Candid Conversations – Women Empowerment

Primarkpants, Turban, Turbanista, Backyardshoez, Primarkpants, Floralpants

Hello Peaches, Happy New Month. January’s ‘drought’ had clearly drained me. I couldn’t afford to think. My new blog post is on the candid conversations event that I attended this Tuesday. It was an enlightening moment for me. I am grateful to my dear friend Ibtisam (Hijabeefied) for informing me about the candid conversations event which we attended together with Farhana Oberson (let’s empower each other, shall we?). Candid conversations is a woman exclusive event birthed by Patokelo with an aim to help women in Kenya build their businesses/ brands offering entrepreneurial ideas through raw, motivational, and inspirational conversations. A panel of phenomenal women being their authentic self, publicly sharing their personal stories inspiring and motivating women to get out of their comfort zones by harnessing the collective energy of women uplifting fellow women to achieve their goals and build their businesses/brands. The candid conversations was with social media experts: This is Ess, Sowairina, Connie Alluoch, Muthoni Njoba, The official Sonal Maherali, Craving Yellow, and many others. I felt honored to be in the same room with all these fierce women.

The event was scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at Capital Club in Westlands. Upon arrival, we were directed to sign in the guest list form with our contact details and then ushered in for refreshments and for us to get an opportunity to network before the event commenced.

A few minutes later, we were called in for the candid conversations.

Renee Ngamau (Speaker, Capital FM Presenter, Life and Business Strategist) was the MC for the event. She warmly welcomed us with a short therapy session to keep us alert, guiding us through the marvelous event.

Patricia Okelo showcased her book – A candid handbook for women doing business. Her goal is not only to promote and enhance gender equality, but also career and business advancements among women in business in Kenya. The struggle usually comes where women run businesses or work yet socially recognized as nurturers of the home.

“Although we’re advancing in the workplace and in business, our role as nurturers doesn’t change.” Patricia Okelo.

Fundamentally, the book encourages women in businesses to be part of the economic growth of the country like men do, without neglecting their household roles; women are the integral part of the society. Moreover, addressing issues and challenges that women in business face. Giving us tips and entrepreneurial ideas on how to strategize our businesses/brands and monetizing our social media presence. It’s a brilliant initiative for women to pursue their palpable passion with full dedication.

“I always believe that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.” Gloria Vanderbilt.

Sonal Maherali (luxury blogger) talked about her passion for luxury. Her main aspiration is to remove the Asian cultural stigma that puts women down instead of uplifting the girl child. She runs a luxury page on Instagram and YouTube and confesses her addiction to shoes (Shoe Queen). Listening to her bold fierce talks gives you confidence to go out there and pursue your dreams without anyone’s validation.

Sharon Mundia (This_is_Ess) is a Kenyan Lifestyle Blogger and YouTuber who’s come a long way to motivate and inspire young girls to join the blogging and influencer world which is currently growing in Kenya. I was in her candid conversations circle, therefore, I learnt a lot from her with regard to the lifestyle blogging tips. According to Sharon, it takes a lot of courage, hard work, dedication and passion to thrive in the blogging world as some of the challenges faced are harsh judgments, invasion of personal space, the anxiety of keeping up with brands, and losing yourself in the process. She advises young women out there to stand for what they believe in and reject any sort of business offers that do not align with their principles. It shouldn’t be about the money, but the brand’s ethics. We have to create a niche we are comfortable with, without feeling the need to conform ourselves to people’s expectations as every group has its audience. Most importantly, do not post content for the sake of being consistent but post only when you are most inspired. Truthfully, you can’t please everyone and that’s okay.

Furthermore, newer social media tools like paid sponsorships, promotional ads, live, and polls, give online brands a much easier platform for recognition and engagement with their followers online thus every brand should utilize them and maximize on their usage. Additionally, she encouraged us to learn to use the trendiest social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube where majority of millennials gravitate toward because chances of getting recognition are higher than in an abandoned one with less users.

Muthoni Njoba is a Professional Make-Up Artist and YouTuber; The first Kenyan Make-Up Artist to be assigned as the lead Brand Ambassador of an International cosmetic brand Maybelline New York Kenya. I learnt from her inspirational conversation that you have to be ambitious and push forward till you achieve your goals. The road to success is not easy but giving up should not be an option; we have to grab the world by the lapels if we badly need success. She advises young women to start small businesses with little resources like how she started off as a self taught freelance makeup artist and slowly but gradually you’ll get there. More also, she advises young women to practice self love. Never victimize yourself in any situation or give into your insecurities. We need to build confidence in ourselves.

