Tag - coast

Jina langu ni Livilla Mwetu

Your name and what do you do?

Livilla Mwetu. I’m a data analyst and research assistant by day, in another lifeI’m a writer, might be how I ended up with my blog.

Tell us more about your blog?

It’s my way of telling stories about fashion. I grew up buried in magazines and newspaper columns so it largely takes after the two formats.

Editorial Monday is where I critique fashion, how it works, why it so and how much it’s changed/ is changing. I also share editorials that I find interesting.

I also curate designers and fashion bloggers that have mastered their craft and take risk from all over the world. I’d love to share more designers, especially those who have little or no media coverage. There’s always so much work that goes unseen and I hope my platform can help share that knowledge.

I retail ad space for related lifestyle products because I think it’s important to link fashion, design and style to everyday living i.e. travel spots, eateries, boutiques et al and discounts when available, I love a good bargain.

If you are attending an event in Mombasa, what would you wear?

Mombasa is generally hot so smart casual is ideal.Something that allows for layering given our bipolar weather these days, scarfs are really great for that.

Is there a specific fashion look in a man that draws you? Does it matter? 

I appreciate good tailoring, thankfully this is not limited to suits these days. So no pressure there.

Do you have any fashion rules in putting an outfit together?

More guides than rules, if you are uncertain, go the monochrome/ monotone way i.e. either one color and accessorize in a different color or different shades of the same color that complement each other.

Should ladies help their significant other with fashion? Would you shop/ advise / help out.

If asked to, yes. I think dressing is very personal and it preserves that sense of individuality that is sometimes lost in familiarity of relationships. Plus we all change so much over the years, it’s nice to see how your partner’s style changes as you grow.

What does the biggest tip you have for anyone want to start a fashion blog or website?

Know your message, what are you trying to say & how it’s helpful to your readers. You need a plan so that you don’t get lost but most important the thing is for you to just start. It won’t be perfect so relax and enjoy it,you’ll get better with time.

A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?

Create good content, something you will be proud of 10 years from now. Your readers tend to stray from who you initially write for, anyone with an internet access could be your reader. Research and experiment with strategy from different fields in terms of layouts, content, branding et al.

Learn how to value your work, find out the market cost of doing business if you don’t know how to price your work.

Oh. And network, introduce yourself to people, tell them what you do, that sort of thing.

What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?

Authenticity. Fashion is so broad in terms of who it appeals to and what exactly appeals to you. There’s always room to experiment and figure out what really works for you.

Parting Shot

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” Diana Vreeland

Jina Langu ni Aisha Swaleh

Name and what do you do?

Aisha Swaleh, I’m an independent sales Gold Director at Oriflame Kenya.

Tell us more about Oriflame?

Oriflame is a Swedish company in the direct selling industry. It deals with natural cosmetics and gives us a chance to do business through multi-level marketing. It has been in Kenya for the last 8 years and has changed so many lives. Again, also celebrating 50 years anniversary next year.

How long did it take you to reach director level?

It took me 10 months from when i joined to reach director level and I helped 2 other women to grow to director level thus reaching gold director level. At the moment I am helping more and more women and young girls grow in the business.

What three qualities that helped you succeed?

Qualities:

Persistence wears resistance. Without being persistent I would’ve given up from the start.

Patience. Network marketing needs patience; it is not a get rich quick scheme. And at the same time dealing with different people and different attitudes and behaviors needs a lot of patience.

Most importantly, faith in God. I worked hard and prayed hard.

In Mombasa, Make-up artist are using the wrong make-up for their clients what advice would you give them?

Makeup artists using wrong makeup: people should learn that the makeup we use now will have an effect on us sooner or later. The rise in uterine and skin cancers is alarming. And it’s mostly brought about by the cancerous products we use on our face. Some even sleep with the makeup on the face which is not recommended. The make-up artists should not put money first, think of the dangers you are exposing your clients to!

