I hope my message finds you well. I send you warm Easter greetings .
Firstly it is said…you only notice something when it is gone. In normal times you would be painting Kenya coast red .
This Easter Mombasa and Kenya Coast is dead and lifeless without you good people . I mean it dead and silent without you. You may be considered noisy but what is life without some noise and happy faces?
Nairobi is our capital city, it is the seat of government and the only home to a UN head quarters in a developing country.
While Kenya coast is laid back Nairobians are the opposite, outgoing and also good spenders. They love fine things in life and why lie you guys love life and you love merry making.
Talk of Yuls and Nomad restaurants imagine we will miss your colorful dressing all set for the beach and in all shapes and sizes. It really did not matter whether you are a swimmer or not.
Beach hotels are all quite this morning …the airport is dead silent so is SGR which is silent with lone askaris keeping watch. If it was not for cessation of movement entire Kenya coast we would be ready “Kupokea wageni wetu.” Now that you are not there everyone can fill the void. Without you it’s never the same.
The taxi driver, the Tuk Tuk guys and all the eateries from Tarboush to Forodhani to Tamarind , the madafu and muhogo guys at Mama Ngina waterfront everyone has been affected. Kenya coast in Easter without you is not complete.
The supermarkets and all the Airbnbs are also silent . Milk, bread and eggs would fly off the shelves like they grew wings . While stocks ran out when you are in town, it also meant you left behind loads of money in the coast economy.
Malindi Airport would also be busy as you head to Watamu and Malindi but the roaring aircraft engines have this time all gone silent so is Diani Airport the fastest growing airport in Kenya .
The sleepy town of Shimoni is also missing you …the boat operators that would take you on guided tour now see the reality that indeed wageni wetu hawatafika.
On the beach, the vendors in normal times would be smiling since Nairobiams and others coming over meant good income for them ..from the camel handler with his rides for the young ones and even adults to Halima & Fatma who would be busy with Heena & Piko designs which will be one evidence ” Ulifika Coast “.
The local mamas that hotels would invite to make the traditional swahili breakfast are at home. They know wageni wetu kutoka Nairobi are not able to make it. They feel sad but they understand , warm greetings from them. The Viazi vya Karai , Mahamri , Mbaazi and Kaimatis will wait till next time.
Even the Matatu guys will miss you since not everyone who comes to Kenya coast stays in a beach resort.
How did I forget the Uber folks and many other taxi hailing services. It will be all silent this weekend and all those extra Ubers would be parked at home.
Dear Nairobian, it is not your wish to stay at home. It is because of this terrible virus, we thought it was done with us little did we know it was busy reloading and doing push ups to give us one serious upper cut.
From the Kenya coast , we send you warm greetings and lots of love. We will miss you but stay safe which is more important so that we can host you again with your loved ones in the not so distant future.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter Mubarikwe and as always I choose to remain an optimist .
The author, is Chairman Kenya Tourism Federation