For this week’s Stamped, Kiki Mordi, journalist and Emmy-nominated investigative reporter, walks us through her week-long trip to Jamaica with her mother. She talks about the activities they did together and how happy the trip made her mum.
This is her story as told to Chukwunonso Emelumadu, writer at Backdrop
I enjoy travelling, and I’m happy that my work allows me to do it from time to time. I’ve done quite a bit of travelling in my life, both for work and leisure. Some countries I’ve visited include Kenya, Cameroon, Brazil, UAE and Germany, to name a few.
For my mother's birthday in November last year, we decided to go to Jamaica. My mum was in America at the time, while I was in Nigeria, and we wanted to celebrate together. So, to have the best time possible, we chose a place with good ambience, great weather and amazing vibes. We stayed there for a week because one day really isn’t enough to celebrate my mother.
My mum and I linked up in Montego Bay. She actually got there a day before me. Montego Bay has amazing scenery, and the presence of the ocean next to it makes it really popular for tourists. We even had a view of the sea from our resort, which was really nice.
We stayed at Jewel Grande, and I don’t think we could have picked a better, more beautiful place. It’s a seaside resort that also has a view of the mountains. The resort is an attraction in itself and all we did on the day we arrived was explore it. We had lunch by the pool and went to the beach outside to take a lot of pictures. After dinner, we went dancing. It was a really nice first day.
The next day, we went snorkelling. We went to this river called the Blue Hole — it lights up at night because of the Algae that lives in the water. It doesn’t light up until you touch the water, so if you dive, it turns blue around your body, and I found that pretty cool. We also visited Dunn’s River Falls and climbed to the top of the waterfall; it was pretty hectic, but we made it.
The next day was my mum’s birthday, so we had a whole photoshoot session. She dressed up, and I was really excited to be her photographer for the day. In the evening, we had the birthday dinner. The resort staff made it really nice: They sang for her, and gave her cake and champagne. It was really memorable because of how happy she was. Then we dressed up and went to the Martha Brae River for a rafting tour. We were on bamboo sticks that were tied together, and we were floating around the river. The tour guide also told us about Jamaica’s history, so we really enjoyed it.
The next day was for pampering. We had a hot water bath and a saltwater bath. Then we went to the beach to have drinks and talk to people. I met a lady who worked at the BBC that was also on a trip with her mum, and we just connected; we took lots of pictures. We also swam in a pool at the resort, and at night, we went to a rooftop party.
The next day, we went on the Catamaran Cruise. It’s basically just a cruise that goes around the Caribbean with good music and good vibes. We sunbathed, saw the coral reefs, went snorkelling, fed some fish and stopped at Margaritaville to party. It was a really eventful day filled with calm, relaxing vibes. Jamaica is a wonderful place to just chill.
For our final day in Jamaica, we went kayaking and sailing at the beach next to the resort. There was a cooking class being held there, and we joined it; we learnt how to make Jamaican goat curry. I love learning new things and taking little parts of the culture with me when I travel. The next day we went to the airport and left Jamaica.
I know my mum really enjoyed the trip because she couldn’t stop talking about it and posting clips from it on her socials. It was really nice to explore a new city with her. We loved learning about Jamaican history, especially how many of the early people there came through slavery from West Africa — this seemed really important to my mum. I’m a bit of a history lover, so it was fascinating to me that I didn’t know that aspect of their history.
I’m delighted that I could really bond with my mother in this beautiful country. Spending my mother’s birthday in Jamaica was definitely a top-tier decision.