What are the three things a woman should always carry in her handbag and why?

3 things- hand sanitizer, EVERY woman needs this in their bag! Our hands are the dirtiest parts of the body because we touch everything e.g. money, stair railings etc.

A mirror: instead of looking into someone’s car window to make your hair or scarf, carry a small mirror with you!

And a lip balm: not a lipstick, not a lip-gloss, a LIPBALM. No one wants to see you with cracked lips…

What motivates you?

Motivation: my family is my motivation. I want the best for my children and i will do anything for them to get the best.

What advice would you give to a woman struggling out there?

Every woman has a struggle, you just need to be strong, wipe those tears, and do your best! We are women, we go through a lot and we still come out strong. Create a business for yourself don’t wait to be fed, clothed. Opportunities like Oriflame await you. Registration is just 450/=, risk free! Plus free training.

What are your goals for the future?

To help other women succeed. In Oriflame we say, We rise by lifting others. And i plan to help as many women grow to higher levels and create a future for their children.

Parting shot

It’s time to wake up my fellow women. Today, I am a proud mother after seeing and helping my daughter succeed in this business. Create a future for your children; don’t wait for them to be seated behind a desk being paid 20k a month. Network marketing is the best gift you can give them! I did it, and you can do it too.

 

Jina Langu ni Mauko Maunde

mauko 1

Your Name and what you do?

Mauko Maunde. I’m a lot of things rolled into one. Blogger, Web developer, Poet, Band manager and a trainee civil engineer.

What’s the one thing that amazes you?

Beauty in its rawest, most innocent form. It is all around us, in the sights and people around us. That, and the capacity for humanity in people. Despite all that happens, those people that remain “good” and restore your faith in humanity never cease to amaze me.

Tell us about Artists in Mombasa, do you think they are doing enough to be recognized?

I don’t think so. Wanataka kuchezea nyumbani hapa. Most do not want to get out of their comfort zones. They are going the tried and tested way forgetting that this line of work requires one to think beyond the gamut and try out new things. Go out there into the unknown, so to speak.

You manage different artist, what is the one challenge you face the most?

Getting them gigs to perform, then getting them paid after an event. On top of that is finding producers they can work well with, but these are apparently “normal” challenges.

Tell us about Sanaa Salon?

Sanaa Salon was borne of the need for a platform for artistes and writers to showcase thier various creative endeavours and create a large community where networks can be created and as result utilised to grow both individuals and the arts industry as a whole. It is a showcase of creative works and opinions from various stakeholders, but primarily young artistes.

Our publishing and marketing division, at www.books.sanaasalon.com also seeks to offer convenient and affordable publishing for budding writers who would otherwise not afford the exhorbitant costs associated with mainstream publishers. We do this by creating ebooks in various formats and distributing the same across markets.

Blogging has not been received well in Mombasa, compared to Nairobi. Do you think this will change?

Yes. I think the tide is changing, albeit too slowly, but we are headed there. I have seen a number of blogs come up in the recent past. Pretty decent ones I must add. Coupled with the establishment of the Coast BAKE chapter, the future looks good.

What is required, I think, is an awareness by Coastal young people of the immense opportunities blogging offers, both in terms of self-development and expansion of thought spaces; not to mention the obvious financial gains that can be achieved from a well- written blog.

How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

I realised the best way to handle it is to ask for help. I know, most people wouldn’t want to cede control of their blogs to others, but it’s the only way to maintain an active blog with a wide variety of perspectives.

Since one of my blogs is for events, I thought it would be easier and more convenient to crowdsource its content, so I only have to edit the submitted posts.

How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

Ah, we are making new year resolutions now, are we? Well, for one I’d like to see better performance from by blogs and other projects; perhaps even take them up as a full-time gig. I want to invest more in growing the literary space in Mombasa because I realised that makes me happy, and I’m content when I’m happy.

