Brand Maasai: Why nomads might trademark their name

Imagine a Maasai warrior, or a Maasai woman adorned with beads – it’s one of the most powerful images of tribal Africa. Dozens of companies use it to sell products – but Maasai elders are now considering seeking protection for their ” brand”.

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Dressed in smart white checked shirt and grey sweater, you’d hardly know Isaac ole Tialolo is Maasai.The large round holes in his ears – where his jewellery sometimes sits – might be a clue, though.

Isaac is a Maasai leader and elder. Back home in the mountains near Naivasha, in southern Kenya, he lives a semi-nomadic life, herding sheep, goats, and – mostly importantly – cattle.

But Isaac is also chair of a new organisation, the Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative, and it’s a project that’s beginning to take him around the world – including, most recently, London.

“We all know that we have been exploited by people who just come around, take our pictures and benefit from it,” he says.

“We have been exploited by so many things you cannot imagine.”

Crunch time for Isaac came about 20 years ago, when a tourist took a photo of him, without asking permission – something the Maasai, are particularly sensitive about.

“We believed that if somebody takes your photograph, he has already taken your blood,” he explains.

Isaac was so furious that he smashed the tourist’s camera.

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Twenty years later, he is mild-mannered and impeccably turned out – but equally passionate about what he sees as the use, and abuse, of his culture.

“I think people need to understand the culture of the others and respect it,” he says.

“You should not use it to your own benefit, leaving the community – or the owner of the culture – without anything.”

“If you just take what belongs to somebody, and go and display it and have your fortune, then it is very wrong. It is very wrong,” he says.

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Olivia_Palermo_Maasai_Project_Campaign_010Olivia Palermo ambassador of the Maasai Project 2013 for Pikolinos
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According to Light Years IP – an NGO which specialises in securing intellectual property rights in developing countries – about 80 companies around the world are currently using either the Maasai image or name.

These include Land Rover, which has a range of accessories called Masai; Masai Barefoot Technology, which makes speciality trainers; and high-end fashion house Louis Vuitton which has a Masai line, including beach towels, hats, scarves and duffle bags.

Light Years IP is involved in a niche – but growing – area of development policy, known as “intellectual property value capture”.

The argument is that intellectual property rules offer the potential to provide a valuable source of income for people in developing countries, who tend to get only a small sliver of the profits made on their goods on the international market.

If the Maasai ” brand” were owned by a corporation, it would be worth more than $10m (£6.6m) a year – perhaps even “tens of millions”, according to Layton. How much of this the Maasai might be able to claim would be up to negotiation.

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MAASAI5-655x430Features of the HIGHLY ENDANGERED: THE MAASAI awareness campaign.

“It’s time the world sat up and took notice,” says Lord Boateng, a member of the UK’s House of Lords, whose grandfather was a cocoa farmer in Ghana. “It’s an idea whose time has come.”

Boateng is on the board of directors of the newly-created African IP Trust, which has taken on the Maasai as one of its first cases.

“They are not getting value. Their image is being abused,” says Boateng.

“The Maasai are an ancient and sophisticated people – they know they are being ripped off and they want this to stop.”

It is not yet certain that the Maasai will choose to pursue intellectual property protection – Maasai elders like Isaac ole Tialolo want to be sure that the whole community is on board first.

Together with Light Years IP, he has been travelling around Maasai areas holding meetings and workshops.

It’s a huge task – according to some estimates, there could be as many as three million Maasai, in 12 districts, spread across a vast swathe of Kenya and Tanzania.

So far, they have reached about 1.2 million people.

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Once the consultation is complete – and if the Maasai choose to go forward – the plan is to create a General Assembly of Maasai elders, trained in IP, who would act as a legal body specifically on this issue, negotiating with companies via a licensing agent, on a case-by-case basis.

For the moment, the Maasai are not going after any companies – though they have written to a number, in cases where they have found the use of their name or image to be particularly offensive.

-BBC

Conference Tourism; A booster for Kenya’s ranking

The Tourism sector receives some good news as Kenya gets ranked second as a Conference and meetings destination in Africa by The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Kenya’s ranking shoots up from its previous third position and comes second after south Africa. It also falls on the 58th position globally in the ‘Country& City rankings 2012’ unfortunately slipping two positions.

