Tag - memories

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.

Swahili Breakfast: Mbaazi and Mahamri

It’s not a Swahili breakfast without Mbaazi and Mahamri (Mahambri), if you have lived in coast you know this is true. A true coastal tradition passed on generation by generation, and still going on up to date.

Mbaazi is made of pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk, while Mahamri (Mahambri) is a Swahili delicacy eaten with other meals to compliment the taste. It’s fascinating that in Mombasa, this is a very common around town. You will find food vendors around different areas selling the combo at a reasonable price. A cup of Mbaazi goes from 30 kshs to 50kshs, while a Mahamri (Mahambri) goes for 5 kshs a piece. People on their way to work will stop over these vendors and devour in a coastal breakfast leaving them full for the rest of the day.


 

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.


Beach Life

Our beautiful coastline In Kenya is our major asset for tourist attraction, a walk at the white sandy beach is the most picturesque appeal. With our recent insecurities many hotels along the coastal cities are suffering due to the low visitor turn out. Many hotels have closed and others are barely making it. Now the only way to survive is to appeal to local tourist, creating packages that will cater to coast residents and other Kenyans.

Most hotels have special packages from Nairobi, some even include transportation from Nairobi. The only way to survive is to find a small incentive from other hotels to stand out. But a trend that has emerged that appeal to coastal residents is lunch buffet (Inclusive of swimming) at a minimum fee and unlimited swimming time. The price range start from kshs 1200 to kshs 2100 lunch buffet and swimming. This deal caters to family who want to spend an afternoon swimming and enjoy a good meal. All the deals are always for Saturday and Sunday only.

So if you ever find yourself with no Sunday plans call your nearest hotel and ask them for Sunday special deal. You will be surprised by the good deal you get.

Sights and Sounds of the beach :


Old Town

Old town Mombasa is full of rich culture and traditional architect, that keep you inspired. Even though I am native coastarian, every time I visit I find a hidden gem. One thing I have realized take a tour guide from Fort Jesus, the guides have vast Knowledge of the Old town and the habitats.  I recently took a tour guide and I was impressed by their knowledge of Old town, very inspiring.

Below are photos taken by an iphone :

 

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