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.
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.
Mombasa ni sisi, na sisi ni Mombasa. #NaipendaMombasa