‘Not even death could stop me’ - European tour operator’s love for Ja not shaken by gunman’s threat
Since I was 15 years old, I have been dreaming about Jamaica. And finally, when I was 20, I travelled there – with the intention to get to know Jamaica as best as possible and collect enough information and pictures to write books and plenty travel reports about this amazing island for the most popular magazines in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
My first stop was Kingston, and my first experience was in the ghetto, where one gunman wanted to shoot me because I took pictures in that area, and that made him mad. I was never fearful of anything, and this bad experience could not distract me from my love for the country.
Simply put, I was travelling alone, a young girl, not interested in any ganja or drugs, not interested in any sexual or love affairs, not interested in any alcohol; just very interested in becoming an expert on things Jamaican.
And it happened. Today, I know Jamaica better than any Jamaican. I travel to Jamaica every year – three to four times – exploring and continuously becoming a real expert.
I wrote and published four books about Jamaica. I presented Jamaica here in East Europe in a positive light. I teach people how to explore Jamaica and stay safe everywhere, even in the Kingston ghettos.
Fifteen to 10 years ago, almost no one from Slovakia or the Czech Republic travelled to Jamaica, but I was advertising Jamaica in a huge way via my travel reports in popular magazines, in my books, and later in TV documentaries that were made in Jamaica, plus plenty of radio and television interviews on my website and on social media.
And lately, since 2015, finally, Slovaks and Czechs have started travelling to Jamaica in huge numbers.
I became a tour operator, and seven guys from some of the most dangerous Kingston ghettos became my professional tour guides, and we all are showing Europeans the parishes of St Andrew and St Catherine, where tourists normally would not have been brave enough to go without us.
Some 390 Slovakians and Czechs visit Kingston every year with me – saying, “Kingston is the most beautiful and safest place in Jamaica, and Kingstonians are the best people in Jamaica that tourists can ever meet.”
So, this is what I do. After 20 years of hard work, I created a good name for Kingston, and Jamaica in general, for Europeans.
Now tell me, which other ‘whitey’ is doing so much for cleaning up the bad reputation of Jamaica and Kingston? Plus, I ensure all my tourists bring gifts for the poorest Jamaicans in the ghettos!
People in the ghettos of Kingston realise that to work for white tourists makes their lives better than crime, violence, and smuggling.
– Nita Kimuri