The tragic death of Kobe Bryant prompted this black woman to start a travel agency in Ghana
Vidette Adjorlolo is the founder and CEO of Shawl sorted, a black-owned travel agency in Ghana that offers tours in Africa. Situated in AccraSorted Chale was born after Adjorlolo felt intense grief following the tragic death by Kobe Bryant, in January 2020.
“I was a 26-year-old banker based in hong kong, living what most people would amount to a dream. Boozy Sunday brunches, virtually tax-free salaries and a great reputation at work. Still, I was still not satisfied and wanted more,” Adjorlolo told Travel Noire.
Through depression and suicidal thoughts, Adjorlolo, originally from Ghana and brought up in the UK, couldn’t stop thinking about the death of Kobe Bryant and the impact it had on our lives. “Kobe Bryant couldn’t have lived a healthier life, the man did what he loved and did it to the best of his abilities. Kobe died fulfilled.
Fast forward to 2022, this travel agency in Ghana generated 6 figure revenue. Adjorlolo has been invited to speak at Harvard University and her company has attracted celebrities like luck the rapper, Vic Mensa and Bozoma Saint-Jean.
Adjorlolo spoke to Travel Noire about his journey as a successful entrepreneur to opening a travel agency in Ghana:
Kobe’s death and the opening of Sorted Chale
In December 2020, in the midst of the covid19 pandemic, I decided to go against all odds, leave my comfortable job at HSBC Hong Kong and move to Ghana to launch Sorted Chale, a travel startup focused on providing authentic experiences for diaspora and international communities seeking to explore Africa. The decision to take the plunge was triggered by the death of Kobe Bryant. After Kobe died, I was inspired by the fact that he lived his life doing what he loved and valued, but I was simultaneously petrified by the brevity of life and the need to live life. with urgency.
At 26, my greatest fear was to leave this earth unsatisfied. The more I thought about it, the more it became obvious to me that it was time to stop and embark on the adventure of creating Sorted Chale, a diaspora and international-focused travel startup in Ghana. So I wrote an email to my boss and told him that life was too short and that I had to live to the fullest of my ability.
By December 12, I had collected my savings, packed my bags and caught a flight to Ghana, to become the travel entrepreneur I dreamed of being.
A successful travel agency based in Africa
For many, this decision was crazy and made little sense, but for me, it made all the sense in the world. The world of travel was changing slowly due to the pandemic and from a strategic point of view, I felt that by launching Sorted Chale, it would give me breathing room to catch up with my predecessors in the industry, and that is exactly what she did. A year and a half later, Sorted Chale had organized experiments for universities like Harvard, Wharton, Chicago Booth, and Virginia Darden. More recently, Sorted Chale has also seen a rise in celebrity guests or “chales” as they like to call their guests, such as Bozoma St John, Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, who notably tweeted that his “chance encounter with Sorted Chale changed her life.”
Traveling through Africa
For Sorted Chale, tourism also goes beyond the fun and participation of Detty December from Ghana and Nigeria or the historical depth provided by Ethiopia and Egypt. Tourism is also the socio-economic progress of Africa. I always wonder, as an entrepreneur, what role am I playing in solving big social problems like underemployment in Africa.
I realize that Sorted Chale can’t solve every problem, but it can most definitely help solve some. Sorted Chale’s commitment to solving social issues is reflected in its hiring of young people. Currently, the company has an 80% Gen-Z team and in December 2021, its peak season, it defied the odds by paying staff a daily rate, which was 20 times the Ghanaian minimum wage for workers. seasonal roles.
For me, if I can live to see as many people travel to Africa as I do to Southeast Asia and Europe, I would be proud to have been part of the era of travel entrepreneurs who made this possible.
The meaning of Chale sorted
When asked about Sorted Chale’s role in Africa, I enthusiastically shared that for her, Sorted Chale’s role was identifiable by name. The word “Chale” in the Ghanaian jargon means “friend” or “brother” (among others) and for Sorted Chale there is a desire to see the internationalization of the word “Chale”, across the corners of the earth, since it symbolizes community and friendship. At the heart of Sorted Chale is the idea that “a stranger is a friend you’ve never met before” and their mission is to ensure that everyone who experiences Africa with them feels the warmth and community they seek to build, while being confident. that everything they do on the African continent is sorted.
You can follow Sorted Chale on his Instagram Account.