Kenyatta_Conference_CentreKenyatta International Conference Centre

Tourism permanent secretary Ruth Solitei stated that the performance demonstrates how conference tourism in Kenya is growing and further addressed the need for more convention and conference facilities of international standards in the country.

In city rankings, Nairobi was positioned second after Cape Town having hosted 22 international meetings while the latter hosted 38. Mombasa and Naivasha tied at position 34 with Naivasha making a remarkable first time entry in the rankings. It has been regarded as an  emerging city destination. Last year, Kenya hosted 29 international association conferences and Nairobi emerged 100th best city destination, up four places from the position it held in 2011.

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USA topped the list globally after hosting 833 conferences with Germany in second position followed by Spain having hosted 649 and 550 conferences respectively.

Governor Joho in Clean up exercise

In a clean up initiative dubbed Mji Wetu Wajibu Wetu, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho led amongst others; students, local music artists, the US navy, companies, politicians and other residents in an effort to bringing out a new image to Mombasa county. The exercise launched on the 18th of may, targeted  areas known to be a menace in terms of garbage accumulation; Kongowea Market, Mwembe Tayari, Marikiti (Mackinon), Majengo and other parts of the CBD.

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This initiative which is sponsored by the private sector is clearly a step in the right direction although eliciting  mixed reactions; some locals have applauded the efforts while others are still reserved about it stating that cleaning the town once a month will bring no clear change. Earlier on, hoteliers and some businessmen had gone to court accusing the Mombasa Council of not collecting garbage.

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The exercise is aimed at making Mombasa one of the cleanest in East Africa as well as attracting more tourists in a better, cleaner environment. It has since been declared a monthly exercise.

Borana Tribe

The Borana tribe originally hails from Southern Ethiopia with their language “borana” falling under a broader Oromo grouping; originally of an Eastern Cushite family of the Afro-Asiatic language.The Borana people shifted from Ethiopia into the South and Northern areas of Kenya in the early years of the 16th century and are currently residents of  Isiolo, Tana River, Garissa, Moyale, and Marsabit Districts.

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The Borana are nomadic people who deal with harsh weather conditions; dry and hot with irregular torrential rain, and are often forced to migrate in search of greener pasture for their animals. These people depend on milk and its products e.g yoghurt for survival and will seldom slaughter their animals for meat as livestock is extremely valuable to them. Milk supplemented by corn bread is their staple food.

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Not only do the Borana keep their herds for food, but also as major resource of wealth, and are applied to payment of bride price as well as legal fines. The animals are also believed to have strong linkage to their belief systems and are vital for sacrifices and rituals to guarantee fertility, health, and assistance from spirits. Animals  reared include; Cows,  goats, sheep and at times camels.

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Polygamy is rife among the Borana and therefore a majority of the men have at least two wives; or even more. Family relations are closely knit; and children are very important, therefore fathers are caring to their small children. The Borana strictly practice segregation of duties between the men and women. Men take care of herds whereas the women stay home taking care of the children and partaking in day-to-day chores.

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In essence, the Borana women play a major role in the community having to; build houses, usually portable traditional round grass huts called the dasse, do tea ceremonies during the opening ceremony of the new houses and they also have the responsibility of  relocating the villages from place to place by camel or sometimes donkey.

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The Borana cultural dress code is made up of a shawl or light blanket type over-wrap. Women wear scarf head coverings while men often wear a “prayer beanie” cap or a turban.

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The Borana people are very artistic and produce beautiful cultural things that can be gotten as souvenirs; from beaded leather jackets to prettily designed jewelry. 

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Msafiri’s Swahili Phrase guide

Kenya is a country made up of many tribes; 43 and more and swahili/ kiswahili (being the national language) stands out as the language that unifies these groups. Swahili has taken root in many countries as well and is widely spoken in regions of Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo and Zambia; it is the most widely spoken African language.

In Kenya, “JAMBO” swahili for  “hello” is a greeting most commonly associated with tourists  and is often the first word learnt …this is also evident in the famous welcoming song “Jambo Bwana” by them mushrooms.

While exploring  the beautiful Kenya, learning a little swahili will come a long way in helping you enjoy a smooth and enjoyable adventure when interacting with the locals.