Connie Alluoch is an award winning fashion stylist in Kenya. Through her candid talk, she taught us that we have to find the right tactics for our businesses. That we should be aware of our business progress (stats, followers, sales, e.t.c.) and find ways to grow in a way that’ll attract and satisfy your target audience / followers / clients by developing approaches that are more responsive to their needs. Therefore, learn your audience, change your road-map in your business approach if your current one isn’t working, find solutions, and hone in the solutions over time.

Grace Sowairina is a fashionable media personality and Vivo Activewear Ambassador supporting single mothers like herself. Her inspirational conversation taught us the essence of being in touch with our spiritual self. She talked passionately about her love for vivo activewear which is a go-to store for chic, quality and affordable clothes & accessories. It’s majorly popular for offering tailor-fit stylish clothes that complement the modern African women of all sizes, courtesy of Wandia Gichuru; Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vivo Activewear.

Tabitha (Craving Yellow) – Natural hair Blogger and YouTuber – also took us through her natural hair journey promoting self love & care, persistence and patience.

The phenomenal women in the room showed a great deal of compassion to the rest of us who were new to the event hence nobody had the fear of being bludgeoned through their personal confidential candid talks inspiring women to thrive, and unleash the wonder woman in us.

We left with our goody bags filled with  amazing dried Mango fruit I couldn’t stop munching from Azuri, delicious chilli from Rizichiskitchen , and green tea from Stir Me Tea which i’m still yet to try.

In a nutshell, the candid conversations circle is a repository of women empowerment which offer young girls and women in business entrepreneurial insights and female role models to look up to; courtesy of Patricia Okelo. I left feeling more inspired and motivated than I have ever been. Also, because I met and engaged with my all time favorite blogger Sharon Mundia a.k.a This_is_Ess in the candid conversations circle. I feel like I can stop blogging now, ‘I made it’! Haha I kid. ♥️

Scarf: Fashion.buffet

Lippie: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint

Top: M&S

Pants: Primark

Shoes: Backyard Shoez

Photo CreditsKimachianator

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Robinson Crusoe Island – Seafood Feast

Robinson Crusoe Island is an exquisite seafood excursion island strategically located in Malindi Salt, approximately 1 hour road trip North of Malindi Town. (Land-marked by a police station and mosque).

Ensure that you carry your National ID cards/ Passports for a security pass on your way to the Island. Robinson Crusoe Island holds a special place in my heart because it’s home to me. My grandfather, Hassan Bien and his lovely wife Mariam John have worked hard together to serve us the best sea food in town through their magical signature menu for over 30years. I might sound bias, but you have to come and taste it yourself to believe my words. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Moreover, Watamu Seafaris got you covered!

Peaches, just imagine this; a deserted serene island far away from the town buzz, surrounded by nature; tall palm trees, mangroves, driftwood furniture,  makuti restaurant with a natural sand carpet floor, 5 course sea food meal, tropical fruits & traditional bush tea. Now imagine eating all that and relaxing on a beautiful golden private beach sunbathing as you get lulled by gentle beach waves. Pure bliss! Experience the tranquility at Robinson Crusoe Island.

Moreover, mangrove conservation is highly practiced among other environmental conservation initiatives that Hassan Bien partakes in. As a sustainable lifestyle blogger, that’s one of my many inspirations about Robinson Crusoe Island.

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It was Easter Holiday when my dearest grandfather, Hassan Bien, took me to Robinson Crusoe Island in so long. We left early in the morning road tripping to the exquisite island.

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On our way in, scenic views of salt heaps and stunning flamingos glamorizing the salt land welcomed us. It’s a little bit of a bumpy ride so you’ll have to buckle up for this one. As you should.

Usually, Safari, the boat rider picks us up with the boat for a punt ride through the lush green mangroves. However, we arrived early in the morning when the tide was low, so we walked the short distance to the restaurant.

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Pic by the TheIslandGuru

Everything is made from natural materials. Makuti rooftop, unique driftwood furniture, sand carpet and many more.

In addition, there’s a lounge area inside and outside the restaurant to relax once you’re stuffed. Guests are warmly ushered into the restaurant to their reserved tables with friendly smiles from their hospitable staff who are like family.

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SEAFOOD 

Robinson Crusoe Island Restaurant is decorated with bougainvillea flowers giving you a whole island vibe like you’re in the Bahamas. Customer service is really valued as all their staff share a family union and treat guests like family too. Courtesy of Hassan Bien.

