Author - Jammy

Mombasa Heena Artists

Heena has become part of Mombasa culture, most cultures have embraced the different designs and patterns that originate from different parts of the world. You will find beauty schools and individual teach heena application classes at reasonable prices. In a previous blog we wrote about the beauty of Heena.

There is always a reason for women to look for heena artists in Mombasa, be it a wedding, Eid celebration and just to adorn their hands with beautiful heena patterns.  The demand is always there, with different artists in Mombasa sometimes it is difficult to find one who fits the patterns you are looking for.  Life in Mombasa has curated a list of Heena artists in Mombasa. The below are different artists that offer different types of Heena application, click on their social media to see their work.

NB: This list will be updated regularly. 

Heena Artist: To be added to this list send an email with our Name, contact and Social Media account to Jamila@lifeinMombasa.com

  • Name:  Umema Aunali
  • Contact: 0 724841762
  • Social Media: umzmehndi
  • Name:  Thureiya Abdallah
  • Contact: :0725297561
  • Social Media: Thureiya_heena
  • Name:  Nush Hamid
  • Contact: 0721286787
  • Social Media: Nush Hamid
  • Name:  Arwa Khuzeima
  • Contact: 0719116059
  • Social Media: heena.By.Arwa
  • Name:  Farida Hussein Swaleh
  • Contact: 0790856426
  • Social Media: eeyder__
  • Name:  Sakina Aslam
  • Contact:  0710955786
  • Social Media: sakina_ariff
  • Name:  Hanaa Noorani
  • Contact: 0733955757
  • Social Media: hanaanoorani

Mbaraki Ancient Mosque Pillar

Constructed between 1400 and 1450 AD the Mbaraki Ancient Mosque Pillar is located just to the west of Likoni Ferry roundabout behind G4S HQs. The Mbaraki Pillar stands at 50 FT tall and is gazetted as a national monument and making it one of the historic places in Mombasa.

The coral stone pillar is the second oldest monument after Fort Jesus. The mosque had fallen to complete ruin by 1550 AD before being rebuilt in 1988. It has a large prayer room, 2 anterooms and stone-built cisterns for storing water on its north-eastern and south-western corners.

Jina langu ni Shufaa Yakut

Your name and what do you do?

My name is Shufaa Yakut. I create content online. Communication, social media management etc. I am a writer, I write creative nonfiction and short stories.

I serve the community full time. Currently the senior administrator and communication director at swahilipot hub.

I manage all social media for Jaffery Academy Mombasa.

I am a web development/web design student of Pwani Teknowgalz, recently completed my first project of redesigning swahilipot hub website. You can check it out, swahilipothub.co.ke

I vlog for YouTube sometimes. Currently been a bit active in Ramadhan,  check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNadGvM19HZZHqC3hq27K9A

Tell us about shufaayakut.com

shufaayakut.com is a website that has stories and articles which mostly favour the female young adult -soon to introduce kid’s stories too. It matured from shufaayakut.wordpress.com two years ago. Blogging was inspired by my lawyer friend, in around 2014-2015 who (sadly) no longer writes. I used to publish long notes and poems in Facebook until Carole started sharing links to me from her WordPress account. I thought it was a great idea and decided to download the WordPress App. From there, I met very many writers via Facebook, Instagram and events.

Recently found out that I write for young adults. I put myself in a teenager’s shoes and I feature her. We rarely read stories that these young adults in high school can relate to except for movies, which most contain controversial issues that other parents find offensive. Most teenagers read novels that are not of their age. I have realized there are no stories about the real things happening to the current teenage kids. These people read, they are always online so in as much I want it to look real, I try to make it cool for them.

I put myself in a lady attending a boring meeting so I write something for her too. A lady can multitask. The lady stuck in a traffic jam or you who can’t listen to a podcast, you are welcome.

What do you love the most about writing?

Writing is interesting. A writer has to be able to think like both a man and a woman, both a kid and an old person, both a sane and a mad person to achieve the message they want to communicate. This makes me research a lot and in the journey, learn a lot too. I find new strength in writing, especially being open about controversial topics. The prophet said there’s no shame in learning, that is why i am finding it now easy to call a spade a spade when I write. Initially I would hide words till I learnt the power of description. I haven’t fully gotten it but I am not where I used to be.