Can you name some of your favourite bloggers and explain why they are your favourites?

Well, you for one. I love your photos. They represent a perspective of Mombasa only those of us who live here see, a beautiful face they don’t show much elsewhere. Keep up the good work. There is Jackson Biko too, I want to conceive and nurture words in the way he does so when I let them out into the world they can hold their own, blow minds and change lives. For the better. Ah, Jacque Ndinda. I love her. Her writing I mean.

Parting shot

A while back, someone mentioned off-handedly that Mombasa was backward, and the residents too daft for their own good. I could have argued otherwise then, in their  defence, but I did not. I’m glad I can do that now

Jina Langu ni Stephanie Maseki

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  1. Your name and what do you do?
  • My name is Stephanie Maseki
  • I am a social worker by profession
  • I am now a full time actor and a producer by virtue of love and passion for theatre with a theatre company called Stan Savannah based in Mombasa.
  • I am also a 4th year Psychology student at Nairobi University
  1. What was your first play you produced?

Zuena was my first play to produce and actually write in March 2013. It is an original script on anti drugs. This play received an enormous number of audiences.

  1. How do find the art scene in Mombasa?
  • Art scene in Mombasa is challenging but its catching up. Art in terms of music has a good hype but theatre is a bit lacking. I don’t want to believe in the nortion about culture having anything to do with it; why? Because once ago in Mombasa people went to the theatres to watch plays.
  • I want to think that marketing is the biggest challenge we have as an industry. With a good hype, I believe we gonna reach the optimum in terms of an audience reach.
  • The audience are waiting an wanting, but they have no information.
  1. Artist are under appreciated in Mombasa, do you think this will change?
  • Yes, this will and can change if artists themselves take their work seriously and present themselves accordingly to the society as professionals.
  • The artist must take this profession serious so that the audience compliments him/her, not the other way round.
  • We need to change the mindset of the society and it starts with me and you as an artist.
  1. How do you prepare for a play?
  • How do I prepare for a play? This is a long one. There are a few steps to be followed:-

Step 1: As an actor first you need to get the script

Step 2: Read the Play Many Time

A deep reading of the play is important. No matter what your role is in a play you    must read the script many times. read a play will. When you read a script, read every word. New actors often read only their scenes, and some only read their lines. Others will decide to not read the stage directions. Read the play from beginning to end. And, because it’s a play, it’s not a bad idea to read it aloud.

Step3: Deep Reading

There is a basic three-step process that one can employ. It involves three readings of the play, and it’s designed to help an actor begin to understand their character and how that character fits within the context of the play.

Reading the Play Three Times

  1. First reading is devoted to understanding the plot, getting to know who the characters are, getting a handle on the time, place and action, etc.
  2. Second reading focuses on getting to know EVERYTHING you possibly can about the character you are playing. From the evidence the playwright gives you, create your character in every manner possible.
  3. Third reading consists of reading the play in an attempt to see how your character fits within the entire thematic context and dramatic action of the play. Why is your character in the play and what purpose do they serve?

Step 4: Know Your Lines

  • Be as ready as you can be to work with your director. Many actors learn a large percentage of their lines before they ever get into rehearsal. You should arrive at rehearsal with a strong understanding and solid knowledge of what you are saying and doing and why.

Step 5: Come Into Rehearsal with Ideas

  • When you finally start the rehearsal process hopefully you will have a director who has a strong and clear vision of the script and who will be able to work with you and all of the actors in discovering how to bring the play to life. Whether this is the case or not, you should come into rehearsal with ideas for each scene, knowledge of what your character wants overall and in every moment of the play

