English model and actress, Naomi Campbell, has described her confirmation as Kenya’s international tourism ambassador as a privilege and an honour.
Najib Balala, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, had announced the appointment of 50-year-old Campbell as Magical Kenya International Brand Ambassador in January, a development which was widely criticised by Kenyans.
News Central reports that Kenyans had queried why the appointment was not given to Hollywood’s Kenyan-Mexican actress, Lupita Nyong‘o. But, Balala defended his decision by saying Campbell had taken up the role pro bono.
He also added that his ministry had not been able to reach Nyong’o for at least three years.
Gushing over her role as the face of international tourism for Kenya, a country famous for its wildlife safaris and beach resorts, Campbell in an Instagram post said:
“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.
“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.
“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 🇰🇪🇰🇪🇰🇪”