Tag - photography

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.

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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.

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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

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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 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.

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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

 

The Abandoned ship at Bamburi Beach

There is a small abandoned ship on the shores of Jomo Kenyatta beach that has attracted many photographers due its rusty old look. The ship has been at the beach for almost two years. Rumour has it that it was bought by a Tanzanian guy but he is out of the country, in the meantime it is being fixed until he returns.

When walk on the public beach at Bamburi, you will find it there with onlookers trying to find out why the ship has anchored there.


Safaricom Jazz: Rhythm and Serenity

The wind whistled slowly as the night crept in, the heat engulfed the air it was bound to be a beautiful night. The crowds started streaming in flocking the grounds at Butterfly pavilion for the Safaricom Jazz. The  Gates opened at 6:30 in the evening and cars were directed to designated parking areas, while others were taken to the venue by various buses.

The decor at the dome was impeccably done, with the seating area, draped in white and the dome well lit, setting the mood for a lovely night of jazz. Everyone was seated by 8pm eagerly waiting for the show to start.  With various vendors set up at nearby tents selling food and drinks, as well as other vendors selling African artifacts, there were enough activities to indulge in before the show started. We all love photos, and Safaricom definitely knew this, by providing a photo booth, where all in attendance got a chance to look glam while having their photos taken!

The crowd was ready for a soulful night, the ladies all dressed and the gents looking dashing as ever, this was not your everyday music concert. Finally at around 9:30pm, Edward Perseen and the Different Faces band gave a spectacular performance, including a special rendition of jazz with a Coastal feel to it, that got the whole crowd dancing and ready for the main show! They are definitely a force to reckon with, when it comes to the jazz scene in Kenya.

Kirk Whalum graced the stage with passion and fire, and his soulful performance made you reconnect with your spirit. In his first piece he started off with the Gospel according to Jazz from Chapter 1 to 5, that left everyone in the crowd in awe. His energy resonated in every song he played, as they shared the stage with Gerald Albright and Norman Brown. Many people among the crowd, weren’t familiar with Shelea Fraizer’s music, but she captivated everyone with her sultry voice and skills on the piano; she’s an upcoming artist that we should definitely look out for in the scene.

Norman Brown was the highlight of the event, his infusion of and contemporary jazz left the audience satisfied  with every succulent inflected note. The crowd moved to his beats, creating a wave of bliss and emotions that swept over the entire audience. He has a way with the guitar and it was evident when he showed off his skills while strumming the guitar behind his back as the crowd looked on in amazement!

Finally, Gerald Albright  came on stage, the crowd still excited and yearning for more jazz tunes. Gerald Albright has this soulful way of making everyone in the crowd, transfixed to his performance; his emotions while playing the saxophone, leaves you in a daze and it’s no wonder that when it comes to jazz, he definitely is a maestro!

The Jazz  Festival was truly a breath of fresh air in Mombasa, a few lucky winners among the crowd were fortunate enough to win phones and airtime thanks to Safaricom. The jazz enthusiast and CEO of Safaricom, Bob Collymore has definitely paved the way and set high standards for  jazz festivals in Nairobi and Mombasa. Safaricom outdid themselves with a well organized concert; from the decor, security, sound and not to mention the entertainment from the jazz maestros, that culminated the year well. Mombasa looks forward to many more concerts, and probably jazz musicians gracing us for the next Safaricom Jazz Festival!

This what others had to say about the event :

Maureen  Bandari

This was my first time attending the Safaricom Jazz event. I didn’t know most of the performers so I was a little skeptical of going but I knew that we don’t get the pleasure of having concerts like this in Mombasa all the time so I decided to go and check it out. First of all, the security was good and there is nothing as awesome as feeling secure during times like this when terror is everywhere. I loved the organization of the event since everything was moving swiftly and the dome itself was well decorated and organized.

I loved the caliber of people that turned up and their energy. The artists were engaging with the audience and playing familiar music every once in a while. It was truly an awesome experience ,swaying to the sound of the instruments, laughing at the jokes and being in awe of the amazing voices. The artists left us wanting more by the time the event came to a close end.

On areas of improvement, this being Mombasa a dome sometimes is too confining which makes it too hot. Unless you go ahead and install fans as well, I think an open air concert is much better and more comfortable. Other than that this is an event I will definitely attend come next year’s version.

Winnie Araka

The thing I liked most about the event was the ambiance. The crowd was great and appreciative. Everyone was on their feet and there wasn’t one dull moment. The musicians were on point. It is worth noting too that the event organizers were very organised, with transport to carry attendees to and from the parking.

All in all, it was a memorable event.

Kelvyne M. John

Awesome!!

Sights and sounds from Safaricom Jazz Mombasa:


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.

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.