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Hassan Bien

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A water kettle and bowl is offered to guests as a courteous gesture to wash their hands before and after every meal. It is a 5 course aphrodisiac seafood meal; a starter consisting of fresh baked oysters in coconut. Fresh boiled crabs catch of the day. Then king spiced prawns with fresh salad. Grilled fresh fish of the season i.e. red snapper, or grouper, king fish, sweet lips, white snapper e.t.c. Including rice in coconut delicious sauce.   Tropical fruits and Bien’s special bush tea served as dessert. All at kshs. 3,000/- only per person (drinks not included). You can order drinking sodas and water.

If you have never tasted oysters, Robinson Crusoe Island Restaurant has the tastiest oysters you’ll ever have. The oysters and coconut baked fusion gives a sensational taste. A must try!

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Delicious fresh boiled crabs are served second with a wooden board plate and wooden sticks to break its shell. It’s a great fun experience to try it with your friends and families.

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King spiced prawns follow. Peel and feel the deli taste.

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Well-seasoned grilled fish is then served with rice and coconut curry island dish. Sa-vo-ry!!! 😋

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Pic by TheIslandGuru

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Lastly, tropical fruits and traditional tea served as dessert.

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Pic by TheIslandGuru

After a heartfelt meal, calls a relaxation session.

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The beautiful beach stands to be one of the main attractions of Robinson Crusoe Island with golden sand and clear sea water.

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Private and serene! Wear your beach sandals, hats and sun cream to protect yourself from the scorching sun, essential  for sunbathing.

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Perfect getaway with your friends and family for a bonding session. Everything is served fresh hence you have to book a day in advance (24 hours).

Especially for a honeymoon and Eid getaway!

Book book book!!! 

To book, contact Hassan Bien +254 722 559 095 and Mariam John +254 729 326730.
Also, Watamu Seafaris for a sea excursion tour  package including lunch at Robinson Crusoe Island  +254724215418, watamuseafaris@gmail.com.

Of many questions asked:
1. Do they have rooms? Can you sleep there? No, it’s an excursion island offering seafood lunch but you can request to camp if you bring your camping tents.

2. Do they have charging spots? No, you’ll have to ensure that your phones are fully charged therefore I’d advice you to carry extra electronic gadgets. Portable power banks are most ideal.

3. Is the Kshs. 3,000/- seafood package inclusive of transport? No, but you can contact Watamu Seafaris  for transport & sea excursion tours. Call +254724215418. Email: watamuseafaris@gmail.com.

PS: Robinson Crusoe Island and Robinson Island are two different island restaurants  albeit existing in one location.

With Love,
Robinson Crusoe Island.
Welcome Peaches!

Live | Love | Eat 

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Why You Should Join The Malindi Town Clean-Up Day Initiative

Malindi Town Clean-Up Day is a monthly community initiative that was initially coordinated last month in April by Malindi Stakeholders in collaboration with Municipality of Malindi, Kilifi County, to save both the Blue and Green Economy of Malindi and ensure Malindi retains its old status.

“In 2001, Malindi was declared the cleanest town. In 2003, we were runners-up. In 2004, it was nominated to represent Kenya at the UN – Habitat World Urban Forum in Barcelona Spain. In 2004, it received a gold award from Total Oil Kenya Eco Challenge.” Mrs. Kate Mwikali, chairperson of Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT).

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Our Town Our Responsibility Motto is to change the attitude and mindset of people in Malindi so as to make each of us accountable for maintaining our town’s ecosystem as a community.

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Residents of Malindi (Malindians), KWS Malindi, Rotaract Club of Malindi, Rotary Club of Malindi, County Commissioner of Kilifi County, Italian Community, Kenya Redcross – Kilifi Branch, Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT), Business Owners & all other Stakeholders showed their civic pride yesterday by teaming up with the Municipality of Malindi, and County Government of Kilifi, to clean up Malindi Town so as to spruce up its beauty.

We all gathered for the second edition of Malindi Town Clean-Up Day yesterday at 8:00 a.m. during our fasting month of Ramadhan as planned at Portuguese Chapel in Malindi.

 

For the clean up, trucks, hand gloves, masks, trash bags, wrecks, litter bins & water refreshments were facilitated for all volunteers. In collaboration with staff from the County Government of Kilifi and Kenya Red-Cross Kilifi Branch.