Do you prefer fictional writing or non-fictional?

Initially, I preferred non fiction because that was all that made sense to me. I did not believe in what does not exist. Recently I read BINTI, a science fiction book and found it interesting. It makes a reader more creative by imagining things and struggling it to make sense in the eyes of a reader. Being able to give life to a story and creating characters is becoming very interesting lately.

How many African writers book have you read? And what makes you keep on reading?

Quite a few, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Elnathan Jones I think and a few more.

I have also read local writers from the country and from Mombasa e.g. Jj Lanji Ouko, Lubnah Abdulhalim, Nadia Naddy etc. It feels good reading the works of a person you have met or a person you can relate to.

Well, reading inspires me to learn the different writers’ brains/thoughts.

How do you get inspired to write?

Mostly by reading. Whenever I read, I get an idea to either write something similar or totally opposite. It jogs my mind and challenges my abilities. Sometimes movies and people’s stories. I have a lot of people’s stories to publish in my website, just watch what you say to me. (laughing). Very few times, I go look for inspiration from places where many people gather, like market places or Salon. Other times even in public transports. When you hear someone say “hii Kenya yetu Hii…” know there’s a story following and 60% of the people in the matatu will contribute.

Women in Mombasa are slowly emerging in different sectors, how can we use writing to tell the stories?

We can always come up with a page in a site to celebrate the success of women in Mombasa.

As writers in Mombasa, we need to take a woman’s success as our own individually. Applaud them even if it’s in a collective article. I believe in team work especially for victory. In one blog I.e life in Mombasa, every writer can contribute a sentence or two talking about one specific person’s success every month. This way, all of us will have a share in it and share it widely. We can introduce feature stories and interviews for the same too.

What are your future plans for your blog and writing journey?

I believe it’s every writer’s dream to publish a book one day. Those who have already published now wish to have their own publishing sites and maybe a library. Apart from wanting to publish my own story, I hope to publish a setbook in future. This will be read by generations to come, both book lovers and non-readers. Everyone will talk about it and teachers will use my work as examples. My works will not be easily forgotten. I want to capture people’s thoughts from when they are in school.

In the near future, I’m planning to introduce a kid’s section where I’ll be writing stories for kids and find a way to get them published in the local newspapers. I will be updating my website quite often and adding every new feature I learn, now that I have web development knowledge. I am also planning to create a subdomain for blogs about social media and content creation after Ramadhan in shaa Allah. I hope it works out as I have planned. Maybe, just maybe, I will add a shop page. I will be selling thrifted clothes when the need grows because people have been asking me where I get dressed, during events. 90% of the clothes are thrifted. So I’ll help a sister out.

What resources would you advice the youth to use to grow their passion, be it writing, acting, singing and or any skill they have?

The main one is using youth centers and safe spaces like Swahilipot hub and MTY impact hub. Here, they will meet people from all corners of life and grow in thoughts.

Second, attend events. Especially art related events for the talent lovers. Here you get exposed to people and the world.

Third, use their voices especially in events, talk to people more and build networks.

Finally, YouTube university. Do more research and allow yourself to make mistakes then correct.

Parting Shot.

If I could, I would advise my younger self to not be afraid of taking risks, not be afraid of the results and not be afraid of what the society will say. I would start the moment I thought about an idea.

Dare to do more than what you think you can.

Nobody is born wise. Let us read as much as we can and keep on learning. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) said, “Indeed, knowledge only comes by learning.”

Organic Beauty Products from Mombasa

Beauty industry is growing daily, every day we are introduced to a new brand that caters to our skin type, skin tone and etc. Every products boasts to be the one that will work to clear our face, even out our skin tone and/or make our face glow. Most of these products have chemicals that are harsh to our skin type even though they claim to help us. As the industry keeps growing, some women have come up with organic products that are less harsh to our skin, purely natural and actually works for all skin types.

There are several women in Mombasa, who have created organic products that are essential for many women, most of them natural and pure. Some are from traditional ingredients that have been used for years generation after generation. Below are a few brands that are in the market in Mombasa:

Name of your Brand?

We are skincare by ROZaNa

An online based skincare brand that’s bringing back traditional recipes using natural ingredients with some aspect of the Islamic Sunnah (Based on the way of life of the holy Prophet Mohammad PBUH)

What is the purpose of your products? (IE body wash, hair oil etc.)

