Tag Archives: East Africa

Tusker Twende Kazi

50 days, 8 countries, 50 people, 1 Tusker…All on an incredible journey through East Africa and Europe to deliver a taste of home and show the world that a little bit of Kenya can go a long way.

Kenya is 50, and what better way to celebrate it than this; Tusker Twende Kazi. Last week, East African Breweries Limited (EABL) launched an all new reality TV show, the first of its kind in the country, “Tusker Twende Kazi”.  The East African version of the popular reality series, The Amazing Race, this show which kicked off at Uhuru Gardens (the location of Kenya first ever flag-raising), follows 50  East African citizens as they race from Kenya to London on a task to deliver “a  little bit of home” – tusker Lager to the celebrated Kenyan rugby export Humphrey Khayange, currently based in London. BgbeiZ2CAAE3OV9 The 50 participants grouped in 25 teams of two (comprising of an ordinary East African citizen and a celebrity) must find their way to London through 8 countries armed with nothing but their strength and charm. The teams will get around with no money at all! and must rely only on goodwill from strangers and all the charm they can muster to get to the various checkpoints they will be sent to each week. Celebrities featured here from East Africa include; Ezekiel Kemboi, Legendary Kipchoge Keino, Nameless, Bebe Cool, Maurice Kirya, STL, “the blackest man in black Africa” – Fred Obachi Machoka, Eve D’Souza, Collo, Radio & Weasel, Papa Shirandula, Jalang’o and a host of many others.

To get them through this long, tough, obstacle ridden 50-day journey, each team will have the option of traveling by car or air, depending on how far the next checkpoint is from their current point. Each team has a time limit to get the Tusker bottle to the next team in the relay; no delays!

BhLyQwUCIAExhr8The relay Tusker bottle

Unlike the Amazing Race though, participants of Tusker Twende Kazi  are not in it to win any race or money, but to show what a great country and a people we are. The journey is meant to demonstrate the resilience of the Kenyan spirit to achieve whatever it sets out to do; it is a nation-building mission. It is further aimed at bringing East Africans together and igniting the belief that we can do anything, demonstrating that together, we can make a little bit of Kenya go a long way.

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We were introduced to the participants in the first episode, with  Team 1 members consisting of Ezekiel Kemboi and Michael Nduati  setting off with the “relay bottle”  to face tasks ahead in a bid to get that bottle to Humphrey Kayange in London. The other 24 teams left in one hour intervals subsequently.

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Eric Kiniti, the Corporate Affairs Director had this to say about the show “As we join Kenyans’ in celebrating the 50th anniversary of independence, this show is meant to demonstrate the resilience of the Kenyan spirit to achieve whatever it sets out to do. This show is tailored to reflect Kenya’s coming of age.”

Below, some of the teams seek help from strangers along their journey…

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BhfLRSgCEAAFmLb.jpg largeDon’t forget to catch your favorite teams as they traverse two continents to accomplish their task. The show airs every Sunday from 8pm, on Citizen TV hosted by Channel O VJ, radio and TV personality Joey Muthengi. It also broadcasts across East Africa.

Tusker, “My beer, My country!!”

Channel O VJ, actress, radio and TV personality, Joey Muthengi
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/entertainment/pulse/article/4375/tusker-twende-kazi-unveiled
Top celebrities from across East Africa joined the race last night as East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) launched the Twende Kazi reality TV show. The Nairobi hosted red carpet affair featured the who-is-who in the entertainment and corporate scene across the region. The show is a first of its kind, a 50-day racing affair that will see celebrities carry a bottle from Kenya to London where the regional hero, celebrated Kenyan rugby export Humphrey Kayange will receive it. The show’s host is the sassy Channel O VJ, actress, radio and TV personality, Joey Muthengi. In the company of 1968 Olympic Champion Kipchoge Keino will be yet another great athlete; Ezekiel Kemboi. Charles Bukeko better known as Papa Shirandula will also take part in the challenge, which will test his resilience and fighting spirit as will Uganda’s bad boy Moses Ssali alias Bebe Cool.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/entertainment/pulse/article/4375/tusker-twende-kazi-unveiled
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The Majlis

The Majlis, situated on Manda Island in Lamu is the perfect blend of Luxury, style, Swahili culture and western comforts. This privately owned resort is quickly turning into East Africa’s most intimate and Eco-friendly beach resort.

