One by one, a prisoner was called to stand in front of the judges.

When my name was called to stand in front of the judges, I gulped and took a deep breath: my legs were shaken, and my belly was turning. I stood up in front of the judges, to tell the truth. My translator asked me a few questions like where I lived and what I did for a living. I explained this in detail. I was asked how do I plead to the charges. Athough, Solomon had already explained to me what I was being charged for I still wanted to confirm with the translators who tried to explain them to me. I denied all charges and requested for video evidence to be shown where I was doing this and for the guard that made the false allegation. He was called on twice but didn’t come to the stand. I then explained that I would never intentionally come to a country and disrespect it. I was only trying to honour the Greek Goddess with my outfit. I told the judges that I had witnesses with me here today that can testify against what the guard said.

At this point, the translator asked me to hold on as he said I didn’t need to explain myself further. I WAS ACQUITTED! I didn’t even hear what had been said. Time had frozen for me. The translator explained again that I was free to go. I was in a standstill for a split second, and I looked up and burst into tears. My God had seen me through. I was proven innocent and free to go. I was innocent! I am innocent!

Writing this to you was raw for me, and involved many rounds of fresh tears and crying. In some ways, it has let me realise some pain I am still holding on too.

I stand by my belief that I have experienced racism, and I now want to use my platform to help other people that have experienced discrimination while travelling to share their story. I was targeted as a black woman and I am sure I am not and will not be the first person to be targeted this way. There are many others, not just in Greece and other countries that have been targeted while travelling.

GRATEFUL

I have to say how eternally grateful for those who have supported me. Honestly, thank you. I am in absolute awe. You showed me what a great community we are in. I have many specific people to be thankful for mainly: Nomadness, Eulanda and Omo, Ardil (for legal advice), Marty and Debbie, my sister Renee and my family (who called the British Embassy for me). There are many others who have lent me their helping hand and honestly can’t thank them all enough. The support I received was truly overwhelming.

To those that were against me, I hope you have taken the time to read on what really happened and judge for yourself from a fair and objective manner. Either way, thank you for reading to the end – you now know the full truth.

Please note: I know my story has been shared on several platforms including, The Sun, The Daily Mail, Fox News, The Mirror, Open TV and many more. I want to discredit anyone who believes I was paid for my story. I do not intend to be paid for this tragedy. My only intention is to tell the story as transparent as possible.

Share this article