We specialize in Karafuu, a herbal clove based face & body scrub made from 5 natural ingredients with no preservatives and no chemicals, it’s suitable for all skin types. It exfoliates, helps to heal and prevent acne and has anti-aging properties.

Name of your different products.

We stock Karafuu face & body scrub,

    – Qasil powder which is locally known as mkunazi

    – seaweed bar soap

    – castor/ baobab oil blend

What inspired you to start your business?

My inspiration came from my own need for a lifestyle change due to health issues. I started reading ingredients on products instead of looking at packaging and brand loyalty and was surprised at all the harmful chemicals we use on ourselves daily. I decided to take inspiration from our ancestors and started to research ancient health and beauty traditions and was hooked! Now I’m hoping to encourage the people of Mombasa to embrace ancient beauty secrets and ditch the chemicals.

What are the challenges faced?

I know my products are not for everyone but I wish people would just give them a try before judging. It’s challenging to convince people to give up sweet smelling skincare products In packaging that’s probably more expensive than the actual ingredients and use natural alternatives instead that are not as attractive but contain much safer, skin friendly ingredients.

Also getting good quality plastic free packaging is very important to me but quite costly as we have to import.

Name of your Brand?

Mama’s Organics

What is the purpose of your products?

Most of products are for body and Hair

Name of your different products.

Shea Butter for body and hair:

Restores elasticity to the skin

Helps to heal cuts and burns without scarring

Minimizes stretch marks

Natural sun protector

Strong antioxidant

Prevents premature aging

Promotes healthy skin

Moisturizes

Rich in antioxidants

Hair sealant

Stop scalp irritation

Offers protection from heat

Reduce UV damage

Hair softener

Green tea body scrub:

Full of antioxidants and vitamins your skin needs, anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and irritationSugar: Gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells

Hair growth stimulator:

promotes hair growth

strengthens hair

prevents hair breakage

reverse damaged hair

eliminate dry frizzy hair

restores shiny

conditions hair

dandruff remedy

What inspired you to start your business?

I myself love beauty products. For this reason, whenever I travel I always find myself in search of natural and effective beauty products that are out there.

As family and friends abroad would notice my interest in beauty products, they kept requesting me to bring them unrefined shea butter from Africa whenever I intended to visit them. This triggered an interest in shea butter for me and to go a step further by trying to find out the best ways of using it as well.

What are the challenges faced?

Being a small batch producer we face quite a number of challenges:

• logistics i.e. delivering products outside of our city on time and at a reasonable cost.

• finding raw material in small batches.

• sourcing the same packaging material consistently.

Name of your Brand?

Salummy Beauty Products

Slogan: Modernizing Traditions

What is the purpose of your products? (IE body wash, hair oil etc.)

My products are 100% organic and the main purpose they serve is to grow, moisturize and nourish hair of all kind and type. So far, all my products serve that purpose except the soaps which are used to treat eczema, pimples, acne and any skin-related issues.

Name of your different products.

  • Salummy’s Ayurvedic and Lavender Hair oil
  • Salummy’s Moisturizing lavender butter
  • Salummys’ Beard oil
  • Salummy’s Organic Conditioner
  • Salummy’s Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Salummy’s Sheabae powder
  • Salummy’s Deep conditioning Magic
  • Salummy’s African Black Soap
  • Salummy’s Weekly Deep-conditioning Programs- 20 slots available for homemade deep-conditioning masks each Friday.

What inspired you to start your business?

My main motivation was to create awareness on the side effects of chemicals on hair. Studies show that they cause life-threatening ailments like reproductive problems, heart diseases, different forms of cancer, early puberty, fibroids, and even mental health disorders. Relaxers are able to disrupt the chemical balance of our bodies by entering our system through cuts and burns. I also wanted my brand to remind other African women that they are beautiful. Their hair represents their identity, culture and self-love. When African women and men know their value and are not influenced by trends or misconceptions about their identity, they flourish.

What are the challenges faced?

One of the main challenges is being able to maintain the growth of clients and ensuring that both the old and new clients can still come back to purchase my products.

The other challenge is sometimes scarcity of a particular raw material can delay the production process and because I work with herbs, I have to ensure that they are ready for use and the rains favor me.