This boutique hotel constitutes 25 exquisite deluxe rooms and suites featured in three beachfront villas. In the rooms guests are provided with spectacular views of either the beach, garden, swimming pools or the endless Indian Ocean. Majlis is Ultra-stylish and elegant having Lamu style decor with displays of antique Swahili furniture, African paintings and sculptures.

luxury-resort-poll_960_45608-junior-suite-bathroom 09-junior-suite-bedGuests here should expect nothing short of excellence…

10-junior-suite corridor-of-the-majlis(1) detail-majlis-pool-villa-with-deck For the foodies, the Majlis restaurant will not fail to impress. Set on an open plan veranda with a panoramic view of the bay, it offers the finest cuisine. Additional state-of-the-art facilities include two bars, two swimming pools and an activity centre, which co-ordinates a wide variety of activities. Non-guests can book for lunch or dinner.

16-interior-majlis-pool-bar2 18-majlis-pool-bar-at-dusk 05-majlis-restaurant-floor 11-restaurant-pool-view living-room-majlis-villa living-room-villa-kusi royal-suite-room-majlis-hotel-lamu villa-kusi-pool-majlis-hotel-lamuThe Majlis is also child-friendly and features children’s areas supervised by dedicated nannies, family-friendly room layouts and delicious kid-friendly meals. Children can also safely swim in the sea or in the pools with pool attendants on duty all day long.

14-view-majlis-restaurant-from-villa-kusi-poolActivities here are centered around Swahili culture, sailing, water sports, and fishing. The Lamu archipelago cruises are unforgettable and so is the arrival on Majlis’s shore on Ras Kitau bay from Lamu, on a scenic 15-minute boat ride which is a treat in and of itself.

pool-view-main-majlis-villaWith a superb beachfront location and breathtaking views over the Ras Kitau bay and Shela village, Majlis Resort offers the perfect setting and ideal location for barefoot luxury, informal pampering and excellent cuisine.

Fort Jesus (Fortaleza de Jesus de Mombaça)

Fort Jesus, undoubtedly Mombasa’s most popular tourist attraction, is a monumental piece of architecture built in the 16th century from 1593-1596 by the Portuguese. Sitting on the edge of a coral ridge overlooking the entrance to the old port of Mombasa, the Fortress which was built to protect the Portuguese trade route to India as well as their vested interests in East Africa is now turned Museum, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2011 and one of the finest examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture.

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Designed by Italian architect, Giovanni Battista Cairatiand and later dedicated and named  “Fortaleza de Jesus de Mombaça” by the then-captain of the coast, Mateus de Mendes de Vasconcelos, the quadrilateral fort is comprised of four bastions; S. Felipe, S. Alberto, S. Mathias and S. Mateus and owes its existence to the Turkish raids of 1585 and 1588 which is what led to its construction.

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Since its erection, Fort Jesus’ control has exchanged hands numerous times in counting; In 1631, Sultan Muhammad Yusif baptized as Dom Jeronimo Chingulia entered the fort taking the Portuguese by surprise and killing the Portuguese captain, Pedro Leitão de Gamboa. He also then massacred the whole Portuguese population of Mombasa (45 men, 35 women and 70 children) and after two months of siege, abandoned the enterprise becoming a pirate. Right After sultan Dom’s departure, a small Portuguese force under Captain Pedro Rodrigues Botelho, that had remained in Zanzibar, reoccupied the fort.

