Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Najib Balala, said that Kenya is ready to appoint Kenyan award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o as Kenya's Tourism Ambassador.
In an interview with NTV, Balala indicated that the government can appoint Lupita as the tourism ambassador "whenever she is ready".
However, CS Balala defended the appointment of supermodel Naomi Campbell as Kenya's Tourism ambassador saying that it was the best decision to help the country tap into the elite clientele.Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Najib BalalaThe Standard
"The best decision ever is to get the best celebrity to work for Kenya, and for that matter, for free. Naomi offered herself for free," he added.
In January, the appointment of Campbell rubbed Kenyans the wrong way as people questioned the ministry’s decision to pick Naomi over Lupita.
Balala alleged that Lupita's managers blocked Ministry of Tourism officials from accessing her for five years.
"I know everybody is asking why not Lupita (as Kenya's tourism goodwill ambassador). She has commitments and her managers cannot allow us to access her. We’ve spent the last five years looking for her," Balala explained.Tourism CS Najib Balala with British Model Naomi Campbell in Kenya on January 12, 2021
Lupita responded to Balala’s claims using a photo via Twitter insinuating that she was surprised by the CS's remarks.
"Me when I hear the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism has been looking for me for five years," Lupita captioned the photo.
Balala has also addressed citizen’s concerns about expensive rates at some tourist destinations, saying that all products have a different price tag therefore, people can book where they can afford.
"Some products are very expensive, even myself I cannot afford. So I cannot demand they must reduce the price because I want to go. Maybe that product is not for me but for some else who can and will afford," he said.
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