As the business progresses, there might be a need to increase production more than the normal rate and this can demand a lot of money-I call it a good problem and I am still trying my level best to understand how to effectively manage my finances, keep proper records, and not let the market down.

The other challenge I experience is adjusting with the business when I travel. Apart from this business, I am a Civic leader and writer and I therefore travel quite frequently and this sometimes affects my business. I might leave enough stock to last my suppliers and personal assistants for the time I am away but people would still want to communicate and consult me with regard to various products and this sometimes makes me so overwhelmed when I am back from my trips.

Name of your brand?

Afroganics Essentials Limited

What is the purpose of your products?

We have a range of coconut-based products for different uses in the home, divided into two categories;

  • Beauty and cosmetics
  • Edible products

Under our Beauty and cosmetics range we have the following products;

  • Coconut oil

100% organic cold pressed coconut oil which contains anti-aging properties that can be used as a daily moisturizer for your hair & skin. A very gentle makeup remover, it is also suitable for use as a carrier oil in mixing with other products such as essential oils, scrubs and masks for both hair and skin. Its gentle on baby’s skin & is great for dental hygiene through oil pulling

  • Coconut scrub

Our coconut scrub is made from amazing all-natural ingredients including coconut flakes, sugar, virgin coconut oil and some essential oils. The scrub exfoliates your skin to help improve elasticity and blood circulation which aids in collagen production. It is guaranteed to hydrate & rejuvenate your skin to give an overall smoother, brighter, more youthful appearance.

  • Coconut Jelly

The Coconut jelly is a sensational product which is a client favorite due to its versatility. We have 6 different types, (eucalyptus, pine, lemon, rose, strawberry & natural). It can be used on babies to prevent diaper rash. Great moisturizer for hair and skin and is easy to carry around for everyday use.

In our edible products selection, we have the following;

  • Coconut vinegar

Afroganics Coconut Vinegar is made from the sap of coconut which is fermented naturally to preserve its nutrients, which have the same benefits as apple cider vinegar, and then some! It is therefore a good source of probiotics, minerals and vitamins, including potassium (which helps balance electrolytes, control blood pressure, and process sugar), vitamin C and certain B vitamins, particularly B2 or riboflavin (an important vitamin that is essential in the body’s energy production, cellular function, and metabolism).

The Afroganics coconut vinegar can be used for various functions in the home such as your favorite salad dressings, marinades, and sauces for an extra pop of flavor.

It is also great for the skin as it reduces dark circles and can be used on your hair for that extra shine. A truly versatile gem, this product is worth a try by everyone in the family.

  • Coconut nectar

Afroganics Coconut Nectar is a low fructose natural sweetener that is a nutritious alternative to use for both raw and cooked recipes. A great alternative to honey or maple syrup, it has a very pleasant sweet mineral flavor, with a hint of floral. Its neutral flavor does not alter the taste of the food it is added to, unlike other sweeteners and it can be used in various recipes in your cook book.

Our coconut Nectar is extremely healthy too, it is high in mineral content, a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It also contains vitamin B1, B2, B3 & B6

It is completely natural, unrefined and preservative free.

  Name of our different products.

  • Afroganics coconut oil
  • Afroganics coconut body scrub
  • Afroganics coconut jelly (eucalyptus, pine, lemon, rose, strawberry & natural)
  • Afroganics coconut nectar
  • Afroganics coconut vinegar

What inspired you to start your business?

To explore the potential of coconut which is vastly available on the coast and spread awareness about its effective and efficient use.

What are the challenges faced?

  1. Brand awareness. Our brand is yet to reach a level of awareness to the general public that we would hope for. Especially since we have such a unique range of product such as the coconut vinegar and nectar
  2. Saturated market. The market is full of similar products which may not be as good of quality as ours but since we produce the same kind of goods, it is easy to get lost in the sea of options available.
  3. Difficulty in accessing mainstream market through facilities such as supermarkets and large retailers.

Name of your Brand?

SUWIS

What is the purpose of your products?

Suwis herbal hair Oil and Suwis herbal hair Food are for Natural hair only and Suwis handmade Tumeric body soap is for skin.

Name of your different products.

Suwis herbal hair Oil

Suwis herbal hair Food

Suwis handmade Tumeric body Soap

What inspired you to start your business?

To be Self-employed and to be role model to young people on being creative and business minded.