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In 1696, Fort Jesus fell under siege from Omani Arabs but was easily relieved by a Portuguese expedition in the same year. Unfortunately though, in the following months a plague killed all the Portuguese of the garrison (50-70 portuguese soldiers) and by 1697 the defense of the fort was in the hand of Sheikh Daud of Faza with 17 of his family, 8 African men and 50 African women. After several other sieges from then, the Omani Arabs successfully took over the fort and with this conquest taking the whole coast of Kenya and Tanzania with Zanzibar and Pemba under their control. The fort had clearly become a vital possession for anyone with the intention of controlling Mombasa Island or the surrounding areas of trade. The struggle didn’t just end there though, the Portuguese were not one to accept defeat so easily as they retook Fort Jesus in 1728, when the African soldiers mutinied against the Omanis; a take over that didn’t last so long unfortunately. Tables turned the following year when the Mombasa locals revolted against them and put under siege the garrison. Years later during colonization, the British used the fortress as a prison, until 1958, when they converted it into a historical monument.

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Today, visitors get to explore the gun turrets, battlements and houses within the walls of Fort Jesus. The national monument combines Portuguese, Arab and British elements, representing the major powers that held it at different times in history. The presence of the Portuguese and British is felt through their respective cannons; The Portuguese cannons had a range of 200 meters and are longer than the British cannons which had a range of 300 meters. The Omani Arabs on the other hand, left their mark throughout the fort with numerous Koran inscriptions showcased on the wooden door posts and ceiling beams whereas a former meeting hall supported by 5 stone pillars to the ceiling portrays their Muslim tradition of 5 pillars.

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Those interested in learning more about the struggles that the fortress has housed over the years will be delighted by the spectacular sound and light shows hosted by the fort 3 nights in a week. On the night of the show, visitors are welcomed into the Fort by guards in flowing robes brandishing flaming torches. They are then led to a specially designed and choreographed show that uses lights, sound effects and costumed actors to bring to life the long and turbulent history of the Fort. After the show, the visitors are treated to a candlelit dinner in the open courtyard of the Fort, under the stars. The sound and light show can also be combined with a sunset dhow cruise on the Mombasa harbor.

 

Kenya Hospitality Trade Fair 2013

Currently underway at the KICC (Kenyatta International Conference Centre), the Kenya Hospitality Trade Fair was officially launched yesterday by the Governor of Nairobi, Dr. Evans Kidero. The Trade Fair kicked off with a premier conference for the first edition of Hotel Summit East Africa (HOSEA)(this was introduced by the event’s organisers, Slujan Events in conjunction with the Eastern Africa Economic Chambers of Commerce (EAECC)) under the theme Investing in the Hospitality Industry: The next Frontier.

The three-day event that ends tomorrow (25th – 27th July) is regarded as the largest hospitality event in East and Central Africa, and expects to attract just about over 10,000 business networking, exhibition and conferencing professionals.This event will give a platform to hospitality-oriented businessmen amongst others, to sample top notch products, services and solutions available in the industry.

Also expected at the event are over 100 exhibitors from more than 10 countries. The exhibitors will include experts in interior décor & furnishing, international manufacturers, suppliers and solution providers in hospitality supplies & equipment, distributors, technology & sustainability, outdoor & tailor-made experiences and many, many others.

Rhino Charge 2013 Raises a record Ksh90 Million in Fundraising

The numbers are in, Rhino charge this year successfully raised a whopping Ksh90,294,239.18 a step up from last year’s Ksh84.6 million by a Ksh5.6 million difference; an all time record. This was a three-day event held from June 1 in Ol Doinyo Nyokie, Kajiado County. Sean Avery ( Team Bundu Fundi – car 38)  whose team visited all guard posts with a distance of 26.99km was this year’s winner.

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“I am most thankful to the host community for accepting us in one most beautiful and unspoiled part of East Africa, as well as to all the competitors and sponsors for having come good in a difficult time for a cause which is at the centre of the future of the nation” David Lowe, Clerk of the Course.

