Tag - kenya

Jina langu ni Hassan Faisal Ali

Your name and what do you do?
My Names are Hassan Faisal Ali. I am a Film producer and Director at Coastal Films productions. A Hotelier by profession and an event’s organizer and also a music producer.

Tell us about Coast Film Productions ltd?
Coastal Films was started way back 2009 to promote The Films Talent at The Kenyan Coast. We were motivated to start Coastal Films when we realized the number of homes in Mombasa who had an urge of watching Movies. At that time most homes were watching Indian Movies before Nigerians took over our screens.

Why did you go to into production?
I love Films, so I decided to learn how to do scripts thereafter I decided to start shooting movies.

How many series and Movies have you produced?
I have done 7 movies so far

We have few movies and series from Mombasa, what do you think is the problem?
The cost of doing Movies is not cheap and the market is not readily available. We have no sponsors due to the fact this is an Islamic town. The Able people will not sponsor story lines on violence etc. Companies here also have no authority to fund as decisions are made from their head offices in Nairobi

Where do you see the creative industry in Mombasa 5 years from now?
In the next Five years the coast will be leading in productions once we streamline the creative industry market. The coast has what it takes to do good movies; we have superb locations and talent down here.

What criteria do you use to select a script, screenwriter, director, etc.?
This relies on the story line and the budget plus available funds.

What is your latest project?
My latest project was Yoba Movie which we have shot with a Holland films company called CLFILMS.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
One of the biggest producer in Africa

Parting shot
The Government needs to invest more on creative arts industry in order to create self employments to the youth as it’s unable to provide employment to all this youths.

Kenya Blog Awards

Life in Mombasa has been nominated for the Kenya Blog Awards 2016.
Kenya Blog Award recognizes and awards exceptional Kenyan bloggers in different categories every year. It is organized by the Bloggers Association of Kenya.
Please take your time to vote and spread the word.
The link to vote is: http://www.blogawards.co.ke/vote/
Go to the bottom to Best County Blog – vote for Life in Mombasa (www.lifeinMombasa.com)

Thank You

 

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.

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.


Duka La Abdalla Leso

Located in the heart of Biashara Street, Duka ya Abdallah under the Kaderdina Hajee Essak Ltd have been around since the forties of the nineteenth century. Mali ya Abdalla Leso has become a household name in Mombasa and other parts of the world.

The leso is a rectangular piece of material made of pure cotton. It measures approximately 150 x 110 cm, and is wide enough to cover a person from the neck to knees or from breast to toe. All lesos have fairly broad borders (pindo) all around and are printed in bold designs and bright colours. Lesos are bought in pairs – a pair is known as a gora – and are most attractive and useful as a pair. A gora of lesos is joined along the width of the fabric when bought. The buyer then cuts along the width and hems each of the two pieces of lesos to prevent fraying of the sides of the fabric. The leso is also known as the Khanga – the names are interchangeable. – Duka Ya Abdalla

The saying is the crucial part of the leso, it sends a message, and it tells a story to others. Others are made for gifts to newlyweds, to new parents and etc. Once you step into the shop you look for two things in the leso- the saying and colour patterns of the leso. Choosing a name depends on the occasion of the purchase of the leso. If it is for a newlywed, one with beautiful colours and congratulatory words will be ideal.   A tradition that used to be common in Mombasa is when neighbors quarrel they just argue through sayings of the leso, one will wear a Leso with a saying that indicates hate to the other. Duka Ya Abdalla gets the sayings from anyone who gives them suggestion, they accept from the general public.

So if you are in Mombasa, take a walk to Biashara street to Duka ya Abdalla shop and peruse through the different patterns and colours of the lesos showcased.

In the meantime here are some samples from my visit to Duka ya Abdalla shop.