- Vanity Fair
Tourism CS Najib Balala has explained why he appointed British Model, Naomi Campbell, as Magical Kenya International Tourism ambassador rather than the Kenyan award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o.
The CS explained his decision while addressing researches at the Kenyatta University on Thursday, January 21.
A section of Kenyans had opposed the idea while others reserved their opinions.
Balala alleged that Lupita's managers blocked Tourism officials from accessing her and that the saga dragged on for five years.Tourism CS Najib Balala addresses researchers at a conference at Kenyatta University on Thursday, January 21, 2021
"I know everybody is asking why not Lupita. Lupita has commitments and her managers cannot allow us to access her. We’ve spent the last five years looking for her," Balala explained.
He added that Naomi Campbell was free and loved the idea of marketing Kenya.
The Ministry came up with a concept of how to work around Campbell and will unveil details on how she would be used to promote the industry.
Balala further defended his decision by saying that he had appointed other Kenyan celebrities such as Eliud Kipchoge as brand ambassadors.
Campbell, 50, praised the country's improvement of infrastructure at the Coast including the upgrading of Malindi Airport to International standards adding that this would boost tourism in the region.
Kenya Tourism Federation Chair, Mohammed Hersi, disclosed that the model will not charge the Kenya Tourism Board for her services as Kenyans had assumed.
"If we were to pay Naomi, she would wipe a good chunk of our destination marketing budget. Those who think we paid millions to get her...I can bet we paid nothing
"When you reach Lupita’s level, agents run the show, they monetize every single move. Even the father who is Governor of Kisumu cannot use her image to promote the county,” he explained.Tourism CS Najib Balala with British Model Naomi Campbell in Kenya on January 12, 2021
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