Step 6: Be Ready to Act

  • Be ready for anything. When you are in rehearsal you should be ready to act, that is, to work. That means being attentive to your director, focused on the script and the process, and acting and reacting in scenes. When you are not in a scene you should be reviewing staging, learning lines, or trying to discover more about your character. Acting is hard work and it calls for a lot of preparation prior to the start of rehearsals and attentiveness throughout the process. If you are the type of actor who arrives ready to work, you will become a person with whom directors like to work, and that means you will be employed often.
  1. How many plays have you written and produced?
  • I together with my colleagues have written and produced 9 plays since 2013. These are all original plays, all thematic, educative and purely entertaining!
  1. What would be your dream role, and how do feel you will bring it out?
  • An actor cannot afford to have a dream role. If you do, you block all other avenues of doing other roles while looking forward to doing that particular role. So what happens when you never get a chance to do you dream role? It dies. So an artist should be open minded and experimental so long as they take up roles that elevate them to another level in their acting career.
  1. Apart from Little theatre club, there is no other theatre in Mombasa. Do you think the county government is doing enough to promote plays and artists?
  • No it’s not. Unless I don’t know anything about it which is unlikely. These are politicians, I don’t think they understand what art it, I don’t blame them; but if there are offices appointed by the county to carry out the duty of uplifting theatre, then that is the one sleeping on their work.
  • Mgala muue na haki umpe, a few individuals visit the theatre once in a while but there is no much talk about it for implementation of theatre projects. Maybe we as artists are not enthusiastic about it and that’s why they don’t see the urgency.
  1. What are your future projects people should know about?
  • Currently I am working on a musical play; it’s the Christmas season, I want to give the audience a test of what Christmas is all about. Love, Thanksgiving and Forgiveness. So yes, The story of Mary and Joseph on the 12th @7pm and 13th @4pm Dec, 2015.
  • February I am working on a piece to bring to light the stigma in the society surrounding Rape. Play: CODE OF SILENCE
  • A theatre training program as well in April. Our calendar of events will be available during the showing on the 12th & 13th
  1. Parting shot

For us to bring back the hype in theatres, I urge the media to support production houses in marketing the plays.I also urge the county government of Mombasa to support the artists by also renovating the theatre to a modern facility. Audience have actually really complained about how old fashioned the place is. I urge the members of the public to come to the theatres;

One: to support art.

Two: to have the exceptional experience they never have when they watch movies on screens. Theatre is a reflection of our society I would say.

Facebook page: Stan Savannah

Email: stansavannah18@gmail.com

Contacts:  +254 722 988 353 or  +254 722 163 571

Safaricom Jazz at the Coast

The Safaricom International Jazz Festival, one of the country’s biggest music events, is finally here again. This December, Safaricom will not only host the much awaited show in Nairobi, but the Coastal jazz lovers will themselves be getting a treat too in Mombasa. The festival which has been taking place for the past 2 years is Kenya’s premier Jazz exhibition. With big names like Isaiah Katumwa, Jonathan Butler, Salif Keita, Richard Bona, Rhythm Junks, Jimmy Dludlu, The Nile Project and Yuval Cohen, the festival has steadily been garnering a cult following since its inception on the 23rd of February 2014. The Safaricom International Jazz Festival has come to outgrow the Ngong Racecourse as venue and this December it moves to two big stages, The Carnivore in Lang’ata and The Haller Park Butterfly Pavilion in Mombasa.

The move to hold the festival in Mombasa too is a much anticipated move with the city being home to a lot of art and Jazz enthusiasts. The lifting of the travel ban will also prove to be an advantage as a lot of hotels have reported early bookings for both international and local tourists who will be there around the Christmas period.

But yes, with the numerous venues in Mombasa, what makes the Butterfly Pavilion Safaricom’s choice? Over the years, the Butterfly Pavilion has proven to be a paragon of both serenity and beauty. It is an extension of the Haller Park, a rehabilitation project by Lafarge owned Bamburi Cement and one of Mombasa’s most popular wildlife sanctuaries. The Butterfly Pavilion, formerly known as Bamburi Forest Trails, is lush forest with trails and an assortment of wildlife including butterflies, birds and vegetation. It is home to a number of ecosystems all thriving alongside each other to bring about a harmonic natural balance. The park literally demonstrates just how beautiful environmental conservation can get.