We cleaned a section of Malindi Town; from Portuguese Chapel to Uhuru Gardens; cleaning the streets & pathways along Baobab road.

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There was so much team work which  made me register that chivalry is not dead. Together we can make Malindi great again. Moreover, we interacted in the process and got to meet new people of Malindi.

A little rain hicupped the event for a short while but we were all determined to finish, so we waited under different shades and continued with our trash collection exercise.

All the trash that was collected was dropped at Uhuru Garden for disposal.

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Plastic waste was collected in plenty; plastic bottles and plastic straws. Other trash collected included soda bottle-tops, flipflops, newspapers, food wrappers, box cans, and cigarettes to mention a few.

A short speech from the County Comissioner, Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) & more Stakeholders’ leaders closed the event to educate the community on the importance of taking care of our environment.

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The main objectives of this initiative is to help in waste management of Malindi Town so as to maintain a healthy environment, create sustainable collaboration between stakeholders, create an identity for Malindi by positioning it as a blue & green town in order to exploit the blue economy in an economically, socially & environmentally
sustainable way. Turn trash Into cash (employment). Lastly, to check the Government’s performance.

Applauding Malindi Stakeholders for organizing this successful cleanup event thus far and all volunteers who pulled through. We hope to raise more awareness for more people to join in numbers so as to increase the manpower.

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This will not only encourage local businesses to clean their properties but also residents of Malindi to avoid littering and be more conscious of their environmental hygiene so as to maintain a healthy ecosystem. As a results, roads in Malindi will be taken down to zero waste,  our Green and Blue Economy will improve, job creation, and attract both local and international  tourism including all other objectives mentioned; A revolution!

Perhaps if the County Government of Kilifi took proper charge, more Malindi Youth and Local Business Owners are educated on waste management, conservation and recycling & facilitated with the right resources, Malindi’s environment status will improve and the objectives can be easily achieved as a community.

 

 

Looking forward to the 3rd edition of Malindi Town Clean-Up. Bring your friends, family, acquaintance to volunteer, and spread the word.

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Wishing all my Muslim Brothers and Sisters Ramadhan Kareem.

Photography Credits: Peter Mkristo  Shariff Photography  Leni Frau

 

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Kilifi Entrepreneurship & Innovation Youth Summit and Churchill Live Show Malindi

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Youth Summit was a 3-day event (29th – 31st March 2019) held at Pwani University in Kilifi hosted by  Kenya Conference Solutions for the purposes of unveiling the Big4 Agenda and Blue Economy Opportunities for the Youth in Kilifi County. The free Entrepreneurship and Innovation Youth Summit provides a platform for youth to share their knowledge, skills and ideas, and an opportunity to directly engage with Innovators, Leaders, Entertainers, Social Champions, Entrepreneurs and Delegates to empower Kilifi youth, and nurture their knowledge and skills through mentorship that can help build Kilifi County.

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“One of the best decisions we made this year was attending the free Entrepreneurship and Innovation Youth Summit fueled our identity as youth to take part in the efforts of changing our country and the world to a sustainable place for everyone.” Kilifi Youth – Kenya Conference Solutions.

“It is inevitable to talk about achieving the Big4 Agenda without including youth. We are no longer the future leaders, we are the NOW leaders. Delighted to be joining in this very important Youth Summit.” CKK Charles Kamau – Public Engagement & Communications Enthusiast. – Kenya Conference Solutions.

The official opening of the Kilifi Entrepreneurship and Innovation Youth Summit was entertaining; A fashion show by Designers Vera of Vee Fashionhouse and Charity of Stella Customised Fashion Kenya and performances by Dj Kryotic & Proff Kenya. The performance was lit – no, literally! There was a sensational fire hooping dance alongside his performance. A more surprising one by Mwanase Ahmed, Co-owner & Managing Director, Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers; Mwanase Hoops.

 

 

Agendas discussed of the Big4 Agendas to brainstorm on issues that are currently hindering youth’s growth in business and innovations for long-term solutions. Esteemed panelists discussed Manufacturing, Affordable Housing, Universal Healthcare and Food Security.

“The only way that Kilifi Youth can actively participate in the global economy is through investment in our vibrant, talented youth. Investing in the youth is investing in the future and the industries of tomorrow. That is the only way to reach our Big4 Agenda and keep them going for generations to come.” Hon. Martha Koki – Nominated Member of the County Assembly of Kilifi.

“Don’t be where you are needed, be where you are loved.” Mzee Jalango Mwenyewe.

