The tourism industry is dwindling, being one of the hardest affected by the coronavirus pandemic and many countries are looking for creative means to bolster tourism.
Kenya’s move to revive their tourism industry by appointing Naomi Campbell as the ‘Magical Kenya International Brand Ambassador’ has come under fire yet again. This time, it is for her poor choice in music during a promotional video.
In the 2:43 minutes clip titled ‘Naomi Experiences Kenya’ shared on her Instagram TV, the British supermodel wrote impeccable things about Kenya but with the popular Nigerian Afrobeats track, ‘In My Maserati’, by Olakira as the soundtrack to the video, and many Kenyans are peeved.
The veteran supermodel 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.
We all know about the astounding areas of natural beauty, the beaches, and of course the wildlife but there is much more.”
She continued by elaborating on Kenya’s rich history and how the wealth of any country is its people who are thriving in their various career paths. However, tourism also helps bring immense revenue to the country while creating job opportunities for entrepreneurs.
“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,” she concluded.
The video highlights the beautiful Kenyan coasts and the lovely people of the East African nation including the local cuisine, white sandy beaches, safaris, and other tourist attractions that are meant to woo visitors to Kenya.
Nonetheless, the focus for many Kenyans was the choice of song in the clip.
Their sentiment is why choose a Nigerian song to promote Kenya as a tourist destination when Kenyans have music made and performed by Kenyans. The comments section of the video blew up instantly with many criticisms particularly centered on the music.
One user said, “Is anyone not going to notice the fact that she’s used a Nigerian song? Ama, it’s not important?”
Dome gave alternative Kenyan song choices that would have done justice to the footage.
“Live and Die in Africa by @sautisol would have made a more fitting soundtrack to this beautiful footage.”
“Please play Kenyan music if you are marketing Kenya do it right ?????,” Another said.
Others also took to Twitter to vent:
“Naomi Campbell using a Nigerian song to promote Kenya’s tourism is not surprising. Lads from the west all think Africa is one big country, they assume that all of us are from the same country, same tribe, and have the same traditions. Let me educate them, Africa has 54 countries.”
Many Kenyans believe there were Kenyans who could hold the ambassadorial position better than a non-Kenyan.
However, according to the Kenyan Tourism and Wildlife Ministry, Campbell was appointed to become an ambassador for the industry because the 50-year-old model who has 10 million followers on Instagram and offered to take the position pro bono.
“Supermodel Naomi Campbell has agreed to be Magical Kenya International Tourism Ambassador. She will help promote the marketing of Kenya as an ideal tourism and travel destination to the world,” a statement from the ministry read at the time of her appointment.