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Add all that together and you get an epitome of beauty. A magnificent scenery perfect for the art-enthusiast with refined taste. The park guarantees a magical view from the open space where the festival is supposed to be held. The open spaces are perfect for blankets kind of setting with one huge stage and with revelers bringing their own blankets or vikoi, or a formal arrangement. Simply put, when you combine the beautiful live jazz music with the magical view at the Butterfly Pavilion, you are sure to get lost in a world of colour.

This year, The Safaricom International Jazz festival features four huge international artists who join together as a quartet to give you “A Gospel According to Jazz”. The quartet consisting of highly acclaimed Grammy award winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown, Grammy award nominee Gerald Albright and newcomer Shelea Frazier will be the main act. All four artistes have impressive music achievements with all having received international accolades and titles. They will be curtain raised by Edward Parseen and the Different Faces Band, and AfroSync who are local jazz sensations.

All proceeds from the Safaricom Jazz Lounge will go towards supporting Ghetto Classics, a music programme based in Korogocho Slums that seeks to provide an opportunity for children from underprivileged backgrounds to explore their musical talents.

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Tickets to the Safaricom Jazz Lounge go on sale on Friday 20th November, and will be retailing at Ksh.1,500 for advance tickets, Ksh.2,000 at the gate and Ksh.500 for students. They will be available from select Safaricom outlets (Sarit Centre, Thika Road Mall, Galleria Mall, Junction Mall, BuruBuru, Village Market, I&M and Nakumatt Mega in Nairobi, and Nyali and Rex Shop in Mombasa). To find out more about the festival, go to safaricomjazzfestival.co.ke

The serene Butterfly Pavilion:


The Beauty of Heena

Every Eid and during weddings women in Mombasa adorn their hands with floral henna patterns, some with the black dye and others natural henna.

In Mombasa, there are henna artist who do the henna designs around town but the most common place is called Bin Sidiq center on Bawazir Lane. There are few salons located inside the shopping arcade that primarily do henna art. In addition, you can find a few on Facebook where you can see samples of their work before you visit them and book online.

 

The designs depend on status, for little girls normally a small simple design pattern suffices. For a single girl, the art goes just up to the wrist of the hand whereas for married women it is not restricted.

It is believed that a woman must always adorn her hands with henna to look beautiful for her husband so that whenever she is with him, he sees the beautiful and colourful artwork.

The price starts at 300 kshs for a smaller design i.e to the wrist and the higher the design on the hand it goes the higher the price.  Bridal designs are different from the other designs because it is the bride’s first night with her husband she has to look extra beautiful.

Different cultures have specific designs; you can Indian design Mehndi or United Arab Emirates Khaleeji style, also Sudanese black dye style.

The process includes mixing the henna powder with water, and the designer puts the wet henna in a cone which is used to draw with. Once the henna is applied on your skin, you wait for about forty five minutes to one hour for it to dry.After that, you just peel off the dried henna and normally you are advised not to touch water for 6-8 hours so the henna can darken preferably overnight. These days henna is mixed with a thinner which speeds up the process of drying.

The Craft Market at City Mall

Every Wednesday and Thursday, City Mall Nyali dedicates part of the parking lot for the craft market which promotes local curio businesses. The market was first introduced two years ago by craft producers and was registered as Craft Market.

On display at the craft market are various items such as hanging ornaments, kitchen wares, bedding, clothing, sandals and wearable accessories. The price ranges cost as low as kshs 100 to over kshs 5000, depending on your purchase.

Most vendors also design the accessories, adding a twist to make their pieces different and unique.

Each accessory produced represents some of the craftsman’s personality, making the items exquisite in every aspect.