 

 

Youth Participants

Kilifi Youth participants set their tents and tables to promote their businesses by showcasing their products and services.

 

 

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Photography: Gaze Photography

Also, Kilifi Youth participants had an innovation competition and the social champions will be announced during the award ceremony #TeamKCS hashtag on twitter.

 

 

Photography: Gaze Photography & Kenya Conference Solutions 

Churchill Live Show Malindi

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Churchill Live Show was the highlight of the day closing the night in Malindi, Kilifi County with uproarious laughter! Malindians surprised Mwalimu Churchill with a massive turn out. Daniel Churchill Ndambuki is a Kenyan Comedian who hosts the comedy TV show Churchill Show on NTV Kenya on Sundays and Thursdays.

Katoi Watabaka – Percussionist of Mijikenda Jazz Band based in Malindi – was given the golden opportunity by Mwalimu Churchill to open the stage entertaining the audience with his percussion musical performance for one hour, alongside Mambo Tribe Music movement from Malindi as well. The stadium was packed like sardines!

I don’t do well in crowded places but the quality laughter from different comedians made it worth the stay. The transposed humor from all comedians’ performances brought waves of laughter at the show.

 

 

Comedian Prof. Hamo shot his shot that night picking his flower Nadia Maria from the Churchill Show audience garden. I’d say he’s got good taste!

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Talented Malindians; comedians, giriama dancers, music artists and spoken word artists performed as well communicating to the world that Malindi got talent too.

Special Guest Officials: Mombasa Governor Hon. Hassan Ali Joho, Kilifi Governor Hon. Amason Jeffah Kingi, Malindi MP Hon. Aisha Jumwa Katana, courteously welcomed Churchill Show and gave a speech addressing the cheerful crowd as they danced to ¤Tetema¤ on stage.

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Malindi umetushangaza mno, town ni ndogo lakini watu ni wengi mno. Thank you Malindi. We had so much fun. This was one awesome show with a great audience. Kilifi tutarudi, we will be back soon,” Mwalimu Churchill.

St. Anthony’s Malindi Choir closed the Churchill Show by gracing the stage with some gospel.

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Do you still think Malindi is dead? Think again Peaches.

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Live | Love | Laugh

Photography:  Rogim Photography & Mwalimu Churchill

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Malindi Fashion Show Slays La Malindina

Elegance, glamour and splendor filled the ambiance of La Malindina Resort in Malindi during Malindi Fashion Show previous Saturday on International Women’s Day; celebrating phenomenal women all around the world. Not to mention, La Malindina was recently reopened 3 months ago after three years of shut down.

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Aldo Menduni (left), Scarlet Were (middle), Charity Karimi a.k.a. Stella Customized(right).

Italian Owner of La Malindina, Mr. Aldo Menduni, birthed the idea of the fashion show event partnering with the talented Fashion Designer, Charity Karimi owner of Stella Customized Kenya based in Malindi to showcase her fashion designs to potential International and Local clients who attended the esteemed event. Our African Queen, Scarlet Were was the special guest that night. Scarlet Were is the former Miss Universe Kenya 2016 who broke the record of becoming the first Kenyan and only African to make it to a top 6 placement out of 86 beauty queens at the Miss Universe Competition.

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On entrance, a hostess welcomed us with a white rose walking on red carpet floor heading for a welcoming photo session as the Photographer dutifully took photos. Stella Customized background banner and red carpet floor themed the venue of the fashion show. Both ladies and gentlemen were dressed impeccably. Majority of the guests who attended the event that night wore Stella’s elegant unique designs making them stand out from the crowd.

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Guests took their seats in the stunning restaurant ready for the fashion show to begin. A few minutes later, the tables were full as waiters were bustling serving delicious dinner. The murmur of conversation throughout the venue was distinctively Italian and English.

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Heliana Vogli; Italian lady who is one of Stella’s biggest client and supporter, was the MC of the event. She opened the welcoming speech honoring International Women’s Day.

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Young gorgeous models marvelously took over the runway strutting around the swimming pool. They all walked so confidently with so much elegance giving justice to Stella Customized classy designs.

First Round was showcasing Afro-beaded accessories from Vera’s designs. Chic and retro!

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Second Round showcased Stella Customized fabulous casual wear with Vera’s accessories.

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Third round showcased Stella Customized dazzling beach wear.

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Forth Round showcased Stella Customized elegant evening wear.

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Finally, the night’s showstopper Scarlet Were; Miss Universe Kenya 2016 made a special appearance on stage.

