Dativah Nitsios is one of the most active women within the community sector in New South Wales. Her resume includes an array of accomplishments promoting and elevating the virtues of Australia and what the country offers to emerging and new migrant communities and especially women, raising awareness about mental health while tackling domestic and family violence. Ms Nitsios has also coordinated activities of the Multicultural Exchange Program where women from different cultural backgrounds from Sydney visit women in other parts of NSW to share experiences as an initiative of social inclusion.
Through her leadership and commitment to social justice and capacity she continues to support and empower African communities residing in and outside Australia as an active participant in the City2Surf raising money for ROAR, a charity that supports orphans and disadvantaged children in Rwanda.
Without pushing her humanitarian work aside, together with her Greek Australian husband James, Ms Nitsios decided to venture into the world of travel, introducing Australians to the off-the-beaten-track beauty of her motherland.
The couple recently launched Daventure Tours, operated by individuals born and raised in East Africa functioning here in Australia. This means that you are in the hands of the locals who know the area like the back of their hands.
“Whether you want to see wildlife, birding, climb mountains, encounter colourful cultures or come face-to-face with the mighty mountain gorillas in their natural habitat or even do some development work while on holiday, we ought to offer an incredible experience,” Dativah says.
“We tailor itineraries based on your personal interests, whether you are a couple, a single traveller, family or group, we have got something for you.
“We offer options, make recommendations and guide you with an appropriate itinerary that works for you. Where to go, stay, see and do each day from luxurious lodging to standard and budget.”
Whether it’s for a few days, a week, a month or even more, keeping the travellers’ safety a top priority is not negotiable for the Nitsios family.
“At the moment it’s my business, with my husband supporting me in each step and later on I hope it can become a family business,” Ms Nitsios tells Neos Kosmos.
“I have been sitting on the idea of Daventure Tours for four years. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who owns a lodge in Uganda and I have been telling her for four years that I am going to start but I never did. What always came to my mind was fear for failure.”
An unexpected thing to say, especially when it comes from a woman who always pushes people to find and accomplish their dreams, educating CALD communities and ensuring so many migrants pursue their goals in life. With all those fears, she still kept her dream alive.
“Being passionate about travelling and an avid traveller myself, it helped me keep my fire burning,” she explains.
“I started with a Facebook page and got some followers, I kept pitching to people whenever possible. I would then get great feedback. I asked questions if people would travel to East Africa and they liked the sound of it. I have a few friends who are aspiring entrepreneurs, we started getting together and encouraging ourselves and it really strengthened us to continue committing to our vision. This year I thought so hard and said to myself, ‘if I don’t try, I will never know’. I registered the business, bought a domain and by doing this could help me not to give up. Then I started working on the content and everything came in place.”
Her passion for travelling, rubbed off on her husband and their children; together they roam Australia and share magnificent photos of East Africa. The family of four have their own special way of making everything seem easy; Dativah stresses that it is a work in progress that stems from the desire to learn, and by accepting each other’s differences.
“I like that we are a mixed family, we have all learnt from each other so much,” she muses.
“Me and my husband were brought up in totally different worlds; what shaped me when growing up is not the same as him. However we do have similarities, we are Christians and we were raised with strong family values regardless of our different worlds. Respect and treating others with empathy is paramount regardless of where they come from or their status. A human being is a human being and there is only one race which is the human race. We teach our children those same values that we share.”
She met her husband in her early days in Australia, when she would hop on trains, going on endless rides while trying to familiarise herself with her new city.
“On the day I met my husband I decided to check out Cronulla, moving around like any new person who doesn’t know the area he noticed and spoke to me; then that was the start of our relationship.”
What is it like for an African woman to share a family with a Greek man?
“Of course we do have challenges culture-wise,” she says. “There are things that we misinterpret from both my culture and the Greek culture but we have learnt to compromise, educate each other and understand why we do certain things. Our differences can enhance our interests.”
According to Dativah, there are more similarities between the two cultures.
“We love to party about anything. We celebrate with food and always think of friends or strangers who might pass by; filoxenia in Greek! We celebrate with music and dance and normally talk over each other. We use our hands a lot when talking.
“Family and community are important; family values make us who we are. Australia happens to be the country our families have settled in and that coincidentally has connected us.”
As avid travellers themselves, Dativah and her husband poured their extensive knowledge and experiences with African communities in Australia and marketing respectively through their careers into this new business to ensure they offer a travel experience that sets itself apart from the competition. Daventure Tours aspires to offer a cultural experience apart from a holiday.
“The value proposition of Daventure Tours is ‘Let the locals of Africa residing in Australia make your travel plan for you so that you can enjoy like a local’.”
Instead of doing ‘bits and pieces’ of everything, the business specialises in East African tourism.
“I was born and brought up in Uganda, lived in Rwanda and know Kenya and Tanzania well, and Daventure Tours is determined to provide more insights and magnificent locations that, very limited, other tour providers would not be able to provide.”
For more information go to daventuretours.com