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.
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.
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.
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 MarsabitDistricts.
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.
Not only do the Borana keep their herds for food, but also asmajor 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kenyais 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:
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)
Goodbye to one/ many
Thank you to one/ many
Mister, the equivalent of monsieur in French
Like the French madame or madamoiselle, for adult women
Where can I stay?
Naweza Kukaa wapi?
Can I stay here?
Naweza kukaa hapa?
Maji ya kuosha
Is there any?
Iko… or Kuna?…
Yes there is…
No there isn’t any
How much does it cost?
I don’t want
Give me/Bring me (can I have?)
Reduce the price,come down a little
TRAVEL AND DIRECTIONS
Bas,basi / mabasi
Car /s, Vehicle/ s
Boat / Ship
Chombo / Meli
On foot/ Walking
When does it leave
When will you arrive?
Wait! / hang on a moment!
Ngoja!/ ngoja kidogo!
Where are you going
How many kilometers?
I’m going to
Move along, squeeze up a little
Songa!/ songa kidogo!
Let’s go, carry on
Moja kwa moja
I want to get off here
Nataka kushuka hapa
The car has broken down
General Words and Phrases
A lot of
Help me, please!
I am angry.
I am traveling.
I am happy.
I can speak Swahili.
Ninaweza kusema Kiswahili.
I can’t speak Swahili.
Siwezi kusema Kiswahili.
I love you!
Thank you very much!
Where are you going to?
Tu(kitanda kimoja tu-just ona bed)
Hakuna wasiwasi/ Hakuna matata
Excuse me (let me through)
If God wills it
Inshallah (heard often on the coast)
Take a picture of me!
Piga picha mimi!
Help the poor!
Ok, right, fine
Hamsini na tano
Mia moja thalathini na sita
Mia tisa tisini na tisa
Elfu moja mia tisa tisini na saba
Kumi na saba
Two and a half
Mbili na nusu
Ishirini na nne
Forty seven and three quarters
Arubaini na saba na robo tatu
Usiku wa manane
What time is it?
8 o’clock in the morning
Saa mbili kamili asubuhi
8 o’clock sharp
Saa mbili barabara
Saa sita mchana
Saa kumi na dakika ishirini na tano alasiri
Saa kumi na mbili kamili jioni
Saa mbili na robo usiku
Saa mbili kasorobo usiku
Saa tatu unusu asubuhi (also: Saa tatu na nusu asubuhi)
Day before yesterday
Day after tomorrow
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.)
(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.)
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.
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.
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.”
Kenya is world-famous for its diversity in cultures, wildlife and stunning landscapes which lend the countries placement as a top tourist destination not only in Africa but worldwide. The country has a range of famed national parks; Tsavo National Park, Amboseli National Park, Masai Mara, Samburu National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Aberdares National Park amongst others, making it the premier of wildlife safari.
Kenya has lots to offer under one roof and guests will not fall short of things to do here from bird-watching, trekking, ballooning over the Masai Mara, snorkelling at the Marine National Park in Malindi, Cultural safaris; getting to know the amazing people of Kenya to dining in the bush, staring at the African night sky in the wilderness, and lots…lots more.
Although amidst opposition, in reference to her suitability to take office by members of the committee on appointment, Mrs. Phyllis Kandie can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the new Tourism cabinet secretary. This docket also incorporates East African affairs and Commerce. Seeing as the ministerial positions are no longer politically based (cabinet secretaries are not inclined to any political party and/or are not politicians) Kenyans are hopeful to see immense growth and development having that the appointment of the new cabinet in place is mainly (the loyalty card was used on some obvious appointments) based on Merit.
Mrs. Kandie comes into office at a time when the tourism sector is experiencing major challenges that need to be dealt with immediately if growth in ratings and arrivals is to be expected. For instance the docket is at the moment lacking directors and members of various boards that fall under it after the outgoing minister Dan Mwazo went on a firing rampage in the name of transforming the ministry. Furthermore, the current insecurity situation in the country has proven to be a threat to tourism as well with the number of arrivals reducing by the day. Other challenges include; increase of wildlife poaching, poor marketing of Kenya as a tourism destination, Failure of implementing the Tourism Act and also the fact that this year was an election year, many tourists preferred to stay away in fear of a repeat post-election violence occurrence.
With this and many more other factors in tow, Mrs. Phyllis Kandie sure has her work cut out for her. As president Uhuru Kenyatta expressed, the tourism sector expects to expand to 3 million visitors and therefore she definitely has a lot of work to do; not time for dilly-dally. Hopefully her background and experience in various sectors will help catapult this industry to the top.