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Scarlet had her long black hair tied up in a ponytail sweeping back to her waist, glowing in flawless makeup, and dressed exquisitely in Stella Customized elegant shimmery low back dress that had a thigh high side slit and accessorized with a necklace piece from Vera’s accessories collection. She effortlessly walked through the stage leading the runway like the African Queen she is as the rest of the models followed her lead.

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Guests were amused by her presence as photographers snapped her pics like paparazzi. Scarlet gave a touching speech to close the Malindi Fashion Show that explained her crown of valor. The message she sent was to break stereotypes of objectifying beauty queens against lecherous gazes on runways especially. Bravely opening up about her background as an orphan, challenges in her journey to top 6 of 86 position in Miss Universe Kenya. She added that Kenya does not have any financial advantage it was through her own financial effort that she succeeded. Also, she talked about how she started her Shades of Life Foundation and since Malindi is sadly known to be a drug  and prostitution avenue, she would want to use her platform to raise awareness against drug abuse especially among youths and empower young girls by raising awareness against prostitution and mentor them to divert attention from ill-fated social behaviors.

“My brother unfortunately became hooked to drugs and the damages completely changed his life. Which is why I started the Shades of Life Foundation to raise awareness against drug abuse among youth. Also, I own a lipstick line called Scarlet Lipstick Collection which Contributes to the Shades of Life Foundation with every purchase of lipstick.”

Charity Karimi – Stella Customized

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Charity Karimi a.k.a. Stella Customized Kenya is an inspiring fashion designer in Malindi originally from Embu. Charity was born below poverty hence learning tailoring at 12 years old as a survival talent. In 2012 she launched her cloth line named after her daughter Stella; Stella Customized. Malindi was best choice for her ever since she moved for work 14 years ago and for being a serene town best for creating. Scarlet and Charity happened to share a multitude of things including style and empowering trait. For that reason, she chose Scarlet to be her brand ambassador.

Through online and offline marketing she has managed to get both Local and International clients. Moreover, she has taken part in many fashion runway events in Kenya including Swahili Fashion Week among others.

Charity not only gives free fashion and design training to a handful of young girls but also  hires young models for photo-shoots and runways to empower them. Adding to her passion to encourage women and empower young women to embrace their beauty and use their beauty for a good cause. Moreover, as a business woman in the tourist sector, Charity offers sustainable fashion using her patch works as statement pieces to avoid littering. Also, she collaborates with women from the beach.

Today, Stella Customized has recognition that has exceeded her expectations. Soon, she will be attending Botswana Fashion Between Borders.

Charity has a message to young girls,

“You always have a choice. Set your goals, have faith and be ambitious. Look at the bigger picture. Success will come when you are determined to win. Do not give into temptations or let poverty define you.”

To revive Malindi, Charity reckoned that readily available resources in Malindi need to be properly utilized by youth and investors in Kilifi County who need to work collaboratively to uplift the tourism in Malindi.

In a nutshell, everything about the Malindi Fashion Show was divine. Aldo commended the number of attendees at Malindi Fashion Show – 70 guests – as a big turn out for Malindi.

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Photo Credits: Rogim Photography.

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The 4th Malindi Masaala Koroga Competition – Food Fiesta!

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The 4th episode of Malindi Masaala Koroga Competition took place on Saturday, 2nd of March 2019 at Driftwood Beach Club in Malindi. The event is a food festival filled with vibrant food colors, savory spices scents, and magical tastes, held after every 3 months in Kilifi County teamed up by Kilifi Tourism Investors.

 

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Mr. Edward Aniere (Eddie) and his wife Selma Mawani Aniere are the owners of Barefoot Beach Camp who coordinate Malindi Masaala. Their main objective is to revive toursim in Malindi targeting to make Kilifi County as an ideal tourism destination, by bringing both Local and International Tourists and Investors together in the Kenyan Coast to celebrate food. The winner then takes the next episode of Malindi Masaala to their venue. Keep reading to know who won the competition for this episode!

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Judges of the Malindi Masaala Koroga Competition 4th Episode

Eight teams participated including my favorite team; Tamu Fusion Restaurant from Watamu. Including Barefoot Beach Camp, Driftwood Beach Club, 7 to 7 Supermarket, Dental Art Center, Ocean Beach Resort & Spa, Surahi Restaurant and Malindi Sea Fishing Club. Of course, I attended to give my full support to my team. Just like Chef Diego and Tamu Restaurant as a whole, it was also my first time to attend and I have to commend Barefoot Beach Camp Coordinators Eddie & Selma for a great turn out!