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The most prestigious Victor Ludorum Award (highest fundraiser award) went to  Alan McKittrick of car 5. McKittrick and his team continued their noble streak of fundraising having raised an all time high of Ksh12,098,283 beating their last year’s record of Ksh11,509,015.  Alan has been the highest fundraiser in rhino charge’s history having raised a staggering total of Ksh101,240,535 since 1989. This incredible performance saw McKittrick’s team awarded the Ken Kuhle trophy for services to conservation having been number one fundraiser  for 11 consecutive years. Tim Carstens of Base Titanium came in 2nd with just over Ksh5 million raised.

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The tough Gauntlet race proved a bit of a challenge for Sean Avery coming in second with a distance of 1.34km. First place went to Terry Childs (Braeburn Seven Squared) in car 49 with a distance of 1.28km who also won the Tiger Line 2 covering a distance of 3.876km. Peter Bonde Nielsen in car 64 came in Third with a distance of 1.36km. Avery managed to regroup and emerged winner of the modified vehicles category. Tanya Church (Team Rhino Rouge) in car 17 won the unmodified category but was placed 16th overall with a distance of 37.356km. She was also awarded the Coupe Des Dames award.

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Tiger Line 1 was won by Mark Glen (Glen/Llewellyn) in car 48 covering a distance of 1.747 km whereas Best placed overseas entrant went to Chris Welles (The Wags) in car 10 placed 39th overall in the event. Anton Levitan scooped the Spirit of the Charge trophy having been Clerk of the Course for 19 consecutive years. Levitan’s efforts have seen the charge evolve into a much sort after conservatory sport built up of thrill, fun and social responsibility.

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Another success into the event was the Rhino Charge raffle meant to assist the fund-raise with over 120 prizes.  The main prize, 2 return business class tickets to Bangkok from Kenya Airways and 5 nights accommodation at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok was won by Business Advisory Group supporting car 44. Ksh2.9 million was raised in camping fees. This was gotten from entry fees into the venue by all entrants. The funds will go to local conservation projects run by a local committee.

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Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark thanked “the competitors who have been most active during the past year in securing sponsorships for their cars and succeeded in raising funds to a level never reached before”.

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The money raised during Rhino Charge will go towards fencing Mt Kenya and Mau Eburu. Work on these two projects has already began with 27km of the Mt. Kenya electric fence already built and 6km on Mau Eburu completed.

Vasco Da Gama’s Memorabilia

It stands on the Northern end of Casuarina Beach atop rocks that provide stunning views along the coast; an architectural memorabilia affiliated with Vasco Da Gama and his exploring adventures. One of Malindi’s top attractions, the Vasco Da Gama pillar came into existence in 1498 built as a sign of appreciation for the hospitality of the then sultan of Malindi, and still stands today as one of the oldest remaining monuments in Africa. Its erection was met with resistance from the muslim community and as a matter of fact what many do not know is that the Portuguese explorer had not only built one pillar but two. The first pillar had been erected near the sultana’s palace however due to christian-muslim animosity then, the pillar was demolished sighting that the cross surmounting it was seen as encouraging Christianity. Vasco was later allowed to build the second pillar on the cliff where it stands today only after explaining to the sultan of its importance.

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It may come across to many as just a simple monument but this coral pillar right here might well define the essence of colonial intrusion into the country and East Africa at large, with the Portuguese being the first Europeans to explore the country. Vasco Da Gama’s arrival into Kenya was led by his endeavor into finding a sea route to India and Malindi being well placed as a sea route to and from the east coast, saw the pillar serve well as a landmark that could be sighted from a far by those approaching the harbour from the sea.

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Today the Pillar is a frequent for couples what with the cool breeze and spectacular view, it has also become a good fishing ground; practiced either leisurely or as a sport and you will definitely not fail to spot the photographers who offer instant photo services to the many visitors. Make this the site to see next time you are in Malindi!!

Vasco da Gama Pillar, Malindi, Kenya

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Takes Oath of Office

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.

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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.

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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.