What are the challenges faced?

Most of the time competition is High.  Convincing customer to purchase the products sometimes it’s a bit hectic, other customers are very rude.

Many Wholesalers they don’t pay Cash, sometimes it’s very difficult to get hard cash to continue with another Batch.

Name of your Brand?

Well that’s going back to the memory lane!  RANNY is the name of the brand. But before we go into more detail about RANNY, I would like to give people a little tour of my company. Originally, I started as SVERIGE.

Why SVERIGE?

Sweden as commonly known in the western world is a Scandinavian medieval kingdom in the eastern part of Scandinavian Peninsula. In Swedish language “Sverige” means Sweden just here in Kenya we call ourselves Kenyans. I am Kenyan born. Sweden is my second home. Initially when I started, I chose the name Sverige because of my deep roots and connection during my time living in Sweden. Happy memories and one of the best times in my life. To appreciate my adopted country, I chose Sverige.

Now back to RANNY. Why did I change from Sverige to RANNY? As the business started to grow and my fan base started to get bigger and bigger I realized that my customers were having difficulties in pronunciation. After careful consideration of customer’s reviews and feedbacks I decided to change it to RANNY.

To avoid confusion, the name of the brand is RANNY under the license of Sverige enterprise limited.  Sounds confusing, well life is like a multiple-choice question. The choices will confuse you not the question. I believe someday everything will make perfect sense. So, for now let’s laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason.

What is the purpose of your products?

To be quite honest to say the purpose of my products is just Oil, Shampoo and Conditioner will be a lie. RANNY was a journey of self-discovery. During my stint in Sweden I was struggling with hair loss. As you are aware the European weather can be horrible thus it can have some drastic effects on your wellbeing and more importantly the hair. Statistically, over a third of the women say hair loss leaves them feeling depressed. It’s not surprising that it has the potential of affecting our mood and self-esteem.

In Sweden the emotion of hair loss took its toll and unfortunately, I was a victim of severe depression. Lack of good quality hair supplements and oil related products in Sweden I was forced to take matters into my own hands. Back to Mombasa, the coastal people were well known to have beautiful natural hair. In 1980s and early 1990s when I was growing up in Mombasa, my charismatic grandmother used to prepare, cook and herbally extract “pojo” to make hair oil for us the grandkids and much to the extended family. Back then there was hardly supermarkets or the likes of “Loreal” in Mombasa homes. In the old days, it was part of the “Swahili” culture and tradition to cook and prepare hair oils.

The hair loss in Sweden forced me to use local herbal remedies previously taught by my grandmother. Therefore, the purpose of RANNY isn’t just business and producing oils. Our objective was to get cure and help thousands of women in Sweden and now in my hometown “Mombasa”. Mine is to give women the sense of belonging and boost their confidence. I wanted to help women who were struggling with hair lose. Yes, it’s a business but it’s more of a personal fulfilment rather than profit and sales.

Name of your different products.

At first, we started with RANNY oil and now few years later we have expanded into Shampoo and Conditioner & hair food. We have few more end products on the horizon but we are not in a rush to be a commercial interested company. We want to treat women not to retreat them with endless money-making schemes. It took us more than two years to carefully taste our latest shampoo and conditioner before it was released to the public. RANNY is a firm believer of excellence. Excellence comes when one balances quality with quantity. Quality takes time and reduces quantity, that’s why RANNY’s quantity is less than its competitors but in sense its more efficient and precise.

What inspired you to start your business?

At first, it was fun and self-healing. I was losing hair in a dramatic fashion and that’s why I resorted back to old fashioned herbal extracted grandmother’s “Swahili” remedy. I asked her about the recipe and cooking of the RANNY oil. 

Like I said it wasn’t for profiteering at all. It was purely for my own needs just wanted to save my hair. Slowly and gradually my hair started to become stronger and more replenished. My Sverige white friends started to notice the difference and I was happy to share my RANNY with them. Days, weeks and years past I became a perfectionist in cooking RANNY at home. More and more mutual friends came for RANNY due to recommendations and positive reviews.

Well that’s the birth of RANNY. I started to cook more oils and packaged them into a tiny little bottle and the rest is history. RANNY isn’t a business. It’s the passion and the love to cure women’s number problem i.e. hair losses. I had an idea and a vision and fortunately I decided to do something about it. I call myself an entrepreneur because I am doer not a dreamer.

