Tag - Mombasa culture

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.

Salim Mansoor Halwa

The history of Mombasa is intriguing; with the governance of Oman Arabs and Portuguese we have Kenyans who have Arabic and Portuguese ancestry. The Oman Arabs have different traditions that have been passed on generation by generation in Mombasa. One of them is making of Halwa (Haluwa), a sugary snack that is served with coffee (Kahawa chungu).

The Halwa is made of different ingredients including starch, eggs, sugar, water, ghee, saffron, cardamom, nuts and rose water.  The Mix is cooked in a big copper pot, stirred vigorously till it becomes a gelatinous substance.

In Mombasa, the first Oman Arab to open a Halwa shop was Salim Mansur Al- Mawly in the 1930’s on Abdulnasser Road.

DSC_0083

It was opened to serve the community with delicious and special Halwa for all occasions and celebrations.  Salim Mansur cooked and served Halwa for over 50 years till his death in 1980, where his son Nassir Salim Mansur took over the business. When Nassir took over the business, he also taught his son the special ingredients and cooking techniques to Abdulmajid.  In just seven years after his inheritance Nassir passed away, and Abdulmajid took over the business up to date.

After a few years at the Abdulnasser road location, they moved to a new Location on Biashara Street (Markiti side). For 70 years they have served in the same shop up to today.  They specialize in Plain Halwa, and Almonds. They cater to all occasions, be it a wedding, a Maulidi (Prophet Mohamed’s Day of Birth). It can be served in a big aluminum tray, or small cups for ease of distribution. Although the original was served in small woven basket called Kitalifa, the baskets were woven by Bajun women from Lamu.  Since there were no refrigerators at that time, it was known for the basket to preserve the Halwa for a longer period of time.

DSC_0092

Kitalifa

The interiors of the shop have remained the same for all these years, giving you a taste of history. Every morning you will find a group of old men playing backgammon while eating Halwa and drinking kahawa chungu (coffee).

For orders and prices call Abdulmajid 0722 587 430

DSC_0274

A swahili Poem about Kitalifa:

Kitaa kilo kitito
Shubiri yalo pungua

Kikatiwa mtunguto
Henda kikilewalewa

Ikatiwa ili moto
Ikiketi ikapoa

Ndio maana ya haluwa kutiwa kitaani.

A visit inside Salim Mansoor through pictures:


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 Tima Keilah

Your name and what do you do?

Hi, my name is Tima Keilah. I am a lawyer by profession, LLB from The University of Nairobi. I work with the County Government of Mombasa in my capacity as Miss Tourism.   I am also the CEO and founder of Sterling Modeling &Marketing Group, a company that deals with professional management of models and offering marketing solutions to corporates. I am also the UBER Ambassador to Mombasa and GLOVEPA Peace Ambassador.

I have a passion for  youth development and women in particular which has me constantly engaging with various organizations, to name a few; Girls On A Mission, UPIA, Arigatou International, Adam Smith International, and A&J Heclife.

Why did you want to become miss tourism?

I have a deep passion and love for Mombasa having been born and raised here all my life. I understand the important role that the tourism sector plays on the County’s economy and the lives of the people. The Industry has for a time been struggling leading to a lot of suffering in the community. Through Miss Tourism, I felt that I could help ameliorate this situation and aid in restoring the sector.

What are the roles of Miss Tourism Mombasa? Do you face any challenges?

The title of Miss Tourism Kenya Mombasa seeks to personify Kenya’s Tourism strengths through marketing the County and Nation both nationally and internationally. The assignment of Miss Tourism is to rally people towards the Promotion of six key Tourism development pillars identified as Tourist attractions, Investment opportunities, Environment conservation practices, Cultural diversity, Hospitality & beauty of our people and Peace.

Yes, I do face a couple of challenges that include acquiring funding for tourism development projects and insufficient media exposure.

Tourism is still suffering a bit right now. What can we do as Mombasa residents help boost our tourism?

We should work together in marketing the county to increase the positive information about the destination. Tourism is driven by the community around it. I think social network is an important tool for shaping perception and if we as the people of Mombasa were to positively utilize it to showcase what our county has to offer, in terms of tourism, I believe we would see a positive shift on things. Also, if we all took measures to keep and maintain the city clean, it would be a big boost to the tourism sector.

However, the situation has been improving thanks to the efforts of stakeholders in the industry with Mombasa having scooped 1st position as Africa’s Leading Destination in the recently concluded World Travel Awards 2016. The foreign direct investment by international companies such as UBER into the County is also a clear indication that the industry is on a steady rise.

Drug issue in Mombasa is high; do you think parents are to blame or society?

I don’t think you can blame any particular cause for the drug menace in Mombasa as it is caused by many different things. However as a lawyer I believe the law is the solution to all of society’s problems and by coming up with stiffer legislation and enforcement of the same the issue can be curbed.

12764585_1659433820971880_3252141257374349929_o (1)

Tell us more about Naipenda Mombasa and future goals.

I started the NaipendaMombasa Campaign as my Miss Tourism Kenya Mombasa County project as a way for the people of Mombasa to express their passion and love for the County and to improve the state of tourism in the county by showcasing popular tourist attractions, culture and cuisine, art, fashion, music and the beauty and magic of Mombasa County.

I recently launched the NaipendaMombasa campaign merchandise i.e. t-shirts, mugs, water-bottles, caps, key holders etc. so that everyone can carry a little bit of Mombasa everywhere they go. All products are sort and made in Mombasa, giving employment opportunities to our youth, with part of the proceeds going to charity work.

My vision for the campaign is to see it attain mass popularity as a way of boosting Mombasa’s tourism industry.

In Mombasa, we have a lot of tuk-tuks with no proper management system. In your opinion, how can they be managed?

Again, through proper legislation and enforcement of the law tuk-tuks can be managed. I think they play an important role in the transport sector of Mombasa and employ many locals. They are also a unique feature of the island and travel experience in Mombasa.

It is difficult to get into the modeling industry, how did you manage to succeed?

Yes, it is difficult, but like in my case, and in any other profession, hard work, patience, perseverance, and most of all desire are key ingredients to success.

Who inspires you?

My family and fans are a great source of inspiration. I also look up to the First Lady and the Governor of Mombasa’s work ethic.

Parting shot

Mombasa ni sisi, na sisi ni Mombasa. #NaipendaMombasa

 

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.

 

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.


 

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

stephanie 2

  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

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.