This guide will give you access to some helpful basic Swahili:

 

USEFUL GREETINGS

Jambo (informal used on tourists) or Hujambo? (Hello, good day, how are you?)

Jambo or Sijambo (the response) I’m fine!

Habari? How are things?

Nzuri (Fine, good)

Hodi! Hello? Anyone in? (said on knocking or entering)

Karibu  Come in, enter, welcome(also said on offering something)

Kwaheri/ ni

Goodbye to one/ many

Asante/ ni

Thank you to one/ many

Bwana

 

Mama

Mister, the equivalent of monsieur in French

 

Like the French madame or madamoiselle, for adult women

Kijana

 

Mtoto

Youth, teenager(plural,vijana)

 

Child, kid(plural,watoto)

 

BASIC NEEDS

Where can I stay?

Naweza Kukaa wapi?

Can I stay here?

Naweza kukaa hapa?

Room/s

Chumba/vyumba

Bed/s

Kitanda/vitanda

Chair/s

Kiti/viti

Table/s

Meza

Toilet, bathroom

Choo, bafu

Washing water

Maji ya kuosha

Hot/cold water

Maji moto/baridi

I’m hungry

Ninasikia njaa

I’m thirsty

Nina kiu

Is there any?

Iko… or Kuna?…

Yes there is…

Iko…or kuna…

No there isn’t any

Hakuna

How much?

Ngapi?

money

Pesa

What price?

Bei gani?

How much does it cost?

Pesa Ngapi?

I want…

Nataka

I don’t want

Sitaki

Give me/Bring me (can I have?)

Nipe/Niletee

Again

Tena

Enough

Tosha/basi

Expensive

Ghali/sana

Cheap(also”easy”)

Rahisi

Fifty cents

Sumni

Reduce the price,come down a little

Punguza kidogo

Shop

Duka

Bank

Benki

Post office

Posta

Café,restaurant

Hoteli

Telephone

Simu

Cigarettes

Sigara

I’m ill

Mimi mgonjwa

Doctor

Daktari

Hospital

Hospitali

Police

Polisi

 

TRAVEL AND DIRECTIONS

Bus/es

Bas,basi / mabasi

Car /s, Vehicle/ s

Gari/ Magari

Taxi

Teksi

Bicycle

Baiskeli

Train

Treni

Plane

Ndege

Boat / Ship

Chombo / Meli

Petrol

Petroli

Road, path

Njia/ ndia

Highway

Barabara

On foot/ Walking

Kwa miguu

When does it leave

Inaondoka lini?

When will you arrive?

Tutafika lini?

Slowly

Pole pole

Fast, quickly

Haraka

Wait! / hang on a moment!

Ngoja!/ ngoja kidogo!

Stop!

Simama!

Where are you going

Unaenda wapi

To where?

Mpaka wapi?

From where?

Kutoka wapi?

How many kilometers?

Kilometa ngapi?

I’m going to

Naenda

Move along, squeeze up a little

Songa!/ songa kidogo!

Let’s go, carry on

Twende, endelea

Straight ahead

Moja kwa moja

Right

Kulia

Left

Kushoto

Up

Juu

Down

Chini

I want to get off here

Nataka kushuka hapa

The car has broken down

Gari imearibika

 

General Words and Phrases

English

Swahili

And

Na

Big

kubwa

Small

ndogo

A lot of

nyingi

Other/ Another

Ingine

Not bad

Si mbaya

Danger

Hatari

Drink (noun)

Kinywaji

Drink (verb)

Kunywa

Eat

Kula

Excuse me!

Samahani!

Food

Chakula

Friend

Rafiki

Good

Nzuri

Goodbye!

Kwaheri!

Help me, please!

Nisaidie, tafadhali!

Here

Hapa

Hot

Moto

How?

Vipi?

I am angry.

Nimekasirika.

I am traveling.

Ninasafiri.

I am happy.

Nimefurahi.

I can speak Swahili.

Ninaweza kusema Kiswahili.

I can’t speak Swahili.

Siwezi kusema Kiswahili.

I love you!

Ninakupenda!

Motorcycle

Pikipiki

No!

Hapana!

OK!

Sawa!

Please

Tafadhali

Sorry! (apologize)

Samahani!

Sorry! (sympathize)

Pole!