What are the challenges faced?

Our primary challenges at RANNY is how to cure hair loss in women. How to protect receding hairline and thinning of hair etc. At RANNY we want to get treatment for Alopecia and baldness amongst men population. Honestly speaking through challenges, we have found opportunities. Our motto in RANNY is very simple. Challenges are opportunities and that’s what make life interesting.

Yes, it wasn’t easy when we first started. It was rough and exhausting. On the business side of things yes there were so many challenges and setbacks. For example:

As an entrepreneur it is nearly impossible to convince women out there. Most women will prefer to use the world famous brands i.e. L’Oréal. But being a pessimist, I just pushed and overcame those barriers. We are anticipating more challenges in future as we plan to expand our business and products. But being challenged in business is inevitable, being defeated is optional.

Redefining Healthcare: Premier Hospital

Premier Hospital is the home of Compassion, Care and Competence.  Premier Hospital is serious about your Health and Wellness. They offer a wide range of quality, affordable services with the best customer service in the region. Located on Links Road in Nyali, Mombasa, it is easily accessible and serves clients from all the 6 counties of the Coastal Region.

The hospital provides all services; A 24/7 Ambulance, Emergency Care, Outpatient/Inpatient, Maternity and New Born Unit, Intensive Care Unit, High Dependency Unit and Operating Theatres. All rooms have WIFI access and DSTV for a comfortable stay. Premier hospital has state of the art and well maintained equipment to enhance diagnosis and treatment. 

The hospital is reasonably priced and offers value for money. For example, consultation with a qualified doctor is only Ksh1000/- and most of the major insurance cards are accepted. The insurance companies include, Resolution, Jubilee, Sanlam, Saham, APA, First Assurance, Madison, UAP/Old Mutual, GA Insurance, CIC Insurance, Minet, Liason and Kenbright. They also accept international insurance cards such as Cigna, Aetna and Now Health.

Premier Hospital accreditation with NHIF makes it even more affordable. With your normal NHIF card, you can access the following services paid for by NHIF: Ultrasound, CT Scan, Dialysis, all Surgeries and part of the daily bed rate. If you are civil servant (higher job groups), a member of the Kenya Police/Prisons (all job groups) or your institution has an enhanced cover with NHIF, then all services are fully covered by NHIF. Note that all these procedures must be pre-authorized by NHIF and this is done on your behalf by the hospital.

Premier Hospital has ALL Specialists available including: Pediatricians, Gynecologists (both male and female), Surgeons and Physicians.

The hospital also runs weekly Antenatal, Well Baby, Nutrition and Chest Clinics.  Premier Hospital also has a Dental Unit that operates Monday to Friday during working hours.

Premier Hospital is big on Customer Experience. From the moment you arrive, you will be received by a dedicated Concierge who will welcome you with a smile and ready to expedite your needs. They know your time is valuable and waiting time is monitored. There are feedback forms as well as a dedicated Customer Care Hotline where you can give direct, immediate feedback on their services. If you are admitted, the Customer Experience Team does daily ward rounds to find out how your stay is going in the hospital. They will also call you after your visit to find out how you are doing and how your experience was at the hospital.

Premier Hospital is here to give you the best medical care within the shortest time possible. They are Redefining Healthcare in the coast region, one patient at a time.

Inside Premier Hospital:


Jina langu ni Ahmed Makbul Khan

Your Name and what do you do?

My name is Ahmed Makbul Khan also known as Ahmed Dawizard and am a comedian. My YouTube channel is called Ahmed Dawizard

What made you decide to do the funny YouTube videos?

As a youth from Mombasa we are considered as lazy and Thugs. They show the negative side of Mombasa. I have always loved comedy, being funny. So I wanted to show everyone that it is not like how they see us. We are talented and we can do more. I decided to use my talent to showcase the positive side of Mombasa that is how I started creating funny videos on YouTube.

What are your challenge in making the videos?

My biggest challenge is Lack of equipment, as they are too expensive to buy. The more the audience grow the more they demand quality content. Second finding a location to shoot videos is also a challenge, because most of the location I shoot videos are public organizing and seeking permission takes a lot of time. If I could partner with other locations such as hotels or venues with no restrictions will boost my video production.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration when I read comments and messages from my subscribers and followers telling me how bad their day was but due to my videos I make their day better.

