Tourism CS Najib Balala has blasted comedian Eric Omondi for lying about replacing Naomi Campbell as Tourism Ambassador.
A week ago, Omondi while appearing on Radio Maisha revealed that he was in talks with the government on replacing British Supermodel as Magical Kenya International Tourism Ambassador.
According to Balala, the sentiments are not true as there have not been such talks.
Balala intimated that Omondi sent an email to his team but a response is yet to be given since there are many other emails that are sent on a daily basis.
“Yes I have seen an email he sent to my office requesting for a meeting but he did not specify what the meeting was about. I receive hundreds of emails from people requesting to be Tourism Ambassadors,” said Balala.
Last month, Naomi Campbell was appointed to represent Kenya as its Tourism ambassador. The appointment created uproar online with a section of social media users terming it undeserving.
Kenyans on social media wondered why the Najib Balala-led ministry settled for a foreigner instead of Kenya’s own Lupita Nyong’o.
Justifying the Ministry’s choice, Balala revealed that Lupita had been inaccessible for close to five years.
“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 Lupita,” he said.
On why they settled for Campbell, the minister said they are seeking to attract a new market which they believe the model can help reach with her vast international networks.
“We can have one of our own, and we already have Eliud Kipchoge. We are targeting specific markets and sectors, so we will identify brand ambassadors because of that. We use Kipchoge to market Kenya because of his vast international networks,” CS Balala said.
He also noted that the supermodel who was holidaying in Kenya for the best part of December is doing the work for free.
“We have a framework to work around her and she accepted to do it for free. She offered herself because of her love and commitment to Kenya. We are now working on the details on how do we use her to promote the destination,” he added.