 

 

Malindi Masaala Koroga competition commenced at 9:00 a.m. at the Driftwood’s pool venue. All chefs set their tables with their Company banners and flyers near the bar facing the swimming pool and the sea, fully prepared with their kitchen equipments; spices, vegetables, meat, cutlery and jikos ready to koroga! They each made two different curries as instructed; vegetable and non-vegetable curry.

 

It was an exciting moment for the chefs. I’ve never seen cooking look so fun!  So much vibrant food colors, a mixture of different spices scents took over the air and music to turn it up. You could get famished by just walking into the food arena. Most importantly, chefs put extra effort in presentation, hygiene and ensuring that the food was served hot from the jiko.

Barefoot Beach Camp prepared delicious fish with octopus and coconut patagonia curry.

 

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Dental Art Centre  prepared vegetable and spicy chicken curry.

 

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Driftwood Beach Club prepared spicy beef  karoga and mushrooms & garden peas masala curry.

 

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Malindi Sea Fishing Club prepared Prawn Curry, Sweet Potato, Lentil and Spinach Curry.

 

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Ocean Beach Resort & Spa also prepared a special vegetable and spicy chicken curry.

 

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7 to 7 Supermarket prepared an Indian delicacy Dhahi Dhum Murg made with boneless chicken and kele ki sabzi (ripe banana). The ripe banana was delish. Their presentation was spectacular, followed by their foiled fish that was finger-licking!

 

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Surahi Restaurant prepared Chicken Palak and Paneer Tikka Masaala.

 

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Tamu Fusion Restaurant prepared Veg Thai curry noodles and pumpkin & mango cream with coconut milk and prawns dipped in red curry. Foodgasmic!

 

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Judges moved to each table to taste each of the contestant’s food before they set their food at the buffet table for guests to get the privilege of tasting their     mouthwatering curries passionately prepared by the chefs at a cost of kshs. 500/- per person.

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Surprisingly, the queue was impressively long. It was a food fiesta that people got to enjoy with drinks, music and socializing!

 

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Media press was also present for the event and so many different people came to support their teams. Eddie concurred that it was indeed the biggest Malindi Masaala Koroga Competition!

Guess who the winner of the competition was? *drum rolls* Barefoot Beach Camp!

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2nd position was won by Surahi Restaurant.

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3rd position was won by Ocean Beach Resort & Spa.

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A certificate of participation was awarded to each participant as a token of appreciation.

The winner of the competition, Eddie of Barefoot Beach Camp, nominated Ocean Beach Resort & Spa as the next venue of the 5th Malindi Masaala episode (the date is yet to be confirmed).

I am surely looking forward to attend the next episode of Malindi Masaala. Do not miss out! If you have a business in the Kenyan Coast you’d like to promote, Malindi Masaala is the event for you!

Ps: Malindi is not dead people! It is very much alive and kicking! Let’s rock it! Cheers!

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Falconry Of Kenya, Malindi – What A Thrill!

Hey Peaches, welcome back to my blog. Today, we are going to the Falconry of Kenya in Malindi. The Falconry of Kenya is a private sanctuary in Malindi for birds and reptiles. Serves as a tourist center to promote awareness and conservation so that people can learn about different species. Moreover, it provides habitat and feeding programs for their wildlife.

Jay was in Malindi accompanied by her Mom, Caroline. The falconry sounded like a great plan out of the ordinary to share new experiences together.

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We drove down following google maps direction which led us on the doorstep of the falconry signaled by the door entrance sign without any hustle. We alighted the car and made our way in. 

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On entrance, there were four old Italian men chilling at a round table drinking beer.

To our disappointment though, the place looked run down which made us skeptical  about it being open *fingers crossed*  Luckily, the receptiontionist was present who also happened to be the tour guide.

The entrance fee is kshs. 200/- each for the tour. After paying the guide, our tour commenced.

Welcoming us into the sanctuary, was a giant old Aldabra tortoise over 100 years originating from Seychelles.

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Aldabra giant tortoise is actually one of the largest tortoises in the world and can reach upto 550 pounds and ages to 150 years old. Conserved to prevent it from going extinct. Our guide informed us that it is vegetarian can eat about 20 bananas and 40 kilos of grass on average per day.