That’s why I make more interesting videos because I don’t want to discourage these people. Enabling someone a smiley face is my goal.

Some of the script is traditions people in Mombasa only know, do you feel some of them will be wiped out due to the life advancement?

I try to keep my video contents cultural based so as to maintain the culture of Mombasa. I want people to look back at my videos and feel that part of Mombasa is still with them even to the people outside Mombasa or Kenya at large.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Once I was shooting one of my videos in a crowded place, I slipped and fell in the middle of the shot. It was so embarrassing that I had to pretend it was a planned scene.

Has social media play a crucial role in your achievements?

Yes, social media has played a crucial part in my achievements. My goal was to spread the positive side of Mombasa and its reached to many. Also when some young kids and my fellow youth see me as their role model as they say because they see me working hard they also work hard to showcase their talents rather than sitting idle and engaging themselves in unnecessary thing

In Mombasa, we still have a problem with drug abuse. What one advice would you give to the youth to create a better life from themselves?

Advice to the youth. Avoid bad companies. Find friends that will lift you up. Not friends that will bring you down. Find Your talent. Set up a goal for it and work hard to achieve it. Nothing is impossible.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I see myself owning a production company that will bring together different talents in Mombasa so as to build and promote unity among the Mombasa locals.

Parting shot

it’s been a wonderful journey right from the beginning and I appreciate every person that’s been supporting me on creating the contents for the audience.   And I also thank my audience who have been very supportive on every video that I made. Seeing people smile and laugh brings me joy as well.

The Mombasa Cook-Off

Mombasa in the month of Ramadhan comes alive in the night, especially the last 10 days. People go out to shop for marking the end of Ramadhan called Eid. Shops stay open till late, shoppers bargaining for latest trends and designs. The streets are adorned with lights to create a sense of festiveness. There various reasons for the night shopping, one is due to the fact people are fasting it would be difficult to shop during the day time and second for those working can have an opportunity to shop for their kids and family after work.

To promote the night shopping and food culture in Mombasa, multi-talented Salim Swaleh also known as Elcaboos hosted a cook-off at Rizza Smoothies in collaboration with his food joint Kaybees foodJoint. The cook-off was scheduled on Tuesday 21st, 2019 at 9:30pm. The cook-off was between three leaders from Mombasa: Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir, MCA Ahmed Nyundo and Swahilipot Hub patron/Red Cross Chairman Mahmood Noor. The event kicked-off at 10:30 pm with the contestant given a drink to try and then replicate the same drink with the different ingredients that were presented to them. Each contestant were given 20 minutes to complete the task. The judges: Chef Ali Mandhry, Chef Adil Rajan and Chief Officer Farah Mohamed (Department of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture) gave their verdict after trying each contestant’s attempt. The winners from the first round was Mvita Mp Abdulswamad and Mentor Mahmood Noor. For the second attempt, the secret ingredient was Chicken, potato crisps, mango and tamarind extract. They had to prepare the full chicken into a meal and they were given the option to grill or cook it. Both contestant worked tirelessly to create a tasty meal, both of them opted to grill their chicken. After they both made the sauce and chicken, they plated and presented to the judges once more. The judges judged each contestants based on taste, use of ingredients and presentation. After deliberation the judges made their decision and the winner announced. From his setting to taste and preparation the winner was Abdulswamad shariff Nassir. The host thanked everyone who helped plan and participate in the event.

The event is the beginning of events that will challenge different people and celebrate the Mombasa food culture.

Sights and sounds from the Cook-off:

Video courtesy of Glitics Media

Jina langu ni Ikhlas Arif

Your name and what do you do?

My name is Ikhlas Arif. I am a makeup artist.

What is your specialty?

My specialty is beauty makeup. My instagram page is @iku_mua, you can view my work.

Why did you become a make-up artist?

It started out when I got married in late 2012. I began attending many weddings and did not like what the makeup artists had to offer at the time…very light coloured foundation very heavy eyes. I preferred my makeup to be more toned down more natural looking. I began doing my own makeup, family around me kept telling me how good my makeup looked. Eventually they would ask me to do their makeup and then urged me to do it professionally. Two years later I took the plunge bought makeup and began my makeup artistry career

What are the challenges you went through to become a MUA?