Sweet

Tamu

Thank you!

Asante!

Thank you very much!

Asante sana!

There

Pale

Very

Sana

Water

Maji

Welcome!

Karibu!

What?

Nini?

When?

Wakati gani?

Where?

Wapi?

Where are you going to?

Unakwenda wapi?

Which?

Ipi?

Yes!

Ndio

Fine, cool

Safi

Completely

Kabisa

Just, only

Tu(kitanda kimoja tu-just ona bed)

Thing/ s

Kitu/ vitu

Problems, hassles

Wasiwasi, matata

No problem

Hakuna wasiwasi/ Hakuna matata

Friend

Rafiki

Sorry, pardon

Samahani

It’s nothing

Si kitu

Excuse me (let me through)

Hebu

What’s up?

Namna gani?

If God wills it

Inshallah (heard often on the coast)

Please

Tafadhali

Take a picture of me!

Piga picha mimi!

Help the poor!

Saidia maskini!

Ok, right, fine

Sawa

 

Numbers

English

Swahili

English

Swahili

1

Moja

40

Arubaini

2

Mbili 

50

Hamsini

3

Tatu

55

Hamsini na tano

4

Nne 

60

Sitini

5

Tano 

70

Sabini

6

Sita 

80

Thamanini

7

Saba 

90

Tisini

8

Nane

100

Mia

9

Tisa

136

Mia moja thalathini na sita

10

Kumi

999

Mia tisa tisini na tisa

11

Kumi na moja

1000

Elfu

12

Kumi na mbili

1997

Elfu moja mia tisa tisini na saba

17

Kumi na saba

Half

Nusu

20

Ishirini

Two and a half

Mbili na nusu

24

Ishirini na nne

Quarter

Robo

30

Thalathini

Forty seven and three quarters

Arubaini na saba na robo tatu

 

Time

English

Swahili

Time

Saa

Hour

Saa

Watch/Clock

Saa

Morning

Asubuhi

Evening

Jioni/Usiku

Afternoon

Mchana

Late afternoon

Alasiri/Jioni

Dusk

Magharibi

Night

Usiku

Late night

Usiku wa manane

Early morning

Alfajiri

What time is it?

Saa ngapi?

8 o’clock in the morning

Saa mbili kamili asubuhi

8 o’clock sharp

Saa mbili barabara

Noon

Saa sita mchana

4:25 p.m.

Saa kumi na dakika ishirini na tano alasiri

6:00 p.m.

Saa kumi na mbili kamili jioni

8:15 p.m.

Saa mbili na robo usiku

7:45 p.m.

Saa mbili kasorobo usiku

9:30 a.m.

Saa tatu unusu asubuhi (also: Saa tatu na nusu asubuhi)

Now

Sasa

Today

Leo

Yesterday

Jana

Tomorrow

Kesho

Day before yesterday

Juzi

Day after tomorrow

Kesho-kutwa

Day

Siku

Week

Wiki

Month

Mwezi

Year

Mwaka

Century

Karne

Common Dialogue

Sentence/Phrase

Response

Habari!   (Hello!/Hi!)

Nzuri! (Good!/Fine!)

Ninaitwa Charles. Wewe unaitwaje?
(My name is Charles. What’s your name?)

Ninaitwa Mary. Nimefurahi kukujua.
(My name is Mary. I’m pleased to know you.)

Unazungumza Kiswahili?
(Do you speak Swahili?)

Ndio! Ninazungumza Kiswahili.
(Yes! I speak Swahili.)


Kidogo tu!
(Just a little bit!)


Hapana! Sizungumzi Kiswahili. Ninazungumza Kiingereza tu!
(No! I don’t speak Swahili. I only speak English!)

Ninatokea Marekani. Wewe unatokea wapi?
(I’m from the United States of America. Where are you from?)

Ninatokea Japani. Nipo hapa kwa matembezi.
(I’m from Japan. I’m visiting here.)


Ninatokea Uingereza. Nipo hapa kwa kazi.
(I’m from U.K. I’m here on business.)


Ninatokea Ujerumani. Nimekuja kujifunza Kiswahili.
(I’m from Germany. I’ve come to learn Swahili.)

Kwaheri! Nimefurahi kukutana na wewe.
(Goodbye! I’m pleased to meet you.)