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Next, he led us to an extraordinary adventure of a hugging eagle. Our guide gave each of us a huge hard skinned glove that had a cube of meat which attracted the eagle to my arm in fast flight and landed on its sharp claws. I could feel the weight when it landed on my arm and the strong wind swooshed by its huge strong wing feathers. We did that with the falcon too which was heavier! It was a thrilling experience!

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A few steps forward, was a line of net cages which had different snakes species. Some venomous, a few not.

Among the snakes we saw were the venomous Black Mamba, Puff Adder, African Rocky Python,  and Black Necked Spitting Cobra.

 

 

They were NOT pleasing to my eyes. But I can say the green mamba’s neon green skin is so attractive.

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Their eyes and hissing sound of tongue raised every single hair in my body. My snake phobia is too real.

To make it worse, our guide uncaged a small grey snake holding it on his hand and daring each of us to hold it. Caroline was brave enough but Jay and I could not hack that.

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I literally just touched the snake with the tip of my finger and it sent chills down my spine making me scream with fear. Welp!

Biokenafrica – snake conservation – recently documented, “A snake is an animal, it is not a shetani, it is not a serpent and we have to put all that away. If you find it in your house, give it space to run away.”

The scariest snake was the deadly python and the weirdest thing to see was python poop. 

 

 

Other reptiles we saw were monitor lizards, baby tortoises conserved in their pen and crocodiles.

 

 

Did you know that crocodile meat is tasty? 😋 Tastes like chicken and fish. Yes, I have to admit, I had a bite of crocodile meat in Watamu a few months ago. Additionally, it is good for your heart, lungs, blood circulation and it is known to cure asthma and coughing problems and their fat is rich in skin-healing/softening ingredients that are used to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Lastly, we explored a handful species of birds. Generally, birds are known to be biological controls, balancing the food chain.

We learned through our guide that there are more than 200 owl species in the world. In Kenya, however, we have approximately 17 species of owls; we saw a handful. The owls are nocturnal creatures with superb eyesight and huge ears framing their heads into disk-like shape. Their ears have strong hearing capabilities designed for hunting at night.

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These Barn Owls were lit! They swing their bodies like they’re humming themselves lullabies. We played Tetema bongo song by Diamond and their dance swing rhymed with it, adding a wink to it.

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Spotted Eagle Owls

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African Wood Owl

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Verreaux Eagle Owl are unique with pink eyelids

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White-faced Scops Owls. Camouflages itself against tree trunks. Although tiny, they’re very aggressive

Sadly in most cultures, especially our African cultures just like snakes, owls are superstitiously subjected as a sign of bad omens. European cultures too believe that the barn owls are ghostly because they are mostly seen in graveyards.

Interestingly, a single owl can consume 1,000 mice a year, hence they can be used as natural rodent controls in farming to replace toxic rodenticides and other harmful chemicals.

Bush babies are cute and tiny with plaintive cries like babies.  The bush baby was playful hiding itself in a small pot in its cage.

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The bush baby has large round eyes for strong eyesight during night hunting as they are nocturnal. They feed on termites, fruits, rodents

What I found sad was some of the birds were tied down to small pots.  However, the guide assured us that the birds get untied for them to fly out as they always find their way back. 

 

 

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PS: the fish eagle is the most endangered bird species with a killer beak and sharp talons that can rip your soul apart. They are quite temperemental too!

Surely, it was an educational and exciting experience.

Nevertheless, The Falconry of Kenya in Malindi is an exciting way to pass time and enjoy with your friends and learn about different species of birds and reptiles. Experience an extraordinary adventure of holding either a falcon, owl, or eagle or all in turns. A snake too! *yikes* Enjoy the thrill Peaches. 

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Lavish and Luxe: Fashion High Tea 2019

Fabulous!

The Island Guru

It’s mid week and I’m here still recovering from the fashion fusion that went down last weekend. The hottest fashion event in Nairobi happened and Fashion High Tea 2019 was nothing but all lavish and glamour. After so many years of stalking and dreaming of this event, I finally had a chance to be part of this gracious scenario and I can confirm that it is ‘the most anticipated fashion event in Nairobi’.

Photo by Dan Kiptoo @99thsense

Fashion High Tea is an annual high fashion event hosted by Zen Garden to celebrate the fashion industry in Kenya. Zen Garden lives up to its name and brings together the zen in a fashion scene that is graced by the popular stylish personas in the city. Now I understand all the fashion hype that goes on in Nairobi every February.

Ruena Kiarie feeling her style

I mean if we are going…

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