by Muthoni Kimani
February 25, 2021
Earlier this year, Naomi Campbell was appointed to promote Kenya abroad as the Magical Kenya International Brand Ambassador, well, The British supermodel has shared her first video promoting the country but,Kenyan’s are not happy at all!
On Tuesday evening, Campbell shared a 2:43 minute video clip on Instagram which has more than 10 million followers titled Naomi Experiences Kenya but used a Nigeria song as the soundtrack.
The question is how do you promote Kenya using a Nigerian song? In My Maserati, which was sung by Nigerian artist Olakira, can be heard in the background as she showcases Kenya’s vast coastal beauty and its people.
In her first statement since she was appointed by the Ministry of Tourism headed by CS Najib Balala, Ms Campbell said that she was honoured to be Kenya’s International Ambassador
She wrote; “I feel so privileged and honoured to be confirmed as Magical Kenya International Brand Ambassador. Not just because of the obvious benefits that tourism brings to an economy but also I am proud to be able to represent such an important country as Kenya,”
She went on to say; “We all know about the astounding areas of natural beauty,the beaches and of course the wildlife but there is much more. Kenya has a history going back 100 million years and is considered by many to be the cradle of civilisation so I am humbled to be talking about the country.Of course the people are the wealth of any nation and it’s no different with Kenya.It’s people have excelled in the arts,sciences,political thought and sports just to name a few .
Tourism does of course bring jobs to the local economy,vital for so many small and big entrepreneurs.It helps unleash ideas,creativity,talent and makes for worthwhile and productive lives.”
She concluded by saying; "Tourism is vital on many levels and it is my hope that I can play a small part in helping remind the world about Kenya and on a bigger level wouldn’t it be wonderful if Kenya could help inspire the world after this terrible pandemic we have all been through. Reminding us to be grateful for nature's beauty and enduring history of our wonderful planet. #NAOMIAFRICA🙏🏾 @magicalkenya"
Despite the praises, Ms Campbell is courting more controversy due to her song choice, weeks after Balala was forced to explain his decision to appoint her the tourism ambassador.
Balala’s tweet read; “Naomi Campbell will be Magical Kenya’s International Tourism Ambassador. That doesn’t take away from our domestic market, it only strengthens it. #MagicalKenya,”
Kenya’s tourism sector has been badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, with visitor numbers going down by 72 percent between January and October last year.