Karibu! Nimefurahi pia kukutana na wewe.
(Goodbye! I’m also pleased to meet you.)

Utapenda kunywa nini?
(What would you like to drink?)

Nitakunywa maji tu. Nina kiu sana!
(I’ll just drink water. I’m very thirsty.)


Nitakunywa kahawa bila maziwa.
(I’ll drink coffee without milk.)


Nitakunywa chai na maziwa na sukari kidogo.
(I’ll drink tea with milk and little sugar.)


Nitakunywa soda. CocaCola, tafadhali.
(I’ll drink soda. CocaCola, please.)

Tafadhali niletee chakula moto haraka. Nina njaa sana!
(Please bring me some hot food quickly. I’m very hungry!)

Huu hapa wali, samaki, mbatata, na saladi. Nitakuletea keki baadaye.
(Here is rice, fish, potatoes, and salad. I’ll bring you cake later.)

Animals

English

Picture

Swahili

Baboon 

Baboon-Wildlife

Nyani

Bird(s)

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Ndege

Buffalo 

Buffalo

Nyati

Cat 

young-calico-cat

Paka

Cheetah 

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Duma

Chimpanzee 

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Sokwe

Cow/Ox

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Ng’ombe

Deer

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Paa

Dog 

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Mbwa

Donkey 

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Punda

Elephant 

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Tembo/Ndovu

Giraffe 

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Twiga

Goat 

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Mbuzi

Hippopotamus

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Kiboko

Hyena 

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Fisi

Impala

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Swara

Leopard 

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Chui

Lion 

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Simba

Monkey 

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Kima

Ostrich 

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Mbuni

Peacock 

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Tausi

Pig 

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Nguruwe

Python 

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Chatu

Rhinoceros 

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Kifaru

Sheep

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Kondoo

Snake 

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Nyoka

Warthog 

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Ngiri

Wild  Boar

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Nguruwe-mwitu

Wild Dog

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Mbwa-mwitu

Zebra 

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Punda-milia

Miss Tourism Kenya set to take stage in September

Miss Tourism Kenya is  geared towards promotion of Tourist attraction sites  as well as creating awareness of Kenya’s diversity in  flora and fauna. The event is globally recognized and its aim is to promote tourism both internationally and locally. This year’s contest will feature county competitions as Kenya has since recognized a new form of government.

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The County Competitions will follow a ‘heats’ model whereby preliminary competitions will be organized and some contestants selected to go further to the County Final competition. At the County Final contest, every county will parade a minimum of 12 contestants from which a County Delegate will be selected to represent that county at the National Final competition in Nairobi. Heats therefore will be organized in the major towns of each county. Training for the competition will focus highly on Deportment, Beauty, Public Speaking and Personality.


To join the Miss Tourism Kenya Contest follow the link; http://misstourismkenya.co.ke/contest.html and apply!

Kenya to host Africa’s Travel Industry ”Oscars”

WTA

The Kenya Tourism Board have been bestowed the owner of hosting this year’s World Travel Awards (WTA) – African region. The Awards, dubbed  “Oscars of the Travel Industry” will be held on the 16th of October and are bound to highly boost Kenya’s tourist market. The hosts were awarded – Africa’s leading Tourism Board – by WTA last year in December and also scooped the – Best African Tourism Board – in the Africa Safari awards held in London in February; beginning of this year.

“That WTA has chosen Kenya for the African region ceremony as part of the world grand tour, is an endorsement of the country as a preferred tourism destination in the world”, Says KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa. Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder, WTA, added, “The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards programme, and Kenya as a nation has all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our Africa Ceremony – a warm, vibrant and progressive nation, brimming with enthusiasm and creativity. Tourism is vital to Kenya’s economy, contributing 12 percent to its GDP and sustaining one in ten jobs. The future is bright for Kenya, given the nation’s overwhelming natural resources, its unrivalled wildlife experiences and pristine beaches.”

For further details, including entry forms and closing deadlines for nominations, visit www.worldtravelawards.com/nominate.

For further World Travel Awards press info contact:

t: +44 (0)20 7925 0000
e: pr@worldtravelawards.com
w: www.worldtravelawards.com

Kenya's ultimate travel and lifestyle magazine

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