Detroit Native Jessica Nabongo – First Black Woman to Travel to all 195 Countries


Detroit native Jessica Nabongo is on a mission to be the first black female to visit all 195 UN member countries. Nabongo is a writer, photographer, travel influencer and public speaker. She has lived in five countries on four different continents, including the U.S., and traveled to more than 167 countries and territories. Conde Nast recently named Jessica one of the 30 Most Powerful Woman in Travel.

Two years ago, Nabongo decided to move back to Detroit and make it her home, returning to the city between all of her travels. For the last 12 years she celebrated her birthday in foreign countries with friends and family. This year she marks her 35th year of life and she’s bringing the celebration to her beloved hometown, Detroit.

#Catchmeindetroit is a 35th birthday celebration and kickoff to Jessica Nabongo’s travels to the last 26 countries on her mission. Tickets grant access to her exhibition, showcasing her photography from more than 150 countries. All photographs in the exhibition will be for sale. The event will have light appetizers and cocktails, plus an opportunity to meet new people, chat with Jessica and explore her travels.

“Detroit’s best asset is its people and we are thrilled to introduce Detroit to the world through Jessica’s efforts,” said Larry Alexander, DMCVB president & CEO. The DMCVB will be sponsoring Nabongo’s upcoming Catch Me In Detroit event (May 17-19).

Nabongo was born and raised in Detroit by Ugandan immigrant parents. She previously worked for the United Nations. Nabongo graduated from St. John’s University in New York with an undergraduate degree in English literature and completed a master’s degree at the London School of Economics. She honed her photography skills along the way, leading to the creation of her blog, The Catch Me If You Can.

Nabongo founded Jet Black, a luxury travel firm that hosts group trips and curates itineraries to countries in Africa, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Her work as a travel writer and entrepreneur has led to speaking opportunities around the world. She uses her story to educate and inspire others to travel, experience the world around them and create the life they want to live.