When I first started out I faced quite a lot of challenges. My pricing was my first big hurdle. My prices had to be much higher that what was being charged locally because I used very pricey and genuine products. I remember the average artist charging around ksh.500 I charged ksh.1000. Trying to explain why I charged double to my client was hard especially at a time when there was no sensitisation about the dangers of counterfeit makeup and people didn’t really know how much makeup actually cost. I even remember having to refund some clients.

  1. Another challenge I faced Was breaking into an industry with a new approach and style. Being “simple” Embracing different skin tones and enhancing them instead of masking and making everyone look light skinned. Toning down the overall heaviness and making the makeup softer. Many people did not get the appeal. Things are changing now and nothing makes me happier.
  2. Another challenge I faced personally that affected my work greatly was pregnancy! I was unable to keep up my work and social media while being pregnant and having an infant. It was too overwhelming for me I had to take a very long break. This set me back greatly I feel. On my social media especially, as I was one of very few doing it in the coast at the time.

Were there resources for you that made your learning easy?

One of my biggest resources would definitely be YouTube. I learnt basic skills from there it helped me greatly. I remember hiding under my blankets watching tutorials back in high school until 5am, pretending to be asleep when my mum came to wake me for prayers

Has social media helped you in your career growth? And how?

I began at a time when my work was somewhat niche. Social media helped me reach out to people that were interested in my type of makeup. Which would have been incredibly difficult otherwise. To this day my Instagram is my biggest marketing tool. I reach a huge audience very quickly. My work is on display and anyone that is interested, can reach me with a click of a button

How do you find out about world trends in the Make-up industry?

I follow a lot of trend setting artist and celebrities on social media.

How can one find their shade for foundation, because a lot of people use a shade that is not similar to their skin tone?

Foundation matching is a little bit tricky but not difficult at all. First you have to identify the undertones in your skin. Are they yellow, olive, neutral or red? There are many ways to figure this out like looking at veins (which is not completely accurate) my favourite and easiest would be to swatch the different undertone foundations on your skin whatever doesn’t look sallow or grey will be your undertone. Majority, I would say 99% of coastal people Swahilis, Arabs, Indians, have yellow olive skin tones. Next would be to pick out the shade. Shade means lightness or darkness of the foundation within your undertone. I like to match my foundation to the centre of my chest. So you do not have the floating head syndrome where you face and chest do not match.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to choose this career path?

To any one that wants to be a makeup artist. I would definitely say go for it. Invest in quality makeup that is within the budget of your target clients. Sharpen your skills, invest in them, do a hands on or online course from someone who’s work appeals to you. Most of all be aware you are in the service industry you will need lots of social skills and patience. It can be tough but you will love it.

Parting Shot

Be passionate, give it your all and never forget to enjoy what you do because it shows, art is a form of expression.

Content Creator: Husna S

My name is Husna and I’m a freelance graphic designer and photographer turned content creator for Life in Mombasa. I love all things Swahili related including history, culture, food, you name it! I love cats, reading, watching indie and foreign movies, indie and African (both home and diasporan African music including hip-hop), visiting cute cafes and spending time with my family and friends.

Upon living in the west for a majority of my life, I was constantly pulled to Mombasa going to vacation in my hometown almost every summer for the past 5 years. I became increasingly interested in Swahili culture and history and fell in love with the lifestyle of the coast of Kenya. I decided to move back and vowed to help keep our rich Swahili culture and heritage strong in whatever way I can.

Content Creator: Angela Mulei

She is currently based in beautiful coastal town, of Mombasa, Kenya.

Angela is graduate of Fashion Marketing and Merchandising and working towards her dreams of working in Fashion and in Vogue.

She started, her blog Out Of Place Kenyan as creative outlet, has a way to share her world and to make a small difference in the world as well had a stepping stone towards her career.

I am a lover of books and constantly reads, my reading list is always reading, enjoys photography, and is learning how to turn her passion into a business rather than a hobby. Music is something has spoken to her soul and chooses to share it with her readers, has to touch someone else’s soul, she also loves discovering new places, and learning new thing.

I am a fun, loving, intelligent young woman, who is on a journey to discover herself, it will always be a learning a curve and it is a never-ending lesson check out her post about “Fact About Me”., subscribe to her blog, follow her on social media.

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