Looking for quality and locally made crafts? The craft market makes it easier for you to be trendy on a low budget. The items sold there are diverse in colour, texture, design and material to cater for all ages and genders. There is something for everyone.

The organization is open to curio/crafts sellers and supports all kinds of groups. Youth and women groups who would like to join to promote their work are welcome.

So next time you are at City-Mall on a Wednesday or Thursday stop by between 8am and 8pm for the beautiful souvenirs.

Below are pictures from The craft Market at City-Mall.

Jumba la Mtwana

The full name Jumba la Mtwana means in Swahili “the large house of the slave”. Within this area four mosques, a tomb and four houses have survived in recognizable condition. These houses include the House of the Cylinder, The House of the Kitchen, The House of the Many Pools, which had three phases, and the Great Mosque. The inhabitants of this town were mainly Muslims as evidence by a number of ruined mosques.

There are no written historical records of the town but ceramic evidence showed that the town had been built in the fourteenth century but abandoned early in the fifteenth century. The dating is based on the presence of a few shreds of early blue and white porcelain with lung-chuan celadon, and the absence of any later Chinese wares.

It is most likely the site’s strategic position was selected because of the presence of fresh water, exposure to the North East and South East breezes which would keep the people cool and its safe location from external attacks by sea since it had no harbor, thus larger vessels had to anchor along way offshore, or move probably in Mtwapa creek. One can only therefore guess reasons for its eventual desertion, namely trade interruption, hostile invasion or a failure in water supply. Though there is need to pursue further research on this.
Clearance and excavation of the ruins were first carried out in 1972 by James Kirkman with a view of dating the buildings, its period of occupation and consolidating buildings which were in danger of collapse. Ten years later in 1982, Jumba la Mtwana was gazetted as a National Monument. Thus Jumba is legally protected under Antiquities and Monuments Act Chapter 215 of the Laws of Kenya.

Excerpt from National Museums of Kenya

Mombasa Instameet #wwim12_Mombasa

Every few months Instagram hosts a worldwide instaMeet, basically photo enthusiasts coming together to take photos and videos and upload on instagram.

A definition as per their blog “An InstaMeet is a group of Instagrammers meeting up to take photos and videos together. That’s it! An InstaMeet can happen anywhere and be any size. They’re a great opportunity to share tips and tricks with other community members in your area, and an excuse to get out and explore someplace new!”

A group of people or an individual can plan and organize an instaMeet in their city and invite others via Instagram.

In the beginning of October 2015, Instagram called out for worldwide InstaMeet number 12. The theme was #WWIM12 is to share #todayimet portraits of the people you meet at the InstaMeet.

For Mombasa we held the Instameet at Mombasa Butterfly House, located next to Fort Jesus. The Mombasa Butterfly House has on display butterflies that have been purchased from community groups living adjacent to key coastal forests, including the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

About 20 people attended the event, we enjoyed getting know one another and capture the different species of butterflies that inhibits the gardens. We were given a tour of the garden, and a few facts on Butterflies and the House itself.

Below are scene captured from the InstaMeet


 

 

Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

Nguuni Nature sanctuary is located 4km from Lafarge Bamburi Cement on the Nguu Tatu Hills; the amazing sanctuary is the home to many species. Including Giraffes, elands, oryx, waterbucks, ostriches and many species of birds have made Nguuni their home. Large Doum Palm crowned by Leopard Orchids are scattered in the grassland.

Nguuni offers a beautiful location to view the sunset, also caters to weddings, camps and barbecue sundowners. At sunset Giraffes make their way to the picnic area for feeding. You can experience feeding the giraffes without gates or barriers, an exquisite experience only at Nguuni.

I had the privilege of visiting Nguuni during a sunset and the experience was magical and enchanting, I had the experience to feed the giraffes who made their way to the picnic area, as the sunset the giraffes made their way back to the grassland. The backdrop of the landscape and giraffes walking away was very beautiful and delightful.

Below are photos from the trip.